Machine learning predicts putative hematopoietic stem cells within large single-cell transcriptomics data sets.
ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are an essential source and reservoir for normal hematopoiesis, and their function is compromised in many blood disorders. HSC research has benefitted from the recent development of single-cell molecular profiling technologies, where single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) in particular has rapidly become an established method to profile HSCs and related hematopoietic populations. The classic definition of HSCs relies on transplantation assays, which have been used to validate HSC function for cell populations defined by flow cytometry. Flow cytometry information for single cells, however, is not available for many new high-throughput scRNA-seq methods, thus highlighting an urgent need for the establishment of alternative ways to pinpoint the likely HSCs within large scRNA-seq data sets. To address this, we tested a range of machine learning approaches and developed a tool, hscScore, to score single-cell transcriptomes from murine bone marrow based on their similarity to gene expression profiles of validated HSCs. We evaluated hscScore across scRNA-seq data from different laboratories, which allowed us to establish a robust method that functions across different technologies. To facilitate broad adoption of hscScore by the wider hematopoiesis community, we have made the trained model and example code freely available online. In summary, our method hscScore provides fast identification of mouse bone marrow HSCs from scRNA-seq measurements and represents a broadly useful tool for analysis of single-cell gene expression data.
Project description:Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) must ensure adequate blood cell production following distinct external stressors. A comprehensive understanding of in vivo heterogeneity and specificity of HSC responses to external stimuli is currently lacking. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) on functionally validated mouse HSCs and LSK (Lin-, c-Kit+, Sca1+) progenitors after in vivo pharmacological perturbation of niche signals interferon, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and prostaglandin. We identified six HSC states that are characterized by enrichment but not exclusive expression of marker genes. External signals induced rapid transitions between HSC states but transcriptional response varied both between external stimulants and within the HSC population for a given perturbation. In contrast to LSK progenitors, HSCs were characterized by a greater link between molecular signatures at baseline and in response to external stressors. Chromatin analysis of unperturbed HSCs and LSKs by scATAC-Seq suggested some HSC-specific, cell intrinsic predispositions to niche signals. We compiled a comprehensive resource of HSC- and LSK progenitor-specific chromatin and transcriptional features that represent determinants of signal receptiveness and regenerative potential during stress hematopoiesis.
Project description:Long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) maintain hematopoietic output throughout an animal's lifespan. However, with age, the balance is disrupted, and LT-HSCs produce a myeloid-biased output, resulting in poor immune responses to infectious challenge and the development of myeloid leukemias. Here, we show that young and aged LT-HSCs respond differently to inflammatory stress, such that aged LT-HSCs produce a cell-intrinsic, myeloid-biased expression program. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), we identify a myeloid-biased subset within the LT-HSC population (mLT-HSCs) that is prevalent among aged LT-HSCs. We identify CD61 as a marker of mLT-HSCs and show that CD61-high LT-HSCs are uniquely primed to respond to acute inflammatory challenge. We predict that several transcription factors regulate the mLT-HSCs gene program and show that Klf5, Ikzf1, and Stat3 play an important role in age-related inflammatory myeloid bias. We have therefore identified and isolated an LT-HSC subset that regulates myeloid versus lymphoid balance under inflammatory challenge and with age.
Project description:A hallmark of adult hematopoiesis is the continuous replacement of blood cells with limited lifespans. While active hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) contribution to multilineage hematopoiesis is the foundation of clinical HSC transplantation, recent reports have questioned the physiological contribution of HSCs to normal/steady-state adult hematopoiesis. Here, we use inducible lineage tracing from genetically marked adult HSCs and reveal robust HSC-derived multilineage hematopoiesis. This commences via defined progenitor cells, but varies substantially in between different hematopoietic lineages. By contrast, adult HSC contribution to hematopoietic cells with proposed fetal origins is neglible. Finally, we establish that the HSC contribution to multilineage hematopoiesis declines with increasing age. Therefore, while HSCs are active contributors to native adult hematopoiesis, it appears that the numerical increase of HSCs is a physiologically relevant compensatory mechanism to account for their reduced differentiation capacity with age.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Single cell methodology enables detection and quantification of transcriptional changes and unravelling dynamic aspects of the transcriptional heterogeneity not accessible using bulk sequencing approaches. We have applied single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to fresh human bone marrow CD34+ cells and profiled 391 single hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) from healthy donors to characterize lineage- and stage-specific transcription during hematopoiesis. RESULTS:Cells clustered into six distinct groups, which could be assigned to known HSPC subpopulations based on lineage specific genes. Reconstruction of differentiation trajectories in single cells revealed four committed lineages derived from HSCs, as well as dynamic expression changes underlying cell fate during early erythroid-megakaryocytic, lymphoid, and granulocyte-monocyte differentiation. A similar non-hierarchical pattern of hematopoiesis could be derived from analysis of published single-cell assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing (scATAC-seq), consistent with a sequential relationship between chromatin dynamics and regulation of gene expression during lineage commitment (first, altered chromatin conformation, then mRNA transcription). Computationally, we have reconstructed molecular trajectories connecting HSCs directly to four hematopoietic lineages. Integration of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) expression from the same cells demonstrated mRNA transcriptome, lncRNA, and the epigenome were highly homologous in their pattern of gene activation and suppression during hematopoietic cell differentiation.
Project description:Stem cells balance cellular fates through asymmetric and symmetric divisions in order to self-renew or to generate downstream progenitors. Symmetric commitment divisions in stem cells are required for rapid regeneration during tissue damage and stress. The control of symmetric commitment remains poorly defined. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) in combination with transcriptomic profiling of HSPCs (hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells) from control and m6A methyltransferase Mettl3 conditional knockout mice, we found that m6A-deficient hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) fail to symmetrically differentiate. Dividing HSCs are expanded and are blocked in an intermediate state that molecularly and functionally resembles multipotent progenitors. Mechanistically, RNA methylation controls Myc mRNA abundance in differentiating HSCs. We identified MYC as a marker for HSC asymmetric and symmetric commitment. Overall, our results indicate that RNA methylation controls symmetric commitment and cell identity of HSCs and may provide a general mechanism for how stem cells regulate differentiation fate choice.
Project description:Hematopoietic ontogeny consists of two broad programs: an initial hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-independent program followed by HSC-dependent hematopoiesis that sequentially seed the fetal liver and generate blood cells. However, the transition from HSC-independent to HSC-derived hematopoiesis remains poorly characterized. To help resolve this question, we developed Mds1<sup>CreERT2</sup> mice, which inducibly express Cre-recombinase in emerging HSCs in the aorta and label long-term adult HSCs, but not HSC-independent yolk-sac-derived primitive or definitive erythromyeloid (EMP) hematopoiesis. Our lineage-tracing studies indicate that HSC-derived erythroid, myeloid, and lymphoid progeny significantly expand in the liver and blood stream between E14.5 and E16.5. Additionally, we find that HSCs contribute the majority of F4/80+ macrophages in adult spleen and marrow, in contrast to their limited contribution to macrophage populations in brain, liver, and lungs. The Mds1<sup>CreERT2</sup> mouse model will be useful to deconvolute the complexity of hematopoiesis as it unfolds in the embryo and functions postnatally.
Project description:Summary Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) reside at the apex of the hematopoietic differentiation hierarchy and sustain multilineage hematopoiesis. Here, we show that the transcriptional regulator CITED2 is essential for life-long HSC maintenance. While hematopoietic-specific Cited2 deletion has a minor impact on steady-state hematopoiesis, Cited2-deficient HSCs are severely depleted in young mice and fail to expand upon aging. Moreover, although they home normally to the bone marrow, they fail to reconstitute hematopoiesis upon transplantation. Mechanistically, CITED2 is required for expression of key HSC regulators, including GATA2, MCL-1, and PTEN. Hematopoietic-specific expression of anti-apoptotic MCL-1 partially rescues the Cited2-deficient HSC pool and restores their reconstitution potential. To interrogate the Cited2→Pten pathway in HSCs, we generated Cited2;Pten compound heterozygous mice, which had a decreased number of HSCs that failed to reconstitute the HSC compartment. In addition, CITED2 represses multiple pathways whose elevated activity causes HSC exhaustion. Thus, CITED2 promotes pathways necessary for HSC maintenance and suppresses those detrimental to HSC integrity. Highlights • Unperturbed hematopoiesis can be sustained long term while the HSC pool is depleted• CITED2 promotes HSC survival but not quiescence under homeostatic conditions• CITED2 maintains the HSC pool by controlling Mcl1 and Pten expression Kranc, Guitart, and colleagues demonstrate that Cited2 deletion causes a progressive HSC loss under steady-state conditions without perturbing normal hematopoiesis. The authors show that CITED2 maintains HSCs by regulating the expression of Mcl1 and Pten. Finally, they indicate that CITED2 promotes multiple pathways necessary for HSC maintenance and suppresses those detrimental to HSC integrity to coordinate HSC function.
Project description:Hematopoiesis serves as a paradigm for how homeostasis is maintained within hierarchically organized cell populations. However, important questions remain as to the contribution of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) toward maintaining steady state hematopoiesis. A number of in vivo lineage labeling and propagation studies have given rise to contradictory interpretations, leaving key properties of stem cell function unresolved. Using processed flow cytometry data coupled with a biology-driven modeling approach, we show that in vivo flux experiments that come from different laboratories can all be reconciled into a single unifying model, even though they had previously been interpreted as being contradictory. We infer from comparative analysis that different transgenic models display distinct labeling efficiencies across a heterogeneous HSC pool, which we validate by marker gene expression associated with HSC function. Finally, we show how the unified model of HSC differentiation can be used to simulate clonal expansion in the early stages of leukemogenesis.
Project description:Lifelong multilineage hematopoiesis critically depends on rare hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that reside in the hypoxic bone marrow microenvironment. Although the role of the canonical oxygen sensor hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase has been investigated extensively in hematopoiesis, the functional significance of other members of the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG)-dependent protein hydroxylase family of enzymes remains poorly defined in HSC biology and multilineage hematopoiesis. Here, by using hematopoietic-specific conditional gene deletion, we reveal that the 2-OG-dependent protein hydroxylase JMJD6 is essential for short- and long-term maintenance of the HSC pool and multilineage hematopoiesis. Additionally, upon hematopoietic injury, Jmjd6-deficient HSCs display a striking failure to expand and regenerate the hematopoietic system. Moreover, HSCs lacking Jmjd6 lose multilineage reconstitution potential and self-renewal capacity upon serial transplantation. At the molecular level, we found that JMJD6 functions to repress multiple processes whose downregulation is essential for HSC integrity, including mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), protein synthesis, p53 stabilization, cell cycle checkpoint progression, and mTORC1 signaling. Indeed, Jmjd6-deficient primitive hematopoietic cells display elevated basal and maximal mitochondrial respiration rates and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), prerequisites for HSC failure. Notably, an antioxidant, N-acetyl-l-cysteine, rescued HSC and lymphoid progenitor cell depletion, indicating a causal impact of OXPHOS-mediated ROS generation upon Jmjd6 deletion. Thus, JMJD6 promotes HSC maintenance and multilineage differentiation potential by suppressing fundamental pathways whose activation is detrimental for HSC function.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) subsets in mice have previously been studied using cell surface markers, and more recently single-cell technologies. The recent revolution of single-cell analysis is substantially transforming our understanding of hematopoiesis, confirming the substantial heterogeneity of cells composing the hematopoietic system. While dynamic molecular changes at the DNA/RNA level underlying hematopoiesis have been extensively explored, a broad understanding of single-cell heterogeneity in hematopoietic signaling programs and landscapes, studied at protein level and reflecting post-transcriptional processing, is still lacking. Here, we accurately quantified the intracellular levels of 9 phosphorylated and 2 functional proteins at the single-cell level to systemically capture the activation dynamics of 8 signaling pathways, including EGFR, Jak/Stat, NF-κB, MAPK/ERK1/2, MAPK/p38, PI3K/Akt, Wnt, and mTOR pathways, during mouse hematopoiesis using mass cytometry.<h4>Results</h4>With fine-grained analyses of 3.2 million of single hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), and lineage cells in conjunction with multiparameter cellular phenotyping, we mapped trajectories of signaling programs during HSC differentiation and identified specific signaling biosignatures of cycling HSPC and multiple differentiation routes from stem cells to progenitor and lineage cells. We also investigated the recovery pattern of hematopoietic cell populations, as well as signaling regulation in these populations, during hematopoietic reconstruction. Overall, we found substantial heterogeneity of pathway activation within HSPC subsets, characterized by diverse patterns of signaling.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These comprehensive single-cell data provide a powerful insight into the intracellular signaling-regulated hematopoiesis and lay a solid foundation to dissect the nature of HSC fate decision. Future integration of transcriptomics and proteomics data, as well as functional validation, will be required to verify the heterogeneity in HSPC subsets during HSC differentiation and to identify robust markers to phenotype those HSPC subsets.