Single-cell gene and isoform expression analysis reveals signatures of ageing in haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells

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Single-cell approaches have revealed that the haematopoietic hierarchy is a continuum of differentiation, from stem cell to committed progenitor, marked by changes in gene expression. However, many of these approaches neglect isoform-level information and thus do not capture the extent of alternative splicing within the system. Here, we present an integrated short- and long-read single-cell RNA-seq analysis of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. We demonstrate that over half of genes detected in standard short-read single-cell analyses are expressed as multiple, often functionally distinct, isoforms, including many transcription factors and key cytokine receptors. We observe global and HSC-specific changes in gene expression with ageing but limited impact of ageing on isoform usage. Integrating single-cell and cell-type-specific isoform landscape in haematopoiesis thus provides a new reference for comprehensive molecular profiling of heterogeneous tissues, as well as novel insights into transcriptional complexity, cell-type-specific splicing events and consequences of ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number558
JournalCommunications Biology
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023

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