In a February paper in Nature Methods, a team led by Ludwig San Diego’s Bing Ren reported its development of a technology named Paired-Tag (for parallel analysis of individual cells for RNA expression and DNA from targeted tagmentation by sequencing) that enables the simultaneous analysis of gene expression and epigenetic modifications made to histones in the chromatin of individual cells on a massive scale. Several new technologies now permit the separate profiling of epigenetic marks, chromatin structure and all expressed genes in individual cells, but rigorously and comprehensively profiling the causal relationships between those phenomena has proved to be technically challenging. Bing and his colleagues applied their method to two regions of the adult mouse brain (the frontal cortex and the hippocampus), generating the first cell-type-resolved maps of chromatin state and global gene expression for 22 cell types. Paired-Tag will be useful to researchers exploring the broad gene regulatory programs that distinguish distinct types of cells in both healthy and diseased tissues and the molecular biology underlying the subtlest of functional differences between cells within tissues.
This article appeared in the August 2021 issue of Ludwig Link. Click here to download a PDF (2MB).