Joint profiling of chromatin accessibility and gene expression in thousands of single cells

Science. 2018 Sep 28;361(6409):1380-1385. doi: 10.1126/science.aau0730. Epub 2018 Aug 30.


Although we can increasingly measure transcription, chromatin, methylation, and other aspects of molecular biology at single-cell resolution, most assays survey only one aspect of cellular biology. Here we describe sci-CAR, a combinatorial indexing-based coassay that jointly profiles chromatin accessibility and mRNA (CAR) in each of thousands of single cells. As a proof of concept, we apply sci-CAR to 4825 cells, including a time series of dexamethasone treatment, as well as to 11,296 cells from the adult mouse kidney. With the resulting data, we compare the pseudotemporal dynamics of chromatin accessibility and gene expression, reconstruct the chromatin accessibility profiles of cell types defined by RNA profiles, and link cis-regulatory sites to their target genes on the basis of the covariance of chromatin accessibility and transcription across large numbers of single cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation* / drug effects
  • Genomics / methods*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional / drug effects
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects


  • Chromatin
  • Dexamethasone