Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has been tremendously developed in the past decade owing to overcoming challenges associated with isolation of massive quantities of single cells. Previously, cell heterogeneity and low quantities of available biological material posed significant difficulties to scRNA-seq. Cell-to-cell variation and heterogeneity are fundamental and intrinsic characteristics of normal and malignant hematopoietic cells; this heterogeneity has often been ignored in omics studies. The application of scRNA-seq has profoundly changed our comprehension of many biological phenomena, including organ development and carcinogenesis. Hematopoiesis, is actually a maturation process for more than ten distinct blood and immune cells, and is thought to be critically involved in hematological homeostasis and in sustaining the physiological functions. However, aberrant hematopoiesis directly leads to hematological malignancy, and a deeper understanding of malignant hematopoiesis will provide deeper insights into diagnosis and prognosis for patients with hematological malignancies. Here, we aim to review the recent technical progress and future prospects for scRNA-seq, as applied in physiological and malignant hematopoiesis, in efforts to further understand the hematopoietic hierarchy and to illuminate personalized therapy and precision medicine approaches used in the clinical treatment of hematological malignancies.
Keywords: hematological malignancy; hematopoietic hierarchy; malignant hematopoiesis; normal hematopoiesis; single-cell RNA sequencing.
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