Transcription factors (TFs) play a pivotal role in determining cell states, yet our understanding of the causative relationship between TFs and cell states is limited. Here, we systematically examine the state changes of human pluripotent embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by the large-scale manipulation of single TFs. We establish 2,135 hESC lines, representing three clones each of 714 doxycycline (Dox)-inducible genes including 481 TFs, and obtain 26,998 microscopic cell images and 2,174 transcriptome datasets-RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) or microarrays-48 h after the presence or absence of Dox. Interestingly, the expression of essentially all the genes, including genes located in heterochromatin regions, are perturbed by these TFs. TFs are also characterized by their ability to induce differentiation of hESCs into specific cell lineages. These analyses help to provide a way of classifying TFs and identifying specific sets of TFs for directing hESC differentiation into desired cell types.
Keywords: cell differentiation; conditional induction; human embryonic stem cells; transcription factors; transcriptome.
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