Cellular heterogeneity confounds in situ assays of transcription factor (TF) binding. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) deconvolves cell types from gene expression, but no technology links cell identity to TF binding sites (TFBS) in those cell types. We present self-reporting transposons (SRTs) and use them in single-cell calling cards (scCC), a novel assay for simultaneously measuring gene expression and mapping TFBS in single cells. The genomic locations of SRTs are recovered from mRNA, and SRTs deposited by exogenous, TF-transposase fusions can be used to map TFBS. We then present scCC, which map SRTs from scRNA-seq libraries, simultaneously identifying cell types and TFBS in those same cells. We benchmark multiple TFs with this technique. Next, we use scCC to discover BRD4-mediated cell-state transitions in K562 cells. Finally, we map BRD4 binding sites in the mouse cortex at single-cell resolution, establishing a new method for studying TF biology in situ.
Keywords: bromodomains; calling cards; cell state; mouse cortex; single cell; transcription factors; transposons.
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