Single-cell damagenome profiling unveils vulnerable genes and functional pathways in human genome toward DNA damage

Sci Adv. 2021 Jul 2;7(27):eabf3329. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abf3329. Print 2021 Jul.


We report a novel single-cell whole-genome amplification method (LCS-WGA) that can efficiently capture spontaneous DNA damage existing in single cells. We refer to these damage-associated single-nucleotide variants as "damSNVs," and the whole-genome distribution of damSNVs as the damagenome. We observed that in single human neurons, the damagenome distribution was significantly correlated with three-dimensional genome structures. This nonuniform distribution indicates different degrees of DNA damage effects on different genes. Next, we identified the functionals that were significantly enriched in the high-damage genes. Similar functionals were also enriched in the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) detected by single-cell transcriptome of both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This result can be explained by the significant enrichment of high-damage genes in the DEGs of neurons for both AD and ASD. The discovery of high-damage genes sheds new lights on the important roles of DNA damage in human diseases and disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / genetics
  • DNA Damage
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genome, Human
  • Humans
  • Transcriptome