Integrated analysis of glycan and RNA in single cells

iScience. 2021 Jul 17;24(8):102882. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102882. eCollection 2021 Aug 20.


Single-cell sequencing has emerged as an indispensable technology to dissect cellular heterogeneity but never been applied to the simultaneous analysis of glycan and RNA. Using oligonucleotide-labeled lectins, we first established lectin-based glycan profiling of single cells by sequencing (scGlycan-seq). We then combined the scGlycan-seq with single-cell transcriptome profiling for joint analysis of glycan and RNA in single cells (scGR-seq). Using scGR-seq, we analyzed the two modalities in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) before and after differentiation into neural progenitor cells at the single-cell resolution. The combination of RNA and glycan separated the two cell types clearer than either one of them. Furthermore, integrative analysis of glycan and RNA modalities in single cells found known and unknown lectins that were specific to hiPSCs and coordinated with neural differentiation. Taken together, we demonstrate that scGR-seq can reveal the cellular heterogeneity and biological roles of glycans across multicellular systems.

Keywords: Cell biology; Molecular Structure; Molecular biology; Molecular biology experimental approach; Organizational aspects of cell biology.