Single-cell nuclear architecture across cell types in the mouse brain

Science. 2021 Oct 29;374(6567):586-594. doi: 10.1126/science.abj1966. Epub 2021 Sep 30.


Diverse cell types in tissues have distinct gene expression programs, chromatin states, and nuclear architectures. To correlate such multimodal information across thousands of single cells in mouse brain tissue sections, we use integrated spatial genomics, imaging thousands of genomic loci along with RNAs and epigenetic markers simultaneously in individual cells. We reveal that cell type–specific association and scaffolding of DNA loci around nuclear bodies organize the nuclear architecture and correlate with differential expression levels in different cell types. At the submegabase level, active and inactive X chromosomes access similar domain structures in single cells despite distinct epigenetic and expression states. This work represents a major step forward in linking single-cell three-dimensional nuclear architecture, gene expression, and epigenetic modifications in a native tissue context.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure*
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure
  • Chromosomes / metabolism
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / ultrastructure
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Genome
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mice
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / ultrastructure*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / ultrastructure*
  • RNA-Seq
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptome
  • X Chromosome / metabolism
  • X Chromosome / ultrastructure


  • Chromatin