Fast and flexible profiling of chromatin accessibility and total RNA expression in single nuclei using Microwell-seq3

Cell Discov. 2024 Mar 26;10(1):33. doi: 10.1038/s41421-023-00642-z.


Single cell chromatin accessibility profiling and transcriptome sequencing are the most widely used technologies for single-cell genomics. Here, we present Microwell-seq3, a high-throughput and facile platform for high-sensitivity single-nucleus chromatin accessibility or full-length transcriptome profiling. The method combines a preindexing strategy and a penetrable chip-in-a-tube for single nucleus loading and DNA amplification and therefore does not require specialized equipment. We used Microwell-seq3 to profile chromatin accessibility in more than 200,000 single nuclei and the full-length transcriptome in ~50,000 nuclei from multiple adult mouse tissues. Compared with the existing polyadenylated transcript capture methods, integrative analysis of cell type-specific regulatory elements and total RNA expression uncovered comprehensive cell type heterogeneity in the brain. Gene regulatory networks based on chromatin accessibility profiling provided an improved cell type communication model. Finally, we demonstrated that Microwell-seq3 can identify malignant cells and their specific regulons in spontaneous lung tumors of aged mice. We envision a broad application of Microwell-seq3 in many areas of research.