Single-Cell Transcriptomic Analyses of Cell Fate Transitions during Human Cardiac Reprogramming

Academic Article


  • Direct cellular reprogramming provides a powerful platform to study cell plasticity and dissect mechanisms underlying cell fate determination. Here, we report a single-cell transcriptomic study of human cardiac (hiCM) reprogramming that utilizes an analysis pipeline incorporating current data normalization methods, multiple trajectory prediction algorithms, and a cell fate index calculation we developed to measure reprogramming progression. These analyses revealed hiCM reprogramming-specific features and a decision point at which cells either embark on reprogramming or regress toward their original fibroblast state. In combination with functional screening, we found that immune-response-associated DNA methylation is required for hiCM induction and validated several downstream targets of reprogramming factors as necessary for productive hiCM reprograming. Collectively, this single-cell transcriptomics study provides detailed datasets that reveal molecular features underlying hiCM determination and rigorous analytical pipelines for predicting cell fate conversion. Zhou et al. performed single-cell RNA sequencing to unravel molecular features of human cardiac reprogramming. They identified a “decision” point where cells either reprogram or regress to initial fate. Further, progression of reprogramming was quantitatively assessed by their developed “cell fate index,” which could be used for studying other biological processes.
  • Published In

  • Cell Stem Cell  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhou Y; Liu Z; Welch JD; Gao X; Wang L; Garbutt T; Keepers B; Ma H; Prins JF; Shen W
  • Start Page

  • 149
  • End Page

  • 164.e9
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 1