Single-cell RNA-Seq profiling of human preimplantation embryos and embryonic stem cells

Yan, Liying; Yang, Mingyu; Guo, Hongshan; Yang, Lu; Wu, Jun; Li, Rong; Liu, Ping; Lian, Ying; Zheng, Xiaoying; Yan, Jie; Huang, Jin; Li, Ming; Wu, Xinglong; Wen, Lu; Lao, Kaiqin; Li, Ruiqiang; Qiao, Jie; Tang, Fuchou
September 2013
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology;Sep2013, Vol. 20 Issue 9, p1131
Academic Journal
Measuring gene expression in individual cells is crucial for understanding the gene regulatory network controlling human embryonic development. Here we apply single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis to 124 individual cells from human preimplantation embryos and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) at different passages. The number of maternally expressed genes detected in our data set is 22,687, including 8,701 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which represents a significant increase from 9,735 maternal genes detected previously by cDNA microarray. We discovered 2,733 novel lncRNAs, many of which are expressed in specific developmental stages. To address the long-standing question whether gene expression signatures of human epiblast (EPI) and in vitro hESCs are the same, we found that EPI cells and primary hESC outgrowth have dramatically different transcriptomes, with 1,498 genes showing differential expression between them. This work provides a comprehensive framework of the transcriptome landscapes of human early embryos and hESCs.


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