Heterogeneity of Mesp1+ mesoderm revealed by single-cell RNA-seq

Chan, S.S., Chan, H.H., Kyba, M.

Mesp1 is a transcription factor that promotes differentiation of pluripotent cells into different mesoderm lineages including hematopoietic, cardiac and skeletal myogenic. This occurs via at least two transient cell populations: a common hematopoietic/cardiac progenitor population and a common cardiac/skeletal myogenic progenitor population. It is not established whether Mesp1-induced mesoderm cells are intrinsically heterogeneous, or are simply capable of multiple lineage decisions. In the current study, we applied single-cell RNA-seq to analyze Mesp1+ mesoderm. Initial whole transcriptome analysis showed a surprising homogeneity among Mesp1-induced mesoderm cells. However, this apparent global homogeneity masked an intrinsic heterogeneity revealed by interrogating a panel of early mesoderm patterning factors. This approach enabled discovery of subpopulations primed for hematopoietic or cardiac development. These studies demonstrate the heterogeneic nature of Mesp1+ mesoderm.


Chan, S.S., Chan, H.H., Kyba, M. "Heterogeneity of Mesp1+ mesoderm revealed by single-cell RNA-seq" Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2016): 469–75