Transcriptomic Characterization of the Human Cell Cycle in Individual Unsynchronized Cells.


The highly fine-tuned dynamics of cell cycle gene expression have been intensely studied for several decades. However, some previous observations may be difficult to fully decouple from artifacts induced by traditional cell synchronization procedures. In addition, bulk cell measurements may have disguised intricate details. Here, we address this by sorting and transcriptomic sequencing of single cells progressing through the cell cycle without prior synchronization. Genes and pathways with known cell cycle roles are confirmed, associated regulatory sequence motifs are determined, and we also establish ties between other biological processes and the unsynchronized cell cycle. Importantly, we find the G1 phase to be surprisingly heterogeneous, with transcriptionally distinct early and late time points. We additionally note that mRNAs accumulate to reach maximum total levels at mitosis and find that stable transcripts show reduced cell-to-cell variability, consistent with the transcriptional burst model of gene expression. Our study provides the first detailed transcriptional profiling of an unsynchronized human cell cycle.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.10.011

Cite this paper

@article{Karlsson2017TranscriptomicCO, title={Transcriptomic Characterization of the Human Cell Cycle in Individual Unsynchronized Cells.}, author={J. Karlsson and Thomas Kroneis and Emma Jonasson and Erik Larsson and Anders St{\aa}hlberg}, journal={Journal of molecular biology}, year={2017} }