Single-Cell Transcriptional Analysis with Microarrays
Summary The enormous tissue and cellular diversity of multicellular organisms poses unique challenges, such as learning the gene expression patterns associated with embryonic or neurological development. One tool scientists use to help address these problems is DNA microarrays, which help provide measurement of a cell or tissues transcriptional programs. Despite the excellent of applications of microarray technology, no studies to date have demonstrated the use of microarrays with a single cell. Researchers at Harvard University have developed a novel assay capable of measuring the transcriptional profile a single neuron.
A sensitive and reproducible technique for monitoring the gene profile of a single cell. Using the olfactory system as a model, they identified hundreds of transcriptional differences between olfactory progenitors and mature sensory neurons. These differences in turn enabled them to define signaling pathways expressed by individual progenitors at precise developmental stages. Most importantly, the experimental protocol is simple-laser captured-mediated cell isolation, single-cell cDNA synthesis, followed by gene chip analysis.
Applications The technology is compatible with any tissue type and microarray platform. This method has far-reaching implications not only for the discovery of next-generation drug targets, but also for the accurate and timely diagnosis of disease.
Publications: Tietjen I, Rihel JM, Cao Y, Koentges G, Zakhary L, Dulac C. Single-cell transcriptional analysis of neuronal progenitors. Neuron. 2003 Apr 24; 38(2):161-75.
Tietjen I, Rihel J, Dulac CG. Single-cell transcriptional profiles and spatial patterning of the mammalian olfactory epithelium. Int J Dev Biol. 2005; 49(2-3):201-7.
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Dulac, Catherine G.
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