Multiplexed single-cell profiling of chromatin states at genomic loci by expansion microscopy

Marcus A Woodworth, Kenneth K H Ng, Aaron R Halpern, Nicholas A Pease, Phuc H B Nguyen, Hao Yuan Kueh, Joshua C Vaughan
2021 Nucleic Acids Research  
Proper regulation of genome architecture and activity is essential for the development and function of multicellular organisms. Histone modifications, acting in combination, specify these activity states at individual genomic loci. However, the methods used to study these modifications often require either a large number of cells or are limited to targeting one histone mark at a time. Here, we developed a new method called Single Cell Evaluation of Post-TRanslational Epigenetic Encoding
more » ... ic Encoding (SCEPTRE) that uses Expansion Microscopy (ExM) to visualize and quantify multiple histone modifications at non-repetitive genomic regions in single cells at a spatial resolution of ∼75 nm. Using SCEPTRE, we distinguished multiple histone modifications at a single housekeeping gene, quantified histone modification levels at multiple developmentally-regulated genes in individual cells, and evaluated the relationship between histone modifications and RNA polymerase II loading at individual loci. We find extensive variability in epigenetic states between individual gene loci hidden from current population-averaged measurements. These findings establish SCEPTRE as a new technique for multiplexed detection of combinatorial chromatin states at single genomic loci in single cells.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkab423 pmid:34048564 fatcat:yuvzsnaahvb2zic5i53mkbajom