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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Aug;42(14):8845-60. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku555. Epub 2014 Jul 22.

Single-cell RNA-seq: advances and future challenges.

Author information

1
Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Straße 2, D-97080 Würzburg, Germany.
2
Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Straße 2, D-97080 Würzburg, Germany joerg.vogel@uni-wuerzburg.de.

Abstract

Phenotypically identical cells can dramatically vary with respect to behavior during their lifespan and this variation is reflected in their molecular composition such as the transcriptomic landscape. Single-cell transcriptomics using next-generation transcript sequencing (RNA-seq) is now emerging as a powerful tool to profile cell-to-cell variability on a genomic scale. Its application has already greatly impacted our conceptual understanding of diverse biological processes with broad implications for both basic and clinical research. Different single-cell RNA-seq protocols have been introduced and are reviewed here-each one with its own strengths and current limitations. We further provide an overview of the biological questions single-cell RNA-seq has been used to address, the major findings obtained from such studies, and current challenges and expected future developments in this booming field.

PMID:
25053837
PMCID:
PMC4132710
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gku555
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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