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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016 Apr;37:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2015.11.004. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

The mechanisms shaping the single-cell transcriptional landscape.

Author information

1
University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.
2
University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE, UK; Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK. Electronic address: Duncan.Odom@cruk.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

Recent technological and computational advances in understanding the transcriptional and chromatin features of single cells have begun answering longstanding questions in the extent and impact of biological heterogeneity. Here, we outline the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that underlie the transcriptional and functional diversity within superficially homogeneous populations, and we discuss how fascinating new studies have afforded novel insight into each mechanism. The studies are chosen in part to include initial reports of novel functional genomics tools where the eventual applications will clearly have profound impact on our understanding the dynamics of cell-to-cell transcriptional variation-from individual cells to whole organisms.

PMID:
26803530
DOI:
10.1016/j.gde.2015.11.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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