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High-throughput single-cell ChIP-seq identifies heterogeneity of chromatin states in breast cancer.

Nature genetics (2019-06-04)
Kevin Grosselin, Adeline Durand, Justine Marsolier, Adeline Poitou, Elisabetta Marangoni, Fariba Nemati, Ahmed Dahmani, Sonia Lameiras, Fabien Reyal, Olivia Frenoy, Yannick Pousse, Marcel Reichen, Adam Woolfe, Colin Brenan, Andrew D Griffiths, Céline Vallot, Annabelle Gérard
ABSTRACT

Modulation of chromatin structure via histone modification is a major epigenetic mechanism and regulator of gene expression. However, the contribution of chromatin features to tumor heterogeneity and evolution remains unknown. Here we describe a high-throughput droplet microfluidics platform to profile chromatin landscapes of thousands of cells at single-cell resolution. Using patient-derived xenograft models of acquired resistance to chemotherapy and targeted therapy in breast cancer, we found that a subset of cells within untreated drug-sensitive tumors share a common chromatin signature with resistant cells, undetectable using bulk approaches. These cells, and cells from the resistant tumors, have lost chromatin marks-H3K27me3, which is associated with stable transcriptional repression-for genes known to promote resistance to treatment. This single-cell chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing approach paves the way to study the role of chromatin heterogeneity, not just in cancer but in other diseases and healthy systems, notably during cellular differentiation and development.