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Profiling of cis-regulatory elements (CREs, mostly promoters and enhancers) in single cells allows the interrogation of the cell-type and -state specific contexts of gene regulation and genetic predisposition to diseases. Here we demonstrate single-cell RNA-5'end-sequencing (sc-end5-seq) methods can detect transcribed CREs (tCREs), enabling simultaneous quantification of gene expression and enhancer activities in a single assay with no extra cost. We show enhancer RNAs can be effectively detected using sc-end5-seq methods with either random or oligo(dT) priming. To analyze tCREs in single cells, we developed SCAFE (Single Cell Analysis of Five-prime Ends) to identify genuine tCREs and analyze their activities (https://github.com/chung-lab/scafe). As compared to accessible CRE (aCRE, based on chromatin accessibility), tCREs are more accurate in predicting CRE interactions by co-activity, more sensitive in detecting shifts in alternative promoter usage and more enriched in diseases heritability. Our results highlight additional dimensions within sc-end5-seq data which can be used for interrogating gene regulation and disease heritability.

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