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Single-cell transcriptomics reveals diverse and complex gene expression alterations in human trisomy 18

By Jing Wang, Zixi Chen, Fei He, Trevor Lee, Wenjie Cai, Wanhua Chen, Longbin Zhang, Nan Miao, Zhiwei Zeng, Ghulam Hussain, Qiwei Guo, Tao Sun

Posted 03 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/863332

Trisomy 18, commonly known as Edward's syndrome, is the second most common autosomal trisomy among live born neonates. Multiple tissues including cardiac, abdominal, and nervous systems are affected by an extra chromosome 18. To delineate the complexity of anomalies of trisomy 18, we analyzed amniotic fluid cells from two normal and three trisomy 18 samples using single-cell transcriptomics. We identified six cell groups, which function in major tissue development such as kidney, vasculature, and smooth muscle, and display significant alterations in gene expression detected by single-cell RNA-sequencing. Moreover, we demonstrated significant gene expression changes in previously proposed trisomy 18 critical regions, and identified three new regions such as 18p11.32, 18q11, 18q21.32, which are likely associated with trisomy 18 phenotypes. Our results indicate complexity of trisomy 18 at the gene expression level and reveal genetic reasoning of diverse phenotypes in trisomy 18 patients.

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