Single cell analysis of normal and leukemic hematopoiesis.
Povinelli BJ., Rodriguez-Meira A., Mead AJ.
The hematopoietic system is well established as a paradigm for the study of cellular hierarchies, their disruption in disease and therapeutic use in regenerative medicine. Traditional approaches to study hematopoiesis involve purification of cell populations based on a small number of surface markers. However, such population-based analysis obscures underlying heterogeneity contained within any phenotypically defined cell population. This heterogeneity can only be resolved through single cell analysis. Recent advances in single cell techniques allow analysis of the genome, transcriptome, epigenome and proteome in single cells at an unprecedented scale. The application of these new single cell methods to investigate the hematopoietic system has led to paradigm shifts in our understanding of cellular heterogeneity in hematopoiesis and how this is disrupted in disease. In this review, we summarize how single cell techniques have been applied to the analysis of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in normal and malignant hematopoiesis, with a particular focus on recent advances in single-cell genomics, including how these might be utilized for clinical application.