Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cell-type-specific resolution epigenetics without the need for cell sorting or single-cell biology.

  • Author(s): Rahmani, Elior
  • Schweiger, Regev
  • Rhead, Brooke
  • Criswell, Lindsey A
  • Barcellos, Lisa F
  • Eskin, Eleazar
  • Rosset, Saharon
  • Sankararaman, Sriram
  • Halperin, Eran
  • et al.
Abstract

High costs and technical limitations of cell sorting and single-cell techniques currently restrict the collection of large-scale, cell-type-specific DNA methylation data. This, in turn, impedes our ability to tackle key biological questions that pertain to variation within a population, such as identification of disease-associated genes at a cell-type-specific resolution. Here, we show mathematically and empirically that cell-type-specific methylation levels of an individual can be learned from its tissue-level bulk data, conceptually emulating the case where the individual has been profiled with a single-cell resolution and then signals were aggregated in each cell population separately. Provided with this unprecedented way to perform powerful large-scale epigenetic studies with cell-type-specific resolution, we revisit previous studies with tissue-level bulk methylation and reveal novel associations with leukocyte composition in blood and with rheumatoid arthritis. For the latter, we further show consistency with validation data collected from sorted leukocyte sub-types.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View