Comparison of high-throughput single-cell RNA-seq methods for ex vivo drug screening.

Gezelius H, Enblad AP, Lundmark A, Åberg M, Blom K, Rudfeldt J, Raine A, Harila A, Rendo V, Heinäniemi M, Andersson C, Nordlund J

NAR Genom Bioinform 6 (1) lqae001 [2024-03-00; online 2024-01-29]

Functional precision medicine (FPM) aims to optimize patient-specific drug selection based on the unique characteristics of their cancer cells. Recent advancements in high throughput ex vivo drug profiling have accelerated interest in FPM. Here, we present a proof-of-concept study for an integrated experimental system that incorporates ex vivo treatment response with a single-cell gene expression output enabling barcoding of several drug conditions in one single-cell sequencing experiment. We demonstrate this through a proof-of-concept investigation focusing on the glucocorticoid-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) E/R+ Reh cell line. Three different single-cell transcriptome sequencing (scRNA-seq) approaches were evaluated, each exhibiting high cell recovery and accurate tagging of distinct drug conditions. Notably, our comprehensive analysis revealed variations in library complexity, sensitivity (gene detection), and differential gene expression detection across the methods. Despite these differences, we identified a substantial transcriptional response to fludarabine, a highly relevant drug for treating high-risk ALL, which was consistently recapitulated by all three methods. These findings highlight the potential of our integrated approach for studying drug responses at the single-cell level and emphasize the importance of method selection in scRNA-seq studies. Finally, our data encompassing 27 327 cells are freely available to extend to future scRNA-seq methodological comparisons.

NGI Short read [Technology development]

NGI Single cell [Technology development]

NGI Uppsala (SNP&SEQ Technology Platform) [Technology development]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Technology development]

PubMed 38288374

DOI 10.1093/nargab/lqae001

Crossref 10.1093/nargab/lqae001

pmc: PMC10823582
pii: lqae001

Publications 9.5.0