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Title: A graph neural network model to estimate cell-wise metabolic flux using single-cell RNA-seq data
The metabolic heterogeneity and metabolic interplay between cells are known as significant contributors to disease treatment resistance. However, with the lack of a mature high-throughput single-cell metabolomics technology, we are yet to establish systematic understanding of the intra-tissue metabolic heterogeneity and cooperative mechanisms. To mitigate this knowledge gap, we developed a novel computational method, namely, single-cell flux estimation analysis (scFEA), to infer the cell-wise fluxome from single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. scFEA is empowered by a systematically reconstructed human metabolic map as a factor graph, a novel probabilistic model to leverage the flux balance constraints on scRNA-seq data, and a novel graph neural network–based optimization solver. The intricate information cascade from transcriptome to metabolome was captured using multilayer neural networks to capitulate the nonlinear dependency between enzymatic gene expressions and reaction rates. We experimentally validated scFEA by generating an scRNA-seq data set with matched metabolomics data on cells of perturbed oxygen and genetic conditions. Application of scFEA on this data set showed the consistency between predicted flux and the observed variation of metabolite abundance in the matched metabolomics data. We also applied scFEA on five publicly available scRNA-seq and spatial transcriptomics data sets and identified context- and cell group–specific metabolic variations. more » The cell-wise fluxome predicted by scFEA empowers a series of downstream analyses including identification of metabolic modules or cell groups that share common metabolic variations, sensitivity evaluation of enzymes with regards to their impact on the whole metabolic flux, and inference of cell–tissue and cell–cell metabolic communications. « less
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Award ID(s):
2047631 1850360
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Genome Research
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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