In recent years, the explosive growth of spatial technologies has enabled the characterization of spatial heterogeneity of tissue architectures. Compared to traditional sequencing, spatial transcriptomics reserves the spatial information of each captured location and provides novel insights into diverse spatially related biological contexts. Even though two spatial transcriptomics databases exist, they provide limited analytical information. Information such as spatial heterogeneity of genes and cells, cell-cell communication activities in space, and the cell type compositions in the microenvironment are critical clues to unveil the mechanism of tumorigenesis and embryo differentiation. Therefore, we constructed a new spatial transcriptomics database, named SPASCER (https://ccsm.uth.edu/SPASCER), designed to help understand the heterogeneity of tissue organizations, region-specific microenvironment, and intercellular interactions across tissue architectures at multiple levels. SPASCER contains datasets from 43 studies, including 1082 sub-datasets from 16 organ types across four species. scRNA-seq was integrated to deconvolve/map spatial transcriptomics, and processed with spatial cell-cell interaction, gene pattern and pathway enrichment analysis. Cell–cell interactions and gene regulation network of scRNA-seq from matched spatial transcriptomics were performed as well. The application of SPASCER will provide new insights into tissue architecture and a solid foundation for the mechanistic understanding of many biological processes in healthy and diseased tissues.
The development of single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies has offered insights into complex biological systems at the single-cell resolution. In particular, these techniques facilitate the identifications of genes showing cell-type-specific differential expressions (DE). In this paper, we introduce MARBLES, a novel statistical model for cross-condition DE gene detection from scRNA-seq data. MARBLES employs a Markov Random Field model to borrow information across similar cell types and utilizes cell-type-specific pseudobulk count to account for sample-level variability. Our simulation results showed that MARBLES is more powerful than existing methods to detect DE genes with an appropriate control of false positive rate. Applications of MARBLES to real data identified novel disease-related DE genes and biological pathways from both a single-cell lipopolysaccharide mouse dataset with 24 381 cells and 11 076 genes and a Parkinson’s disease human data set with 76 212 cells and 15 891 genes. Overall, MARBLES is a powerful tool to identify cell-type-specific DE genes across conditions from scRNA-seq data.
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Briefings in Bioinformatics
- Oxford University Press
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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