An optimized approach for multiplexing single-nuclear ATAC-seq using oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Single-cell technologies to analyze transcription and chromatin structure have been widely used in many research areas to reveal the functions and molecular properties of cells at single-cell resolution. Sample multiplexing techniques are valuable when performing single-cell analysis, reducing technical variation and permitting cost efficiencies. Several commercially available methods have been used in many scRNA-seq studies. On the other hand, while several methods have been published, multiplexing techniques for single nuclear assay for transposase-accessible chromatin (snATAC)-seq assays remain under development. We developed a simple nucleus hashing method using oligonucleotide-conjugated antibodies recognizing nuclear pore complex proteins, NuHash, to perform snATAC-seq library preparations by multiplexing. RESULTS: We performed multiplexing snATAC-seq analyses on a mixture of human and mouse cell samples (two samples, 2-plex, and four samples, 4-plex) using NuHash. The analyses on nuclei with at least 10,000 read counts showed that the demultiplexing accuracy of NuHash was high, and only ten out of 9144 nuclei (2-plex) and 150 of 12,208 nuclei (4-plex) had discordant classifications between NuHash demultiplexing and discrimination using reference genome alignments. The differential open chromatin region (OCR) analysis between female and male samples revealed that male-specific OCRs were enriched in chromosome Y (four out of nine). We also found that five female-specific OCRs (20 OCRs) were on chromosome X. A comparative analysis between snATAC-seq and deeply sequenced bulk ATAC-seq on the same samples revealed that the bulk ATAC-seq signal intensity was positively correlated with the number of cell clusters detected in snATAC-seq. Moreover, when we categorized snATAC-seq peaks based on the number of cell clusters in which the peak was present, we observed different distributions over different genomic features between the groups. This result suggests that the peak intensities of bulk ATAC-seq can be used to identify different types of functional loci. CONCLUSIONS: Our multiplexing method using oligo-conjugated anti-nuclear pore complex proteins, NuHash, permits high-accuracy demultiplexing of samples. The NuHash protocol is straightforward, works on frozen samples, and requires no modifications for snATAC-seq library preparation.

published proceedings

  • Epigenetics Chromatin

altmetric score

  • 4.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Bera, B. S., Thompson, T. V., Sosa, E., Nomaru, H., Reynolds, D., Dubin, R. A., ... Suzuki, M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Bera, Betelehem Solomon||Thompson, Taylor V||Sosa, Eric||Nomaru, Hiroko||Reynolds, David||Dubin, Robert A||Maqbool, Shahina B||Zheng, Deyou||Morrow, Bernice E||Greally, John M||Suzuki, Masako

publication date

  • April 2023