Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN NEPHROLOGY IN 2018

Single-cell genomics and gene editing: implications for nephrology

Discoveries in 2018 using single-cell sequencing and gene-editing technologies have revealed their transformative potential for the investigation of kidney physiology and disease. Their promise is matched by the speed of their evolution.

Key advances

  • Massively parallel single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) enables molecular characterization of cell types and states with unprecedented precision and is having a profound impact across biology2,3,4.

  • Integration of scRNA-seq and genome-wide association study (GWAS) data sets allows for sensitive identification of causal cell types and genes in human kidney disease3,4.

  • Advances in CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing have facilitated the development of new approaches to activate the expression of protective gene programmes in kidney disease models, providing an encouraging proof of principle for this therapeutic approach8,10.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Integrating single-cell expression data with GWAS variants can help identify relevant cell types in disease.

References

  1. 1.

    Wu, H. & Humphreys, B. D. The promise of single-cell RNA sequencing for kidney disease investigation. Kidney Int. 92, 1334–1342 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Young, M. D. et al. Single-cell transcriptomes from human kidneys reveal the cellular identity of renal tumors. Science 361, 594–599 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Qiu, C. et al. Renal compartment-specific genetic variation analyses identify new pathways in chronic kidney disease. Nat. Med. 24, 1721–1731 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Gillies, C. E. et al. An eQTL landscape of kidney tissue in human nephrotic syndrome. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 103, 232–244 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Park, J. et al. Single-cell transcriptomics of the mouse kidney reveals potential cellular targets of kidney disease. Science 360, 758–763 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Wu, H. et al. Comparative analysis and refinement of human psc-derived kidney organoid differentiation with single-cell transcriptomics. Cell Stem Cell https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2018.10.010 (2018).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Miyagi, A., Lu, A. & Humphreys, B. D. Gene editing: powerful new tools for nephrology research and therapy. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 27, 2940–2947 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Xu, X. et al. High-fidelity CRISPR/Cas9- based gene-specific hydroxymethylation rescues gene expression and attenuates renal fibrosis. Nat. Commun. 9, 3509 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Ikeda, Y. et al. Efficient gene transfer to kidney mesenchymal cells using a synthetic adeno-associated viral vector. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 29, 2287–2297 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Liao, H. K. et al. In vivo target gene activation via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated trans-epigenetic modulation. Cell 171, 1495–1507 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Benjamin D. Humphreys.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wilson, P.C., Humphreys, B.D. Single-cell genomics and gene editing: implications for nephrology. Nat Rev Nephrol 15, 63–64 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41581-018-0094-3

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links