Cell type-specific novel long non-coding RNA and circular RNA in the BLUEPRINT hematopoietic transcriptomes atlas

Luigi Grassi, Osagie G. Izuogu, Natasha A.N. Jorge, Denis Seyres, Mariona Bustamante, Frances Burden, Samantha Farrow, Neda Farahi, Fergal J. Martin, Adam Frankish, Jonathan M. Mudge, Myrto Kostadima, Romina Petersen, John J. Lambourne, Sophia Rowlston, Enca Martin-Rendon, Laura Clarke, Kate Downes, Xavier Estivill, Paul FlicekJoost H.A. Martens, Marie Laure Yaspo, Hendrik G. Stunnenberg, Willem H. Ouwehand, Fabio Passetti, Ernest Turro, Mattia Frontini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Transcriptional profiling of hematopoietic cell subpopulations has helped to characterize the developmental stages of the hematopoietic system and the molecular bases of malignant and non-malignant blood diseases. Previously, only the genes targeted by expression microarrays could be profiled genome-wide. High-throughput RNA sequencing, however, encompasses a broader repertoire of RNA molecules, without restriction to previously annotated genes. We analyzed the BLUEPRINT consortium RNA-sequencing data for mature hematopoietic cell types. The data comprised 90 total RNA-sequencing samples, each composed of one of 27 cell types, and 32 small RNA-sequencing samples, each composed of one of 11 cell types. We estimated gene and isoform expression levels for each cell type using existing annotations from Ensembl. We then used guided transcriptome assembly to discover unannotated transcripts. We identified hundreds of novel non-coding RNA genes and showed that the majority have cell type-dependent expression. We also characterized the expression of circular RNA and found that these are also cell type-specific. These analyses refine the active transcriptional landscape of mature hematopoietic cells, highlight abundant genes and transcriptional isoforms for each blood cell type, and provide a valuable resource for researchers of hematologic development and diseases. Finally, we made the data accessible via a web-based interface: https://blueprint.haem.cam.ac.uk/bloodatlas/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2613-2623
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


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