Mapping the biogenesis of forward programmed megakaryocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells
Platelet deficiency, known as thrombocytopenia, can cause haemorrhage and is treated with platelet transfusions. We developed a system for the production of platelet precursor cells, megakaryocytes, from pluripotent stem cells. These cultures can be maintained for >100 days, implying culture renewal by megakaryocyte progenitors (MKPs). However, it is unclear whether the MKP state in vitro mirrors the state in vivo, and MKPs cannot be purified using conventional surface markers. We performed single cell RNA sequencing throughout in vitro differentiation and mapped each state to its equivalent in vivo. This enabled the identification of 5 surface markers which reproducibly purify MKPs, allowing us an insight into their transcriptional and epigenetic profiles. Finally, we performed culture optimisation, increasing MKP production. Altogether, this study has mapped parallels between the MKP states in vivo and in vitro and allowed the purification of MKPs, accelerating the progress of in vitro-derived transfusion products towards the clinic.
Wellcome Trust (203151/Z/16/Z)
Wellcome Trust (102160/B/13/Z)
Medical Research Council (MR/R015724/1)
British Heart Foundation (None)
Medical Research Council (MC_PC_17230)