Concomitant sequencing of accessible chromatin and mitochondrial genomes in single cells using mtscATAC-seq


  • L.S. Ludwig
  • C.A. Lareau


  • Methods in Molecular Biology


  • Methods Mol Biol 2611: 269-282


  • Mitochondria are unique organelles of eukaryotic cells that carry their own multicopy number and circular genome. In most mammals, including humans and mice, the size of the chromosome is ~16,000 base pairs and unlike nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is not densely compacted. This results in mtDNA to be highly accessible for enzymes such as the Tn5 transposase, commonly used for accessible chromatin profiling of nuclear chromatinized DNA. Here, we describe a method for the concomitant sequencing of mtDNA and accessible chromatin in thousands of individual cells via the mitochondrial single-cell assay for transposase accessible chromatin by sequencing (mtscATAC-seq). Our approach extends the utility of existing scATAC-seq products and protocols as we (Nam et al, Nat Rev Genet 22:3-18, 2021) fix cells using formaldehyde to retain mitochondria and its mtDNA within its originating cell, (Buenrostro et al, Nat Methods 10:1213-1218, 2013) modify lysis conditions to permeabilize cells and mitochondria, and (Corces et al, Nat Methods 14:959-962, 2017) optimize bioinformatic processing protocols to collectively increase mitochondrial genome coverage for downstream analysis. Here, we discuss the essentials for the experimental and computational methodologies to generate and analyze thousands of multiomic profiles of single cells over the course of a few days, enabling the profiling of accessible chromatin and mtDNA genotypes to reconstruct clonal relationships and studies of mitochondrial genetics and disease.