Functional and molecular cell-to-cell variability is pivotal at the cellular, tissue and whole-organism levels. Yet, the ultimate goal of directly correlating the function of the individual cell with its biomolecular profile remains elusive. We present a platform for integrated analysis of functional and transcriptional phenotypes in the same single cells. We investigated changes in the cellular respiration and gene expression diversity resulting from adaptation to repeated episodes of acute hypoxia in a premalignant progression model. We find differential, progression stage-specific alterations in phenotypic heterogeneity and identify cells with aberrant phenotypes. To our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration of an integrated approach to elucidate how heterogeneity at the transcriptional level manifests in the physiologic profile of individual cells in the context of disease progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas