New analysis methods fuel the advancement of scientific research, providing novel insights while broadening the scope of future research questions and areas of interest. In recognition of new innovative and impactful research techniques, Nature Methods has established a tradition of presenting a chosen Method of the Year. Beginning in 2008, Nature Methods editors have annually selected a method that is innovative, has broad applications across multiple fields, and has the potential to transform research.
The 2013 Method of the Year was single-cell sequencing, or the characterization of the DNA or RNA from individual cells. The editors highlighted the importance of single-cell analysis in its ability to identify biological differences missed by traditionally used methods that average analysis across a population of cells. In addition to their focus on genomic and transcriptomic analyses, the editors emphasized the need for functional single-cell characterization throughout proteomics to fully understand cell function.
In line with this assertion, single-cell Multimodal omics was named the 2019 Method of the Year. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has been used to gain insights into cell types and states, but this technique only provided one facet with low correlation (0.4) to true cellular function. The combination of scRNA-seq with proteomic profiling results in “information that is more than the sum of its parts.” These advances can reveal unique insights that are unachievable with status quo technologies and give a better understanding of single-cell function.
IsoPlexis Platforms Advancing Single-Cell Analyses
Like the progression of Nature’s Method of the Year selections, IsoPlexis’ single-cell analysis capabilities have also evolved. IsoPlexis’ unique single-cell platform enables highly multiplexed proteomic analysis of functional proteins. IsoPlexis’ biology has been used to identify novel biomarkers of response, potency, resistance, and more. These insights have helped to guide the development and selection of treatments, resulting in improved patient outcomes. Single-cell functional characterization identifies “superpowered” cells, those with multiple functions that drive immune response. Identification of these cells can help to gain a better understanding of immune function and immunotherapies.
Now, IsoPlexis is going a step further with DuomicTM, a platform integrating single-cell functional proteomics with transcriptomics, for the first time. Providing unprecedented insights into the relation between transcriptomics and proteomics, Duomic utilizes multiomics to both identify superpowered immune cells and understand the genetic drivers underlying cell function, unleashing powerful insights into new therapeutic targets. In a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting earlier this year, Duomic was used to compare the transcription of T cell receptor repertoires with the same cells’ functional proteins. Like the Method of the Year selections, Duomic has a wide range of potential applications and can help researchers answer questions that were previously unattainable. As such, Duomic is both a powerful and accessible tool for multiomics analysis.
Innovation in Research Methods Improves Insights
Nature Methods has recognized the importance of single-cell analysis with two single-cell research methods selected as Method of the Year, with single-cell sequencing in 2013 and single-cell multiomics in 2019. IsoPlexis’ single-cell functional proteomics platform has already been used to provide unique insights into single-cell function and immune response. These insights have significant clinical implications and will continue to be used to help develop therapies and identify mechanisms of immune response. While valuable on their own, complementing these proteomics findings with transcriptomics using Duomic can provide an even deeper level of understanding of cell function. IsoPlexis’ single-cell platforms provide two first-of-their-kind methods for single-cell analysis, helping to both advance research and improve therapies.
Speak to one of our proteomics experts to learn more about how IsoPlexis can advance your programs.