Dysregulated ligand-receptor interactions from single-cell transcriptomics

Qi Liu, Chih Yuan Hsu, Jia Li, Yu Shyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Motivation: Intracellular communication is crucial to many biological processes, such as differentiation, development, homeostasis and inflammation. Single-cell transcriptomics provides an unprecedented opportunity for studying cell-cell communications mediated by ligand-receptor interactions. Although computational methods have been developed to infer cell type-specific ligand-receptor interactions from one single-cell transcriptomics profile, there is lack of approaches considering ligand and receptor simultaneously to identifying dysregulated interactions across conditions from multiple single-cell profiles. Results: We developed scLR, a statistical method for examining dysregulated ligand-receptor interactions between two conditions. scLR models the distribution of the product of ligands and receptors expressions and accounts for inter-sample variances and small sample sizes. scLR achieved high sensitivity and specificity in simulation studies. scLR revealed important cytokine signaling between macrophages and proliferating T cells during severe acute COVID-19 infection, and activated TGF-β signaling from alveolar type II cells in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3216-3221
Number of pages6
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


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