Robust single-cell matching and multimodal analysis using shared and distinct features

Zhu B*, Chen S*, Bai Y, Chen H, Liao G, Mukherjee N, Vazquez G, McIlwain DR, Tzankov A, Lee IT, Matter MS, Golstev Y, Ma Z#, Nolan GP#, Jiang S#


The ability to align individual cellular information from multiple experimental sources is fundamental for a systems-level understanding of biological processes. However, currently available tools are mainly designed for single-cell transcriptomics matching and integration, and generally rely on a large number of shared features across datasets for cell matching. This approach underperforms when applied to single-cell proteomic datasets due to the limited number of parameters simultaneously accessed and lack of shared markers across these experiments. Here, we introduce a cell-matching algorithm, matching with partial overlap (MARIO) that accounts for both shared and distinct features, while consisting of vital filtering steps to avoid suboptimal matching. MARIO accurately matches and integrates data from different single-cell proteomic and multimodal methods, including spatial techniques and has cross-species capabilities. MARIO robustly matched tissue macrophages identified from COVID-19 lung autopsies via codetection by indexing imaging to macrophages recovered from COVID-19 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid by cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing, revealing unique immune responses within the lung microenvironment of patients with COVID.