Raman microscopy is an imaging technique that has been applied to assess molecular compositions of living cells to characterize cell types and states. However, owing to the diverse molecular species in cells and challenges of assigning peaks to specific molecules, it has not been clear how to interpret cellular Raman spectra. Here, we provide firm evidence that cellular Raman spectra and transcriptomic profiles of Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Escherichia coli can be computationally connected and thus interpreted. We find that the dimensions of high-dimensional Raman spectra and transcriptomes measured by RNA sequencing can be reduced and connected linearly through a shared low-dimensional subspace. Accordingly, we were able to predict global gene expression profiles by applying the calculated transformation matrix to Raman spectra, and vice versa. Highly expressed non-coding RNAs contributed to the Raman-transcriptome linear correspondence more significantly than mRNAs in S. pombe. This demonstration of correspondence between cellular Raman spectra and transcriptomes is a promising step toward establishing spectroscopic live-cell omics studies. Transcriptomic profiles and cellular Raman spectra can be linked computationally, suggesting that omics information can be extracted spectroscopically from living cells.
Kobayashi-Kirschvink, K. J., Nakaoka, H., Oda, A., Kamei, K. ichiro F., Nosho, K., Fukushima, H., … Wakamoto, Y. (2018). Linear Regression Links Transcriptomic Data and Cellular Raman Spectra. Cell Systems, 7(1), 104-117.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.015