Single-cell analysis reveals different age-related somatic mutation profiles between stem and differentiated cells in human liver
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Highly metabolic liver is exposed to many sources of spontaneous mutagenesis resulting in increased genome instability that, potentially, causes age-related functional liver failure. Here we comparatively characterize the somatic mutational landscape in single human liver cells from individuals of various ages. Mutation frequency is very high in normal human hepatocytes, increasing dramatically with age as compared to other tissues and cell types, e.g., B-cells, neurons, and clonal surrogates of various adult stem cells. Moreover, differentiated hepatocytes tend to accumulate more mutations compared to age-matched proliferating liver stem cells (LSCs). Mutation spectra also differ dramatically between different cell types. Elevated oxidative hallmarks are observed in mouse liver and ex vivo cultured LSCs, but not during liver aging. Overall, human liver is prone to high age-dependent genome instability, compared to other tissues, and reveals functional difference between LSCs and hepatocytes.