Cell-to-cell variation

 Staining of ccv intensity in human cell line A-431 (HPA022522)
Scale bar represents 10µm

Cell-to-cell variation

As the images in the Cell Atlas provide single cell resolution, variations in protein expression patterns from cell to cell can be observed. Since the cells are grown under asynchronous conditions the most likely explanation for this would be cell cycle effects. Other factors could for example be environmental conditions, cell confluency, cellular stress or stochasticity.

Immunofluorescent staining

In our confocal images both variation in the abundance (CCV intensity) or a spatial re-distribution (CCV spatial) of the target protein, can be revealed. Confocal microscopy enables the acquisition of an image in a narrow optical section. When observing a cell-to-cell variation pattern in an IF image it is important to ensure that the optical section is consistent for all cells in the image by taking caution to the reference markers.

CCV intensity
A cell-to-cell variation (intensity) is defined as intensity differences of the immunostaining between cells. This variance in staining intensity reflects different levels of expression of the target protein.

CCV spatial
A cell-to-cell variation (spatial) is characterized by immunostaining of different cellular compartments in different cells. This could indicate a dynamic protein expression pattern and potential translocations between respective compartments.

Read more about the cell cycle proteome.