Single cell analyses identify a highly regenerative and homogenous human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell population

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The heterogeneous nature of human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) has hampered our understanding of the cellular and molecular trajectories that HSCs navigate during lineage commitment. Using various platforms including single cell RNA-sequencing and extensive xenotransplantation, we have uncovered an uncharacterized human CD34+ HSC population. These CD34+EPCR+(CD38/CD45RA)- (simply as EPCR+) HSCs have a high repopulating and self-renewal abilities, reaching a stem cell frequency of ~1 in 3 cells, the highest described to date. Their unique transcriptomic wiring in which many gene modules associated with differentiated cell lineages confers their multilineage lineage output both in vivo and in vitro. At the single cell level, EPCR+ HSCs are the most transcriptomically and functionally homogenous human HSC population defined to date and can also be easily identified in post-natal tissues. Therefore, this EPCR+ population not only offers a high human HSC resolution but also a well-structured human hematopoietic hierarchical organization at the most primitive level.