During the development of the central nervous system (CNS), combinations of transcription factors and signalling molecules orchestrate patterning, specification and differentiation of neural cell types. In vertebrates, three types of melanin-containing pigment cells, exert a variety of functional roles including visual perception. Here we analysed the mechanisms underlying pigment cell specification within the CNS of a simple chordate, the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ciona tadpole larvae exhibit a basic chordate body plan characterized by a small number of neural cells. We employed lineage-specific transcription profiling to characterize the expression of genes downstream of fibroblast growth factor signalling, which govern pigment cell formation. We demonstrate that FGF signalling sequentially imposes a pigment cell identity at the expense of anterior neural fates. We identify FGF-dependent and pigment cell-specific factors, including the small GTPase, Rab32/38 and demonstrated its requirement for the pigmentation of larval sensory organs.
Synchronous colorectal cancers (syCRCs) are physically separated tumours that develop simultaneously. To understand how the genetic and environmental background influences the development of multiple tumours, here we conduct a comparative analysis of 20 syCRCs from 10 patients. We show that syCRCs have independent genetic origins, acquire dissimilar somatic alterations, and have different clone composition. This inter- and intratumour heterogeneity must be considered in the selection of therapy and in the monitoring of resistance. SyCRC patients show a higher occurrence of inherited damaging mutations in immune-related genes compared to patients with solitary colorectal cancer and to healthy individuals from the 1,000 Genomes Project. Moreover, they have a different composition of immune cell populations in tumour and normal mucosa, and transcriptional differences in immune-related biological processes. This suggests an environmental field effect that promotes multiple tumours likely in the background of inflammation.
Cancer cells within a tumour have heterogeneous phenotypes and exhibit dynamic plasticity. How to evaluate such heterogeneity and its impact on outcome and drug response is still unclear. Here, we transcriptionally profile 35,276 individual cells from 32 breast cancer cell lines to yield a single cell atlas. We find high degree of heterogeneity in the expression of biomarkers. We then train a deconvolution algorithm on the atlas to determine cell line composition from bulk gene expression profiles of tumour biopsies, thus enabling cell line-based patient stratification. Finally, we link results from large-scale in vitro drug screening in cell lines to the single cell data to computationally predict drug responses starting from single-cell profiles. We find that transcriptional heterogeneity enables cells with differential drug sensitivity to co-exist in the same population. Our work provides a framework to determine tumour heterogeneity in terms of cell line composition and drug response.
Motivation: Identification of differential expressed genes has led to countless new discoveries. However, differentially expressed genes are only a proxy for finding dysregulated pathways. The problem is to identify how the network of regulatory and physical interactions rewires in different conditions or in disease.Results: We developed a procedure named DINA (DIfferential Network Analysis), which is able to identify set of genes, whose co-regulation is condition-specific, starting from a collection of condition-specific gene expression profiles. DINA is also able to predict which transcription factors (TFs) may be responsible for the pathway condition-specific co-regulation. We derived 30 tissue-specific gene networks in human and identified several metabolic pathways as the most differentially regulated across the tissues. We correctly identified TFs such as Nuclear Receptors as their main regulators and demonstrated that a gene with unknown function (YEATS2) acts as a negative regulator of hepatocyte metabolism. Finally, we showed that DINA can be used to make hypotheses on dysregulated pathways during disease progression. By analyzing gene expression profiles across primary and transformed hepatocytes, DINA identified hepatocarcinoma-specific metabolic and transcriptional pathway dysregulation.Availability: We implemented an on-line web-tool http://dina.tigem.it enabling the user to apply DINA to identify tissue-specific pathways or gene signatures.Contact: email@example.comSupplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Key points Eact is a putative pharmacological activator of TMEM16A. Eact is strongly effective in recombinant Fischer rat thyroid (FRT) cells but not in airway epithelial cells with endogenous TMEM16A expression. Transcriptomic analysis, gene silencing and functional studies in FRT cells reveal that Eact is actually an activator of the Ca2+‐permeable TRPV4 channel. In airway epithelial cells TRPV4 and TMEM16A are expressed in separate cell types. Intracellular Ca2+ elevation by TRPV4 stimulation leads to CFTR channel activation. Abstract TMEM16A is a Ca2+‐activated Cl− channel expressed in airway epithelial cells, particularly under conditions of mucus hypersecretion. To investigate the role of TMEM16A, we used Eact, a putative TMEM16A pharmacological activator. However, in contrast to purinergic stimulation, we found little effect of Eact on bronchial epithelial cells under conditions of high TMEM16A expression. We hypothesized that Eact is an indirect activator of TMEM16A. By a combination of approaches, including short‐circuit current recordings, bulk and single cell RNA sequencing, intracellular Ca2+ imaging and RNA interference, we found that Eact is actually an activator of the Ca2+‐permeable TRPV4 channel and that the modest effect of this compound in bronchial epithelial cells is due to a separate expression of TMEM16A and TRPV4 in different cell types. Importantly, we found that TRPV4 stimulation induced activation of the CFTR Cl− channel. Our study reveals the existence of separate Ca2+ signalling pathways linked to different Cl− secretory processes.
Gene expression profiles can be used to infer previously unknown transcriptional regulatory interaction among thousands of genes, via systems biology ‘reverse engineering’ approaches. We ‘reverse engineered’ an embryonic stem (ES)-specific transcriptional network from 171 gene expression profiles, measured in ES cells, to identify master regulators of gene expression (‘hubs’). We discovered that E130012A19Rik (E13), highly expressed in mouse ES cells as compared with differentiated cells, was a central ‘hub’ of the network. We demonstrated that E13 is a protein-coding gene implicated in regulating the commitment towards the different neuronal subtypes and glia cells. The overexpression and knock-down of E13 in ES cell lines, undergoing differentiation into neurons and glia cells, caused a strong up-regulation of the glutamatergic neurons marker Vglut2 and a strong down-regulation of the GABAergic neurons marker GAD65 and of the radial glia marker Blbp. We confirmed E13 expression in the cerebral cortex of adult mice and during development. By immuno-based affinity purification, we characterized protein partners of E13, involved in the Polycomb complex. Our results suggest a role of E13 in regulating the division between glutamatergic projection neurons and GABAergic interneurons and glia cells possibly by epigenetic-mediated transcriptional regulation.
Gene expression in individual cells can now be measured for thousands of cells in a single experiment thanks to innovative sample-preparation and sequencing technologies. State-of-the-art computational pipelines for single-cell RNA-sequencing data, however, still employ computational methods that were developed for traditional bulk RNA-sequencing data, thus not accounting for the peculiarities of single-cell data, such as sparseness and zero-inflated counts. Here, we present a ready-to-use pipeline named gf-icf (gene frequency–inverse cell frequency) for normalization of raw counts, feature selection, and dimensionality reduction of scRNA-seq data for their visualization and subsequent analyses. Our work is based on a data transformation model named term frequency–inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), which has been extensively used in the field of text mining where extremely sparse and zero-inflated data are common. Using benchmark scRNA-seq datasets, we show that the gf-icf pipeline outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods in terms of improved visualization and ability to separate and distinguish different cell types.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2024 scite LLC. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers
Part of the Research Solutions Family.