Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Author Correction: Discovery of widespread transcription initiation at microsatellites predictable by sequence-based deep neural network.
    Grapotte, M ; Saraswat, M ; Bessière, C ; Menichelli, C ; Ramilowski, JA ; Severin, J ; Hayashizaki, Y ; Itoh, M ; Tagami, M ; Murata, M ; Kojima-Ishiyama, M ; Noma, S ; Noguchi, S ; Kasukawa, T ; Hasegawa, A ; Suzuki, H ; Nishiyori-Sueki, H ; Frith, MC ; FANTOM consortium, ; Chatelain, C ; Carninci, P ; de Hoon, MJL ; Wasserman, WW ; Bréhélin, L ; Lecellier, C-H (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-03-01)
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    Discovery of widespread transcription initiation at microsatellites predictable by sequence-based deep neural network.
    Grapotte, M ; Saraswat, M ; Bessière, C ; Menichelli, C ; Ramilowski, JA ; Severin, J ; Hayashizaki, Y ; Itoh, M ; Tagami, M ; Murata, M ; Kojima-Ishiyama, M ; Noma, S ; Noguchi, S ; Kasukawa, T ; Hasegawa, A ; Suzuki, H ; Nishiyori-Sueki, H ; Frith, MC ; FANTOM consortium, ; Chatelain, C ; Carninci, P ; de Hoon, MJL ; Wasserman, WW ; Bréhélin, L ; Lecellier, C-H (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-06-02)
    Using the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) technology, the FANTOM5 consortium provided one of the most comprehensive maps of transcription start sites (TSSs) in several species. Strikingly, ~72% of them could not be assigned to a specific gene and initiate at unconventional regions, outside promoters or enhancers. Here, we probe these unassigned TSSs and show that, in all species studied, a significant fraction of CAGE peaks initiate at microsatellites, also called short tandem repeats (STRs). To confirm this transcription, we develop Cap Trap RNA-seq, a technology which combines cap trapping and long read MinION sequencing. We train sequence-based deep learning models able to predict CAGE signal at STRs with high accuracy. These models unveil the importance of STR surrounding sequences not only to distinguish STR classes, but also to predict the level of transcription initiation. Importantly, genetic variants linked to human diseases are preferentially found at STRs with high transcription initiation level, supporting the biological and clinical relevance of transcription initiation at STRs. Together, our results extend the repertoire of non-coding transcription associated with DNA tandem repeats and complexify STR polymorphism.
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    Defining the Role of Nuclear Factor (NF)-?B p105 Subunit in Human Macrophage by Transcriptomic Analysis of NFKB1 Knockout THP1 Cells
    Somma, D ; Kok, FO ; Kerrigan, D ; Wells, CA ; Carmody, RJ (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-10-13)
    Since its discovery over 30 years ago the NF-ĸB family of transcription factors has gained the status of master regulator of the immune response. Much of what we understand of the role of NF-ĸB in immune development, homeostasis and inflammation comes from studies of mice null for specific NF-ĸB subunit encoding genes. The role of inflammation in diseases that affect a majority of individuals with health problems globally further establishes NF-ĸB as an important pathogenic factor. More recently, genomic sequencing has revealed loss of function mutations in the NFKB1 gene as the most common monogenic cause of common variable immunodeficiencies in Europeans. NFKB1 encodes the p105 subunit of NF-ĸB which is processed to generate the NF-ĸB p50 subunit. NFKB1 is the most highly expressed transcription factor in macrophages, key cellular drivers of inflammation and immunity. Although a key role for NFKB1 in the control of the immune system is apparent from Nfkb1-/- mouse studies, we know relatively little of the role of NFKB1 in regulating human macrophage responses. In this study we use the THP1 monocyte cell line and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to generate a model of NFKB1-/- human macrophages. Transcriptomic analysis reveals that activated NFKB1-/- macrophages are more pro-inflammatory than wild type controls and express elevated levels of TNF, IL6, and IL1B, but also have reduced expression of co-stimulatory factors important for the activation of T cells and adaptive immune responses such as CD70, CD83 and CD209. NFKB1 -/- THP1 macrophages recapitulate key observations in individuals with NFKB1 haploinsufficiency including decreased IL10 expression. These data supporting their utility as an in vitro model for understanding the role of NFKB1 in human monocytes and macrophages and indicate that of loss of function NFKB1 mutations in these cells is an important component in the associated pathology.
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    Fungal-derived cues promote ocular autoimmunity through a Dectin-2/Card9-mediated mechanism
    Brown, BR ; Lee, EJ ; Snow, PE ; Vance, EE ; Iwakura, Y ; Ohno, N ; Miura, N ; Lin, X ; Brown, GD ; Wells, CA ; Smith, JR ; Caspi, RR ; Rosenzweig, HL (WILEY, 2017-12-01)
    Uveitis (intraocular inflammation) is a leading cause of loss of vision. Although its aetiology is largely speculative, it is thought to arise from complex genetic-environmental interactions that break immune tolerance to generate eye-specific autoreactive T cells. Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU), induced by immunization with the ocular antigen, interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP), in combination with mycobacteria-containing complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), has many clinical and histopathological features of human posterior uveitis. Studies in EAU have focused on defining pathogenic CD4+ T cell effector responses, such as those of T helper type 17 (Th17) cells, but the innate receptor pathways precipitating development of autoreactive, eye-specific T cells remain poorly defined. In this study, we found that fungal-derived antigens possess autoimmune uveitis-promoting function akin to CFA in conventional EAU. The capacity of commensal fungi such as Candida albicans or Saccharomyces cerevisae to promote IRBP-triggered EAU was mediated by Card9. Because Card9 is an essential signalling molecule of a subgroup of C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) important in host defence, we evaluated further the proximal Card9-activating CLRs. Using single receptor-deficient mice we identified Dectin-2, but not Mincle or Dectin-1, as a predominant mediator of fungal-promoted uveitis. Conversely, Dectin-2 activation by α-mannan reproduced the uveitic phenotype of EAU sufficiently, in a process mediated by the Card9-coupled signalling axis and interleukin (IL)-17 production. Taken together, this report relates the potential of the Dectin-2/Card9-coupled pathway in ocular autoimmunity. Not only does it contribute to understanding of how innate immune receptors orchestrate T cell-mediated autoimmunity, it also reveals a previously unappreciated ability of fungal-derived signals to promote autoimmunity.
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    Characterization of Phenotypic and Transcriptional Differences in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells under 2D and 3D Culture Conditions
    Kamei, K-I ; Koyama, Y ; Tokunaga, Y ; Mashimo, Y ; Yoshioka, M ; Fockenberg, C ; Mosbergen, R ; Korn, O ; Wells, C ; Chen, Y (WILEY, 2016-11-23)
    Human pluripotent stem cells hold great promise for applications in drug discovery and regenerative medicine. Microfluidic technology is a promising approach for creating artificial microenvironments; however, although a proper 3D microenvironment is required to achieve robust control of cellular phenotypes, most current microfluidic devices provide only 2D cell culture and do not allow tuning of physical and chemical environmental cues simultaneously. Here, the authors report a 3D cellular microenvironment plate (3D-CEP), which consists of a microfluidic device filled with thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-β-poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel (HG), which enables systematic tuning of both chemical and physical environmental cues as well as in situ cell monitoring. The authors show that H9 human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and 253G1 human induced pluripotent stem cells in the HG/3D-CEP system maintain their pluripotent marker expression under HG/3D-CEP self-renewing conditions. Additionally, global gene expression analyses are used to elucidate small variations among different test environments. Interestingly, the authors find that treatment of H9 hESCs under HG/3D-CEP self-renewing conditions results in initiation of entry into the neural differentiation process by induction of PAX3 and OTX1 expression. The authors believe that this HG/3D-CEP system will serve as a versatile platform for developing targeted functional cell lines and facilitate advances in drug screening and regenerative medicine.
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    Exposure to chorioamnionitis alters the monocyte transcriptional response to the neonatal pathogen Staphylococcus epidermidis
    de Jong, E ; Hancock, DG ; Wells, C ; Richmond, P ; Simmer, K ; Burgner, D ; Strunk, T ; Currie, AJ (WILEY, 2018-09-01)
    Preterm infants are uniquely susceptible to late-onset sepsis that is frequently caused by the skin commensal Staphylococcus epidermidis. Innate immune responses, particularly from monocytes, are a key protective mechanism. Impaired cytokine production by preterm infant monocytes is well described, but few studies have comprehensively assessed the corresponding monocyte transcriptional response. Innate immune responses in preterm infants may be modulated by inflammation such as prenatal exposure to histologic chorioamnionitis which complicates 40-70% of preterm pregnancies. Chorioamnionitis alters the risk of late-onset sepsis, but its effect on monocyte function is largely unknown. Here, we aimed to determine the impact of exposure to chorioamnionitis on the proportions and phenotype of cord blood monocytes using flow cytometry, as well as their transcriptional response to live S. epidermidis. RNA-seq was performed on purified cord blood monocytes from very preterm infants (<32 weeks gestation, with and without chorioamnionitis-exposure) and term infants (37-40 weeks), pre- and postchallenge with live S. epidermidis. Preterm monocytes from infants without chorioamnionitis-exposure did not exhibit an intrinsically deficient transcriptional response to S. epidermidis compared to term infants. In contrast, chorioamnionitis-exposure was associated with hypo-responsive transcriptional phenotype regarding a subset of genes involved in antigen presentation and adaptive immunity. Overall, our findings suggest that prenatal exposure to inflammation may alter the risk of sepsis in preterm infants partly by modulation of monocyte responses to pathogens.
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    An integrated analysis of human myeloid cells identifies gaps in in vitro models of in vivo biology
    Rajab, N ; Angel, PW ; Deng, Y ; Gu, J ; Jameson, V ; Kurowska-Stolarska, M ; Milling, S ; Pacheco, CM ; Rutar, M ; Laslett, AL ; Cao, K-AL ; Choi, J ; Wells, CA (CELL PRESS, 2021-06-08)
    The Stemformatics myeloid atlas is an integrated transcriptome atlas of human macrophages and dendritic cells that systematically compares freshly isolated tissue-resident, cultured, and pluripotent stem cell-derived myeloid cells. Three classes of tissue-resident macrophage were identified: Kupffer cells and microglia; monocyte-associated; and tumor-associated macrophages. Culture had a major impact on all primary cell phenotypes. Pluripotent stem cell-derived macrophages were characterized by atypical expression of collagen and a highly efferocytotic phenotype. Myeloid subsets, and phenotypes associated with derivation, were reproducible across experimental series including data projected from single-cell studies, demonstrating that the atlas provides a robust reference for myeloid phenotypes. Implementation in Stemformatics.org allows users to visualize patterns of sample grouping or gene expression for user-selected conditions and supports temporary upload of your own microarray or RNA sequencing samples, including single-cell data, to benchmark against the atlas.
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    Ten simple rules for navigating the computational aspect of an interdisciplinary PhD
    Islam, S ; Wells, CA ; Schwartz, R (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-02-01)
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    Ceruloplasmin Is a Novel Adipokine Which Is Overexpressed in Adipose Tissue of Obese Subjects and in Obesity-Associated Cancer Cells
    Arner, E ; Forrest, ARR ; Ehrlund, A ; Mejhert, N ; Itoh, M ; Kawaji, H ; Lassmann, T ; Laurencikiene, J ; Ryden, M ; Arner, P ; Wu, Q (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-03-27)
    Obesity confers an increased risk of developing specific cancer forms. Although the mechanisms are unclear, increased fat cell secretion of specific proteins (adipokines) may promote/facilitate development of malignant tumors in obesity via cross-talk between adipose tissue(s) and the tissues prone to develop cancer among obese. We searched for novel adipokines that were overexpressed in adipose tissue of obese subjects as well as in tumor cells derived from cancers commonly associated with obesity. For this purpose expression data from human adipose tissue of obese and non-obese as well as from a large panel of human cancer cell lines and corresponding primary cells and tissues were explored. We found expression of ceruloplasmin to be the most enriched in obesity-associated cancer cells. This gene was also significantly up-regulated in adipose tissue of obese subjects. Ceruloplasmin is the body's main copper carrier and is involved in angiogenesis. We demonstrate that ceruloplasmin is a novel adipokine, which is produced and secreted at increased rates in obesity. In the obese state, adipose tissue contributed markedly (up to 22%) to the total circulating protein level. In summary, we have through bioinformatic screening identified ceruloplasmin as a novel adipokine with increased expression in adipose tissue of obese subjects as well as in cells from obesity-associated cancers. Whether there is a causal relationship between adipose overexpression of ceruloplasmin and cancer development in obesity cannot be answered by these cross-sectional comparisons.
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    CCL2 enhances pluripotency of human induced pluripotent stem cells by activating hypoxia related genes
    Hasegawa, Y ; Tang, D ; Takahashi, N ; Hayashizaki, Y ; Forrest, ARR ; Suzuki, H (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2014-06-24)
    Standard culture of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) requires basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF) to maintain the pluripotent state, whereas hiPSC more closely resemble epiblast stem cells than true naïve state ES which requires LIF to maintain pluripotency. Here we show that chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) enhances the expression of pluripotent marker genes through the phosphorylation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) protein. Moreover, comparison of transcriptomes between hiPSCs cultured with CCL2 versus with bFGF, we found that CCL2 activates hypoxia related genes, suggesting that CCL2 enhanced pluripotency by inducing a hypoxic-like response.Further, we show that hiPSCs cultured with CCL2 can differentiate at a higher efficiency than culturing withjust bFGF and we show CCL2 can be used in feeder-free conditions [corrected]. Taken together, our finding indicates the novel functions of CCL2 in enhancing its pluripotency in hiPSCs.