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Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, all time

in category developmental biology

1,670 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

1: Third-generation in situ hybridization chain reaction: multiplexed, quantitative, sensitive, versatile, robust
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Posted to bioRxiv 19 Mar 2018

Third-generation in situ hybridization chain reaction: multiplexed, quantitative, sensitive, versatile, robust
4,379 downloads developmental biology

Harry M.T. Choi, Maayan Schwarzkopf, Mark E. Fornace, Aneesh Acharya, Georgios Artavanis, Johannes Stegmaier, Alexandre Cunha, Niles A. Pierce

In situ hybridization based on the mechanism of hybridization chain reaction (HCR) has addressed multi-decade challenges to imaging mRNA expression in diverse organisms, offering a unique combination of multiplexing, quantitation, sensitivity, resolution, and versatility. Here, with third-generation in situ HCR, we augment these capabilities using probes and amplifiers that combine to provide automatic background suppression throughout the protocol, ensuring that even if reagents bind non-specifically within the sample they will not generate amplified background. Automatic background suppression dramatically enhances performance and robustness, combining the benefits of higher signal-to-background with the convenience of using unoptimized probe sets for new targets and organisms. In situ HCR v3.0 enables multiplexed quantitative mRNA imaging with subcellular resolution in the anatomical context of whole-mount vertebrate embryos, multiplexed quantitative mRNA flow cytometry for high-throughput single-cell expression profiling, and multiplexed quantitative single-molecule mRNA imaging in thick autofluorescent samples.

2: Single cell multi-omics profiling reveals a hierarchical epigenetic landscape during mammalian germ layer specification
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Jan 2019

Single cell multi-omics profiling reveals a hierarchical epigenetic landscape during mammalian germ layer specification
4,213 downloads developmental biology

Ricard Argelaguet, Hisham Mohammed, Stephen Clark, Carine Stapel, Christel Krueger, Chantriolnt Andreas Kapourani, Yunlong Xiang, Courtney Hanna, Sebastien Smallwood, Ximena Ibarra Soria, Florian Buettner, Guido Sanguinetti, Felix Krueger, Wei Xie, Peter Rugg-Gunn, Gavin Kelsey, Wendy Dean, Jennifer Nichols, Oliver Stegle, John Marioni, Wolf Reik

Formation of the three primary germ layers during gastrulation is an essential step in the establishment of the vertebrate body plan. Recent studies employing single cell RNA-sequencing have identified major transcriptional changes associated with germ layer specification. Global epigenetic reprogramming accompanies these changes, but the role of the epigenome in regulating early cell fate choice remains unresolved, and the coordination between different epigenetic layers is unclear. Here we describe the first single cell triple-omics map of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and RNA expression during the exit from pluripotency and the onset of gastrulation in mouse embryos. We find dynamic dependencies between the different molecular layers, with evidence for distinct modes of epigenetic regulation. The initial exit from pluripotency coincides with the establishment of a global repressive epigenetic landscape, followed by the emergence of local lineage-specific epigenetic patterns during gastrulation. Notably, cells committed to mesoderm and endoderm undergo widespread coordinated epigenetic rearrangements, driven by loss of methylation in enhancer marks and a concomitant increase of chromatin accessibility. In striking contrast, the epigenetic landscape of ectodermal cells is already established in the early epiblast. Hence, regulatory elements associated with each germ layer are either epigenetically primed or epigenetically remodelled prior to overt cell fate decisions during gastrulation, providing the molecular logic for a hierarchical emergence of the primary germ layers.

3: Whole organism lineage tracing by combinatorial and cumulative genome editing
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 May 2016

Whole organism lineage tracing by combinatorial and cumulative genome editing
4,135 downloads developmental biology

Aaron McKenna, Gregory M Findlay, James A Gagnon, Marshall S. Horwitz, Alexander Franz F Schier, Jay Shendure

Multicellular systems develop from single cells through a lineage, but current lineage tracing approaches scale poorly to whole organisms. Here we use genome editing to progressively introduce and accumulate diverse mutations in a DNA barcode over multiple rounds of cell division. The barcode, an array of CRISPR/Cas9 target sites, records lineage relationships in the patterns of mutations shared between cells. In cell culture and zebrafish, we show that rates and patterns of editing are tunable, and that thousands of lineage-informative barcode alleles can be generated. By sampling hundreds of thousands of cells from individual zebrafish, we find that most cells in adult zebrafish organs derive from relatively few embryonic progenitors. Genome editing of synthetic target arrays for lineage tracing (GESTALT) will help generate large-scale maps of cell lineage in multicellular systems.

4: The Spatio-Temporal Control of Zygotic Genome Activation
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Dec 2018

The Spatio-Temporal Control of Zygotic Genome Activation
4,027 downloads developmental biology

George Gentsch, Nick D L Owens, James C Smith

One of the earliest and most significant events in embryonic development is zygotic genome activation (ZGA). In several species, bulk transcription begins at the mid-blastula transition (MBT) when, after a certain number of cleavages, the embryo attains a particular nuclear-to-cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio, maternal repressors become sufficiently diluted, and the cell cycle slows down. Here we resolve the frog ZGA in time and space by profiling RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) engagement and its transcriptional readout. We detect a gradual increase in both the quantity and the length of RNAPII elongation before the MBT, revealing that >1,000 zygotic genes disregard the N/C timer for their activation, and that the sizes of newly transcribed genes are not necessarily constrained by cell cycle duration. We also find that Wnt, Nodal and BMP signaling together generate most of the spatio-temporal dynamics of regional ZGA, directing the formation of orthogonal body axes and proportionate germ layers.

5: Simultaneous single-cell profiling of lineages and cell types in the vertebrate brain by scGESTALT
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Posted to bioRxiv 19 Oct 2017

Simultaneous single-cell profiling of lineages and cell types in the vertebrate brain by scGESTALT
4,001 downloads developmental biology

Bushra Raj, Daniel E. Wagner, Aaron McKenna, Shristi Pandey, Allon M. Klein, Jay Shendure, James A Gagnon, Alexander Franz F Schier

Hundreds of cell types are generated during development, but their lineage relationships are largely elusive. Here we report a technology, scGESTALT, which combines cell type identification by single-cell RNA sequencing with lineage recording by cumulative barcode editing. We sequenced ~60,000 transcriptomes from the juvenile zebrafish brain and identified more than 100 cell types and marker genes. We engineered an inducible system that combines early and late barcode editing and isolated thousands of single-cell transcriptomes and their associated barcodes. The large diversity of edited barcodes and cell types enabled the generation of lineage trees with hundreds of branches. Inspection of lineage trajectories identified restrictions at the level of cell types and brain regions and helped uncover gene expression cascades during differentiation. These results establish scGESTALT as a new and widely applicable tool to simultaneously characterize the molecular identities and lineage histories of thousands of cells during development and disease.

6: Microtubules promote intercellular contractile force transmission during tissue folding
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Posted to bioRxiv 04 Feb 2019

Microtubules promote intercellular contractile force transmission during tissue folding
3,941 downloads developmental biology

Clint Shijun Ko, Vardges Tserunyan, Adam C Martin

During development, forces transmitted between cells are critical for sculpting epithelial tissues. Actomyosin contractility in the middle of the cell apex (medioapical) can change cell shape (e.g., apical constriction), but can also result in force transmission between cells via attachments to adherens junctions. How actomyosin networks maintain attachments to adherens junctions under tension is poorly understood. Here, we discovered that microtubules promote actomyosin intercellular attachments in epithelia during Drosophila mesoderm invagination. First, we used live imaging to show a novel arrangement of the microtubule cytoskeleton during apical constriction: medioapical Patronin (CAMSAP) foci formed by actomyosin contraction organized an apical non-centrosomal microtubule network. Microtubules were required for mesoderm invagination but were not necessary for initiating apical contractility or adherens junction assembly. Instead, microtubules promoted connections between medioapical actomyosin and adherens junctions. These results delineate a role for coordination between actin and microtubule cytoskeletal systems in intercellular force transmission during tissue morphogenesis.

7: Dynamic stem cell states: naive to primed pluripotency in rodents and humans
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Posted to bioRxiv 06 Nov 2015

Dynamic stem cell states: naive to primed pluripotency in rodents and humans
3,918 downloads developmental biology

Leehee Weinberger, Muneef Ayyash, Noa Novershtern, Jacob H Hanna

The molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways that regulate the in vitro preservation of distinct pluripotent stem cell configurations, and their induction in somatic cells via direct reprogramming approaches, continue to constitute a highly exciting area of research. In this review, we provide an integrative synthesis on recent discoveries related to isolating unique naive and primed pluripotent stem cell states with altered functional and molecular characteristics, and from different species. We overview pathways underlying pluripotent state transitions and interconversion in vitro and in vivo. We conclude by highlighting unresolved key questions, future directions and potential novel applications of such dynamic pluripotent cell states.

8: Altering the temporal regulation of one transcription factor drives sensory trade-offs
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Posted to bioRxiv 15 Jun 2018

Altering the temporal regulation of one transcription factor drives sensory trade-offs
3,918 downloads developmental biology

Ariane Ramaekers, Simon Weinberger, Annelies Claeys, Martin Kapun, Jiekun Yan, Reinhard Wolf, Thomas Flatt, Erich Buchner, Bassem A Hassan

Size trade-offs of visual versus olfactory organs is a pervasive feature of animal evolution. Comparing Drosophila species, we find that larger eyes correlate with smaller antennae, where olfactory organs reside, and narrower faces. We demonstrate that this trade-off arises through differential subdivision of the head primordium into visual versus non-visual fields. Specification of the visual field requires a highly-conserved eye development gene called eyeless in flies and Pax6 in humans. We discover that changes in the temporal regulation of eyeless expression during development is a conserved mechanism for sensory trade-offs within and between Drosophila species. We identify a natural single nucleotide polymorphism in the cis-regulatory region of eyeless that is sufficient to alter its temporal regulation and eye size. Because Pax6 is a conserved regulator of sensory placode subdivision, we propose that alterations in the mutual repression between sensory territories is a conserved mechanism for sensory trade-offs in animals.

9: Molecular recording of mammalian embryogenesis
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Posted to bioRxiv 03 Aug 2018

Molecular recording of mammalian embryogenesis
3,839 downloads developmental biology

Michelle Chan, Zachary D Smith, Stefanie Grosswendt, Helene Kretzmer, Thomas Norman, Britt Adamson, Marco Jost, Jeffrey J Quinn, Dian Yang, Alexander Meissner, Jonathan S Weissman

Understanding the emergence of complex multicellular organisms from single totipotent cells, or ontogenesis, represents a foundational question in biology. The study of mammalian development is particularly challenging due to the difficulty of monitoring embryos in utero, the variability of progenitor field sizes, and the indeterminate relationship between the generation of uncommitted progenitors and their progression to subsequent stages. Here, we present a flexible, high information, multi-channel molecular recorder with a single cell (sc) readout and apply it as an evolving lineage tracer to define a mouse cell fate map from fertilization through gastrulation. By combining lineage information with scRNA-seq profiles, we recapitulate canonical developmental relationships between different tissue types and reveal an unexpected transcriptional convergence of endodermal cells from extra-embryonic and embryonic origins, illustrating how lineage information complements scRNA-seq to define cell types. Finally, we apply our cell fate map to estimate the number of embryonic progenitor cells and the degree of asymmetric partitioning within the pluripotent epiblast during specification. Our approach enables massively parallel, high-resolution recording of lineage and other information in mammalian systems to facilitate a quantitative framework for describing developmental processes.

10: Measuring forces and stresses in situ in living tissues
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Mar 2015

Measuring forces and stresses in situ in living tissues
3,721 downloads developmental biology

“Forces in tissues” workshop participants

Development, homeostasis and regeneration of tissues result from the interaction of genetics and mechanics. Kinematics and rheology are two main classes of measurements respectively providing deformations and mechanical properties of a material. They are now applied to living tissues and have contributed to the better understanding of their mechanics. Due to the complexity of living tissues, however, a third class of mechanical measurements, that of in situ forces and stresses, appears to be increasingly important to elaborate realistic models of tissue mechanics. We review here several emerging techniques of this class, their fields of applications, their advantages and limitations, and their validations. We argue that they will strongly impact on our understanding of developmental biology in the near future.

11: Distinct RhoGEFs activate apical and junctional actomyosin contractility under control of G proteins during epithelial morphogenesis
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Posted to bioRxiv 04 Mar 2019

Distinct RhoGEFs activate apical and junctional actomyosin contractility under control of G proteins during epithelial morphogenesis
3,458 downloads developmental biology

Alain Garcia De Las Bayonas, Jean-Marc Philippe, Annemarie Lellouch, Thomas Lecuit

Small RhoGTPases and Myosin-II direct cell shape changes and movements during tissue morphogenesis. Their activities are tightly regulated in space and time to specify the desired pattern of contractility that supports tissue morphogenesis. This is expected to stem from polarized surface stimuli and from polarized signaling processing inside cells. We examined this general problem in the context of cell intercalation that drives extension of the Drosophila ectoderm. In the ectoderm, G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their downstream heterotrimeric G proteins (Gα and Gβγ) activate Rho1 both medial-apically, where it exhibits pulsed dynamics, and at junctions, where its activity is planar polarized (Kerridge et al., 2016; Munjal et al., 2015). However, the mechanisms responsible for polarizing Rho1 activity are unclear. In particular, it is unknown how Rho1 activity is controlled at junctions. We report a division of labor in the mechanisms of Rho1 activation in that distinct guanine exchange factors (GEFs), that serve as activators of Rho1, operate in these distinct cellular compartments. RhoGEF2 acts uniquely to activate medial-apical Rho1. Although RhoGEF2 is recruited both medial-apically and at junctions by Gα12/13-GTP, also called Concertina (Cta) in Drosophila, its activity is restricted to the medial-apical compartment. Furthermore, we characterize a novel RhoGEF, p114RhoGEF/Wireless (Wrl), and report its requirement for cell intercalation in the extending ectoderm. p114RhoGEF/Wireless activates Rho1 specifically at junctions. Strikingly it is restricted to adherens junctions and is under Gβ13F/Gγ1 control. Gβ13F/Gγ1 activates junctional Rho1 and exerts quantitative control over planar polarization of Rho1. In particular, overexpression of Gβ13F/Gγ1 leads to hyper planar polarization of Rho1 and MyoII. Finally, we found that p114RhoGEF/Wireless is absent in the mesoderm, arguing for a tissue-specific control over junctional Rho1 activity. These results shed light on the mechanisms of polarization of Rho1 activity in different cellular compartments and reveal that distinct GEFs are sensitive tuning parameters of cell contractility in remodeling epithelia.

12: Single cell RNA-seq and ATAC-seq indicate critical roles of Isl1 and Nkx2-5 for cardiac progenitor cell transition states and lineage settlement
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Posted to bioRxiv 29 Oct 2017

Single cell RNA-seq and ATAC-seq indicate critical roles of Isl1 and Nkx2-5 for cardiac progenitor cell transition states and lineage settlement
3,128 downloads developmental biology

Guangshuai Jia, Jens Preussner, Stefan Guenther, Xuejun Yuan, Michail Yekelchyk, Carsten Kuenne, Mario Looso, Yonggang Zhou, Thomas Braun

Formation and segregation of cell lineages building the vertebrate heart have been studied extensively by genetic cell tracing techniques and by analysis of single marker gene expression but the underlying gene regulatory networks driving cell fate transitions during early cardiogenesis are only partially understood. Here, we comprehensively characterized mouse cardiac progenitor cells (CPC) marked by Nkx2-5 and Isl1 expression from E7.5 to E9.5 using single-cell RNA sequencing. By leveraging on cell-to-cell heterogeneity, we identified different previously unknown cardiac sub-populations. Reconstruction of the developmental trajectory revealed that Isl1+ CPC represent a transitional cell population maintaining a prolonged multipotent state, whereas extended expression of Nkx2-5 commits CPC to a unidirectional cardiomyocyte fate. Furthermore, we show that CPC fate transitions are associated with distinct open chromatin states, which critically depend on Isl1 and Nkx2-5. Our data provide a model of transcriptional and epigenetic regulations during cardiac progenitor cell fate decisions at single-cell resolution.

13: Reconstructing the human first trimester fetal-maternal interface using single cell transcriptomics
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Posted to bioRxiv 29 Sep 2018

Reconstructing the human first trimester fetal-maternal interface using single cell transcriptomics
2,949 downloads developmental biology

Roser Vento-Tormo, Mirjana Efremova, Rachel A. Botting, Margherita Y. Turco, Miquel Vento-Tormo, Kerstin B Meyer, Jongeun Park, Emily Stephenson, Krzysztof Polański, Rebecca P. Payne, Angela Goncalves, Angela Zou, Johan Henriksson, Laura Wood, Steve Lisgo, Andrew Filby, Gavin J. Wright, Michael J. Stubbington, Muzlifah Haniffa, Ashley Moffett, Sarah A Teichmann

During the early weeks of human pregnancy, the fetal placenta implants into the uterine mucosa (decidua) where placental trophoblast cells intermingle and communicate with maternal cells. Here, we profile transcriptomes of ~50,000 single cells from this unique microenvironment, sampling matched first trimester maternal blood and decidua, and fetal cells from the placenta itself. We define the cellular composition of human decidua, revealing five distinct subsets of decidual fibroblasts with differing growth factors and hormone production profiles, and show that fibroblast states define two distinct decidual layers. Among decidual NK cells, we resolve three subsets, each with a different immunomodulatory and chemokine profile. We develop a repository of ligand-receptor pairs (www.CellPhoneDB.org) and a statistical tool to predict the probability of cell-cell interactions via these pairs, highlighting specific interactions between decidual NK cells and invading fetal extravillous trophoblast cells, maternal immune and stromal cells. Our single cell atlas of the maternal-fetal interface reveals the cellular organization and interactions critical for placentation and reproductive success.

14: Hair regeneration by small molecules that activate autophagy
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Posted to bioRxiv 18 Apr 2018

Hair regeneration by small molecules that activate autophagy
2,947 downloads developmental biology

Min Chai, Meisheng Jiang, Laurent Vergnes, Xudong Fu, Stephanie C de Barros, Jing Jiao, Harvey R Herschman, Gay M Crooks, Karen Reue, Jing Huang

Hair plays important roles, ranging from the conservation of body heat to the preservation of psychological well-being. Hair loss or alopecia affects millions worldwide and can occur because of aging, hormonal dysfunction, autoimmunity, or as a side effect of cancer treatment (Gilhar et al., 2012; Petukhova et al., 2010). Methods that can be used to regrow hair are highly sought after, but lacking. Here we report that hair regeneration can be stimulated by small molecules that activate autophagy, including the longevity metabolites α-ketoglutarate and α-ketobutyrate, and the prescription drugs rapamycin and metformin which impinge on TOR and AMPK signaling.

15: Comprehensive analysis of retinal development at single cell resolution identifies NFI factors as essential for mitotic exit and specification of late-born cells
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Posted to bioRxiv 27 Jul 2018

Comprehensive analysis of retinal development at single cell resolution identifies NFI factors as essential for mitotic exit and specification of late-born cells
2,894 downloads developmental biology

Brian Clark, Genevieve L. Stein-O'Brien, Fion Shiau, Gabrielle Cannon, Emily Davis, Thomas Sherman, Fatemeh Rajaii, Rebecca James-Esposito, Richard Gronostajski, Elana J. Fertig, Loyal A. Goff, Seth Blackshaw

Precise temporal control of gene expression in neuronal progenitors is necessary for correct regulation of neurogenesis and cell fate specification. However, the extensive cellular heterogeneity of the developing CNS has posed a major obstacle to identifying the gene regulatory networks that control these processes. To address this, we used single cell RNA-sequencing to profile ten developmental stages encompassing the full course of retinal neurogenesis. This allowed us to comprehensively characterize changes in gene expression that occur during initiation of neurogenesis, changes in developmental competence, and specification and differentiation of each of the major retinal cell types. These data identify transitions in gene expression between early and late-stage retinal progenitors, as well as a classification of neurogenic progenitors. We identify here the NFI family of transcription factors (Nfia, Nfib, and Nfix) as genes with enriched expression within late RPCs, and show they are regulators of bipolar interneuron and Muller glia specification and the control of proliferative quiescence.

16: Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans
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Posted to bioRxiv 16 Jul 2019

Supercentenarians and the oldest-old are concentrated into regions with no birth certificates and short lifespans
2,867 downloads developmental biology

Saul Justin Newman

The observation of individuals attaining remarkable ages, and their concentration into geographic sub-regions or 'blue zones', has generated considerable scientific interest. Proposed drivers of remarkable longevity include high vegetable intake, strong social connections, and genetic markers. Here, we reveal new predictors of remarkable longevity and 'supercentenarian' status. In the United States, supercentenarian status is predicted by the absence of vital registration. The state-specific introduction of birth certificates is associated with a 69-82% fall in the number of supercentenarian records. In Italy, which has more uniform vital registration, remarkable longevity is instead predicted by low per capita incomes and a short life expectancy. Finally, the designated 'blue zones' of Sardinia, Okinawa, and Ikaria corresponded to regions with low incomes, low literacy, high crime rate and short life expectancy relative to their national average. As such, relative poverty and short lifespan constitute unexpected predictors of centenarian and supercentenarian status, and support a primary role of fraud and error in generating remarkable human age records.

17: A versatile two-step CRISPR- and RMCE-based strategy for efficient genome engineering in Drosophila
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Aug 2014

A versatile two-step CRISPR- and RMCE-based strategy for efficient genome engineering in Drosophila
2,624 downloads developmental biology

Xu Zhang, Wouter Koolhaas, Frank Schnorrer

The development of CRISPR/Cas9 technologies promises a quantum leap in genome-engineering of model organisms. However, CRISPR-mediated gene targeting reports in Drosophila are still restricted to a few genes, use variable experimental conditions and vary in efficiency, questioning the universal applicability of the method. Here, we developed an efficient, two-step strategy to flexibly engineer the fly genome by combining CRISPR with recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE). In the first step, two sgRNAs, whose activity had been tested in cell culture, were co-injected together with a donor plasmid into transgenic Act5C-Cas9, Ligase4 mutant embryos and the homologous integration events were identified by eye fluorescence. In the second step, the eye marker was replaced with DNA sequences of choice using RMCE enabling flexible gene modification. We applied this strategy to engineer four different loci, including a gene on the fourth chromosome, at comparably high efficiencies, suggesting that any fly lab can engineer their favourite gene for a broad range of applications within about three months.

18: A general theory of individuated multicellularity
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Posted to bioRxiv 24 Mar 2015

A general theory of individuated multicellularity
2,589 downloads developmental biology

Felipe A. Veloso

Changes in gene expression are thought to regulate the differentiation process intrinsically through complex epigenetic mechanisms. In fundamental terms, however, this assumed regulation refers only to the intricate propagation of changes in gene expression or else leads to logical inconsistencies. The evolution and self-regulatory dynamics of individuated multicellularity also lack a unified and falsifiable description. To fill this gap, I computationally analyzed publicly available high-throughput data of histone H3 post-translational modifications and mRNA abundance for different Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, and Drosophila melanogaster cell-type/developmental-periods samples. My analysis of genomic regions adjacent to transcription start sites generated a profile from pairwise partial correlations between histone modifications controlling for the respective mRNA levels for each cell-type/developmental-period dataset. I found that these profiles, while explicitly uncorrelated to transcript abundance by construction, associate strongly with cell differentiation states. This association is not expected if cell differentiation is, in effect, regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Based on these results, I propose a falsifiable theory of individuated multicellularity, which relies on the synergistic coupling across the extracellular space of two stochastically independent "self-organizing" systems constraining histone modification states at the same sites. This theory describes how the multicellular individual—understood as an intrinsic, higher-order constraint—emerges from proliferating undifferentiated cells, and may explain the intrinsic regulation of gene transcriptional changes for cell differentiation and the evolution of individuated multicellular organisms.

19: Comparative analysis of kidney organoid and adult human kidney single cell and single nucleus transcriptomes
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Dec 2017

Comparative analysis of kidney organoid and adult human kidney single cell and single nucleus transcriptomes
2,402 downloads developmental biology

Haojia Wu, Kohei Uchimura, Erinn Donnelly, Yuhei Kirita, Samantha A Morris, Benjamin D. Humphreys

Kidney organoids differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells hold great promise for understanding organogenesis, modeling disease and ultimately as a source of replacement tissue. Realizing the full potential of this technology will require better differentiation strategies based upon knowledge of the cellular diversity and differentiation state of all cells within these organoids. Here we analyze single cell gene expression in 45,227 cells isolated from 23 organoids differentiated using two different protocols. Both generate kidney organoids that contain a diverse range of kidney cells at differing ratios as well as non-renal cell types. We quantified the differentiation state of major organoid kidney cell types by comparing them against a 4,259 single nucleus RNA-seq dataset generated from adult human kidney, revealing immaturity of all kidney organoid cell types. We reconstructed lineage relationships during organoid differentiation through pseudotemporal ordering, and identified transcription factor networks associated with fate decisions. These results define impressive kidney organoid cell diversity, identify incomplete differentiation as a major roadblock for current directed differentiation protocols and provide a human adult kidney snRNA-seq dataset against which to benchmark future progress.

20: Guided self-organization recapitulates tissue architecture in a bioengineered brain organoid model
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Posted to bioRxiv 19 Apr 2016

Guided self-organization recapitulates tissue architecture in a bioengineered brain organoid model
2,333 downloads developmental biology

Madeline A Lancaster, Nina S Corsini, Thomas R Burkard, Juergen A. Knoblich

Recently emerging methodology for generating human tissues in vitro has the potential to revolutionize drug discovery and disease research. Currently, three-dimensional cell culture models either rely on the pronounced ability of mammalian cells to self organize in vitro1-6, or use bioengineered constructs to arrange cells in an organ-like configuration7,8. While self-organizing organoids can recapitulate developmental events at a remarkable level of detail, bioengineered constructs excel at reproducibly generating tissue of a desired architecture. Here, we combine these two approaches to reproducibly generate micropatterned human forebrain tissue while maintaining its self-organizing capacity. We utilize poly(lactide-co-glycolide) copolymer (PLGA) fiber microfilaments as a scaffold to generate elongated embryoid bodies and demonstrate that this influences tissue identity. Micropatterned engineered cerebral organoids (enCORs) display enhanced neuroectoderm formation and improved cortical development. Furthermore, we reconstitute the basement membrane at later stages leading to characteristic cortical tissue architecture including formation of a polarized cortical plate and radial units. enCORs provide the first in vitro system for modelling the distinctive radial organization of the cerebral cortex and allow for the study of neuronal migration. We demonstrate their utility by modelling teratogenic effects of ethanol and show that defects in leading process formation may be responsible for the neuronal migration deficits in fetal alcohol syndrome. Our data demonstrate that combining 3D cell culture with bioengineering can significantly enhance tissue identity and architecture, and establish organoid models for teratogenic compounds.

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