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1404 Publications

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    06/09/22 | Budding epithelial morphogenesis driven by cell-matrix versus cell-cell adhesion
    Shaohe Wang , Kazue Matsumoto , Samantha R. Lish , Alexander X. Cartagena-Rivera , Kenneth M. Yamada
    Cell;184:3702-3716.e30. doi:

    Summary Many embryonic organs undergo epithelial morphogenesis to form tree-like hierarchical structures. However, it remains unclear what drives the budding and branching of stratified epithelia, such as in the embryonic salivary gland and pancreas. Here, we performed live-organ imaging of mouse embryonic salivary glands at single-cell resolution to reveal that budding morphogenesis is driven by expansion and folding of a distinct epithelial surface cell sheet characterized by strong cell-matrix adhesions and weak cell-cell adhesions. Profiling of single-cell transcriptomes of this epithelium revealed spatial patterns of transcription underlying these cell adhesion differences. We then synthetically reconstituted budding morphogenesis by experimentally suppressing E-cadherin expression and inducing basement membrane formation in 3D spheroid cultures of engineered cells, which required β1-integrin-mediated cell-matrix adhesion for successful budding. Thus, stratified epithelial budding, the key first step of branching morphogenesis, is driven by an overall combination of strong cell-matrix adhesion and weak cell-cell adhesion by peripheral epithelial cells.

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    05/07/22 | Microbial models of development: Inspiration for engineering self-assembled synthetic multicellularity.
    Ricci-Tam C, Kuipa S, Kostman MP, Aronson MS, Sgro AE
    Semin Cell Dev Biol. 05/2022:. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2022.04.014

    While the field of synthetic developmental biology has traditionally focused on the study of the rich developmental processes seen in metazoan systems, an attractive alternate source of inspiration comes from microbial developmental models. Microbes face unique lifestyle challenges when forming emergent multicellular collectives. As a result, the solutions they employ can inspire the design of novel multicellular systems. In this review, we dissect the strategies employed in multicellular development by two model microbial systems: the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum and the biofilm-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Both microbes face similar challenges but often have different solutions, both from metazoan systems and from each other, to create emergent multicellularity. These challenges include assembling and sustaining a critical mass of participating individuals to support development, regulating entry into development, and assigning cell fates. The mechanisms these microbial systems exploit to robustly coordinate development under a wide range of conditions offer inspiration for a new toolbox of solutions to the synthetic development community. Additionally, recreating these phenomena synthetically offers a pathway to understanding the key principles underlying how these behaviors are be coordinated naturally.

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    04/15/22 | KIRCD8 T cells suppress pathogenic T cells and are active in autoimmune diseases and COVID-19.
    Li J, Zaslavsky M, Su Y, Guo J, Sikora MJ, van Unen V, Christophersen A, Chiou S, Chen L, Li J, Ji X, Wilhelmy J, McSween AM, Palanski BA, Mallajosyula VV, Bracey NA, Dhondalay GK, Bhamidipati K, Pai J, Kipp LB, Dunn JE, Hauser SL, Oksenberg JR, Satpathy AT, Robinson WH, Dekker CL, Steinmetz LM, Khosla C, Utz PJ, Sollid LM, Chien Y, Heath JR, Fernandez-Becker NQ, Nadeau KC, Saligrama N, Davis MM
    Science. 04/2022;376(6590):eabi9591. doi: 10.1126/science.abi9591

    In this work, we find that CD8 T cells expressing inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are the human equivalent of Ly49CD8 regulatory T cells in mice and are increased in the blood and inflamed tissues of patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases. Moreover, these CD8 T cells efficiently eliminated pathogenic gliadin-specific CD4 T cells from the leukocytes of celiac disease patients in vitro. We also find elevated levels of KIRCD8 T cells, but not CD4 regulatory T cells, in COVID-19 patients, correlating with disease severity and vasculitis. Selective ablation of Ly49CD8 T cells in virus-infected mice led to autoimmunity after infection. Our results indicate that in both species, these regulatory CD8 T cells act specifically to suppress pathogenic T cells in autoimmune and infectious diseases.

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    03/04/22 | Fly Cell Atlas: A single-nucleus transcriptomic atlas of the adult fruit fly.
    Li H, Janssens J, De Waegeneer M, Kolluru SS, Davie K, Gardeux V, Saelens W, David FP, Brbić M, Spanier K, Leskovec J, McLaughlin CN, Xie Q, Jones RC, Brueckner K, Shim J, Tattikota SG, Schnorrer F, Rust K, Nystul TG, Carvalho-Santos Z, Ribeiro C, Pal S, Mahadevaraju S, Przytycka TM, Allen AM, Goodwin SF, Berry CW, Fuller MT, White-Cooper H, Matunis EL, DiNardo S, Galenza A, O'Brien LE, Dow JA, FCA Consortium§ , Jasper H, Oliver B, Perrimon N, Deplancke B, Quake SR, Luo L, Aerts S, Agarwal D, Ahmed-Braimah Y, Arbeitman M, Ariss MM, Augsburger J, Ayush K, Baker CC, Banisch T, Birker K, Bodmer R, Bolival B, Brantley SE, Brill JA, Brown NC, Buehner NA, Cai XT, Cardoso-Figueiredo R, Casares F, Chang A, Clandinin TR, Crasta S, Desplan C, Detweiler AM, Dhakan DB, Donà E, Engert S, Floc'hlay S, George N, González-Segarra AJ, Groves AK, Gumbin S, Guo Y, Harris DE, Heifetz Y, Holtz SL, Horns F, Hudry B, Hung R, Jan YN, Jaszczak JS, Jefferis GS, Karkanias J, Karr TL, Katheder NS, Kezos J, Kim AA, Kim SK, Kockel L, Konstantinides N, Kornberg TB, Krause HM, Labott AT, Laturney M, Lehmann R, Leinwand S, Li J, Li JS, Li K, Li K, Li L, Li T, Litovchenko M, Liu H, Liu Y, Lu T, Manning J, Mase A, Matera-Vatnick M, Matias NR, McDonough-Goldstein CE, McGeever A, McLachlan AD, Moreno-Roman P, Neff N, Neville M, Ngo S, Nielsen T, O'Brien CE, Osumi-Sutherland D, Ozel MN, Papatheodorou I, Petkovic M, Pilgrim C, Pisco AO, Reisenman C, Sanders EN, Dos Santos G, Scott K, Sherlekar A, Shiu P, Sims D, Sit RV, Slaidina M, Smith HE, Sterne G, Su Y, Sutton D, Tamayo M, Tan M, Tastekin I, Treiber C, Vacek D, Vogler G, Waddell S, Wang W, Wilson RI, Wolfner MF, Wong YE, Xie A, Xu J, Yamamoto S, Yan J, Yao Z, Yoda K, Zhu R, Zinzen RP
    Science. 03/2022;375(6584):eabk2432. doi: 10.1126/science.abk2432

    For more than 100 years, the fruit fly has been one of the most studied model organisms. Here, we present a single-cell atlas of the adult fly, Tabula , that includes 580,000 nuclei from 15 individually dissected sexed tissues as well as the entire head and body, annotated to >250 distinct cell types. We provide an in-depth analysis of cell type-related gene signatures and transcription factor markers, as well as sexual dimorphism, across the whole animal. Analysis of common cell types between tissues, such as blood and muscle cells, reveals rare cell types and tissue-specific subtypes. This atlas provides a valuable resource for the community and serves as a reference to study genetic perturbations and disease models at single-cell resolution.

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    02/08/22 | Single-cell transcriptomes of developing and adult olfactory receptor neurons in Drosophila
    McLaughlin CN, Brbić M, Xie Q, Li T, Horns F, Kolluru SS, Kebschull JM, Vacek D, Xie A, Li J, Jones RC, Leskovec J, Quake SR, Luo L, Li H
    Elife. 02/2021;10:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.63856

    Recognition of environmental cues is essential for the survival of all organisms. Transcriptional changes occur to enable the generation and function of the neural circuits underlying sensory perception. To gain insight into these changes, we generated single-cell transcriptomes of olfactory- (ORNs), thermo-, and hygro-sensory neurons at an early developmental and adult stage using single-cell and single-nucleus RNA sequencing. We discovered that ORNs maintain expression of the same olfactory receptors across development. Using receptor expression and computational approaches, we matched transcriptomic clusters corresponding to anatomically and physiologically defined neuron types across multiple developmental stages. We found that cell-type-specific transcriptomes partly reflected axon trajectory choices in development and sensory modality in adults. We uncovered stage-specific genes that could regulate the wiring and sensory responses of distinct ORN types. Collectively, our data reveal transcriptomic features of sensory neuron biology and provide a resource for future studies of their development and physiology.

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    01/06/22 | SUMOylation of linker histone H1 drives chromatin condensation and restriction of embryonic cell fate identity
    Daoud Sheban , Tom Shani , Roey Maor , Alejandro Aguilera-Castrejon , Nofar Mor , Bernardo Oldak , Merav D. Shmueli , Avital Eisenberg-Lerner , Jonathan Bayerl , Jakob Hebert , Sergey Viukov , Guoyun Chen , Assaf Kacen , Vladislav Krupalnik , Valeriya Chugaeva , Shadi Tarazi , Alejandra Rodríguez-delaRosa , Mirie Zerbib , Adi Ulman , Solaiman Masarwi , Meital Kupervaser , Yishai Levin , Efrat Shema , Yael David , Noa Novershtern , Jacob H. Hanna , Yifat Merbl
    Molecular Cell. 01/2022;82:106-122.e9. doi:

    Summary The fidelity of the early embryonic program is underlined by tight regulation of the chromatin. Yet, how the chromatin is organized to prohibit the reversal of the developmental program remains unclear. Specifically, the totipotency-to-pluripotency transition marks one of the most dramatic events to the chromatin, and yet, the nature of histone alterations underlying this process is incompletely characterized. Here, we show that linker histone H1 is post-translationally modulated by SUMO2/3, which facilitates its fixation onto ultra-condensed heterochromatin in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Upon SUMOylation depletion, the chromatin becomes de-compacted and H1 is evicted, leading to totipotency reactivation. Furthermore, we show that H1 and SUMO2/3 jointly mediate the repression of totipotent elements. Lastly, we demonstrate that preventing SUMOylation on H1 abrogates its ability to repress the totipotency program in ESCs. Collectively, our findings unravel a critical role for SUMOylation of H1 in facilitating chromatin repression and desolation of the totipotent identity.

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    11/30/21 | Engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable color for advanced live-cell imaging.
    Benaissa H, Ounoughi K, Aujard I, Fischer E, Goïame R, Nguyen J, Tebo AG, Li C, Le Saux T, Bertolin G, Tramier M, Danglot L, Pietrancosta N, Morin X, Jullien L, Gautier A
    Nature Communications. 2021 Nov 30;12(1):6989. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-27334-0

    Biocompatible fluorescent reporters with spectral properties spanning the entire visible spectrum are indispensable tools for imaging the biochemistry of living cells and organisms in real time. Here, we report the engineering of a fluorescent chemogenetic reporter with tunable optical and spectral properties. A collection of fluorogenic chromophores with various electronic properties enables to generate bimolecular fluorescent assemblies that cover the visible spectrum from blue to red using a single protein tag engineered and optimized by directed evolution and rational design. The ability to tune the fluorescence color and properties through simple molecular modulation provides a broad experimental versatility for imaging proteins in live cells, including neurons, and in multicellular organisms, and opens avenues for optimizing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensors in live cells. The ability to tune the spectral properties and fluorescence performance enables furthermore to match the specifications and requirements of advanced super-resolution imaging techniques.

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    10/31/21 | Versatile On-Demand Fluorescent Labeling of Fusion Proteins Using Fluorescence-Activating and Absorption-Shifting Tag (FAST).
    Gautier A, Jullien L, Li C, Plamont M, Tebo AG, Thauvin M, Volovitch M, Vriz S
    Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2350:253-265. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1593-5_16

    Observing the localization, the concentration, and the distribution of proteins in cells or organisms is essential to understand theirs functions. General and versatile methods allowing multiplexed imaging of proteins under a large variety of experimental conditions are thus essential for deciphering the inner workings of cells and organisms. Here, we present a general method based on the non-covalent labeling of a small protein tag, named FAST (fluorescence-activating and absorption-shifting tag), with various fluorogenic ligands that light up upon labeling, which makes the simple, robust, and versatile on-demand labeling of fusion proteins in a wide range of experimental systems possible.

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    10/19/21 | Ex Utero Culture of Mouse Embryos from Pregastrulation to Advanced Organogenesis.
    Aguilera-Castrejon A, Hanna JH
    J Vis Exp. 10/2021(176):. doi: 10.3791/63160

    Postimplantation mammalian embryo culture methods have been generally inefficient and limited to brief periods after dissection out of the uterus. Platforms have been recently developed for highly robust and prolonged ex utero culture of mouse embryos from egg-cylinder stages until advanced organogenesis. These platforms enable appropriate and faithful development of pregastrulating embryos (E5.5) until the hind limb formation stage (E11). Late gastrulating embryos (E7.5) are grown in rotating bottles in these settings, while extended culture from pregastrulation stages (E5.5 or E6.5) requires a combination of static and rotating bottle cultures. In addition, sensitive regulation of O2 and CO2 concentration, gas pressure, glucose levels, and the use of a specific ex utero culture medium are critical for proper embryo development. Here, a detailed step-by-step protocol for extended ex utero mouse embryo culture is provided. The ability to grow normal mouse embryos ex utero from gastrulation to organogenesis represents a valuable tool for characterizing the effect of different experimental perturbations during embryonic development.

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    10/18/21 | The power of peer networking for improving STEM faculty job applications: a successful pilot program
    Guardia CM, Kane E, Tebo AG, Sanders AA, Kaya D, Grogan KE
    bioRxiv. 10/2021:. doi: 10.1101/2021.10.16.464662

    In order to successfully obtain a faculty position, postdoctoral fellows or ‘postdocs’, must submit an application which requires considerable time and effort to produce. These job applications are often reviewed by mentors and colleagues, but rarely are postdocs offered the opportunity to solicit feedback multiple times from reviewers with the same breadth of expertise often found on an academic search committee. To address this gap, this manuscript describes an international peer reviewing program for small groups of postdocs with a broad range of expertise to reciprocally and iteratively provide feedback to each other on their application materials. Over 145 postdocs have participated, often multiple times, over three years. A survey of participants in this program revealed that nearly all participants would recommend participation in such a program to other faculty applicants. Furthermore, this program was more likely to attract participants who struggled to find mentoring and support elsewhere, either because they changed fields or because of their identity as a woman or member of an underrepresented population in STEM. Participation in programs like this one could provide early career academics like postdocs with a diverse and supportive community of peer mentors during the difficult search for a faculty position. Such psychosocial support and encouragement has been shown to prevent attrition of individuals from these populations and programs like this one target the largest ‘leak’ in the pipeline, that of postdoc to faculty. Implementation of similar peer reviewing programs by universities or professional scientific societies could provide a valuable mechanism of support and increased chances of success for early-career academics in their search for independence.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.

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