Dataset Information


The transcriptomes of two heritable cell types illuminate the circuit governing their differentiation

ABSTRACT: The differentiation of cells into distinct cell types, each of which is heritable for many generations, underlies many biological phenomena. White and opaque cells of the fungal pathogen Candida albicans are two such heritable cell types, each thought to be adapted to unique niches within their human host. To systematically investigate the differences between the two cell types, we performed strand-specific massively-parallel sequencing of RNA from C. albicans white and opaque cells. Combining the resulting data from both cell types, we first substantially re-annotated the C. albicans transcriptome, finding 1443 novel coding and non-coding transcriptionally active regions. Using the new annotation, we compared differences in transcript abundance between the two cell types with the genomic regions bound by the master regulator of the white-opaque switch (Wor1). We found that the revised transcriptional landscape considerably alters our understanding of the circuit governing differentiation. In particular, we can now resolve the poor concordance between binding of the master regulator and the differential expression of adjacent genes, a discrepancy observed in many other studies of cell differentiation. More than one third of the Wor1-bound differentially-expressed transcripts were previously unannotated, which explains the formerly puzzling presence of Wor1 at these positions along the genome. Indeed, many of these newly identified Wor1-regulated genes are non-coding and transcribed antisense to coding transcripts. We also found that 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNAs in the circuit are unusually long and that 5' UTRs often differ in length between white and opaque cells. These observations suggest that the use of alternative promoters is widespread in the circuit and that important regulatory information is carried in the long UTRs. Further analysis revealed that the revised Wor1 circuit bears several striking similarities to the Oct4 circuit that specifies the pluripotency of mammalian embryonic stem cells. Additional characteristics shared with the Oct4 circuit suggest a set of general hallmarks characteristic of heritable differentiation states in eukaryotes. RNA-Seq was applied to Candida albicans white and opaque cells to identify novel transcripts and UTRs that are differentially regulated between the two cell types. Two biological replicates each of white and opaque cell cultures. One of the white cell RNA samples was split just after isolation to allow a comparison of the poly(A)-selection and ribo-depletion sample preparation strategies.

ORGANISM(S): Candida albicans  

SUBMITTER: Brian Tuch   Quinn M Mitrovich  Alexander D Johnson  Cinna K Monighetti  Clarissa Nobile  Brian B Tuch 

PROVIDER: E-GEOD-21291 | ArrayExpress | 2010-06-25



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Evolution of yeast noncoding RNAs reveals an alternative mechanism for widespread intron loss.

Mitrovich Quinn M QM   Tuch Brian B BB   De La Vega Francisco M FM   Guthrie Christine C   Johnson Alexander D AD  

Science (New York, N.Y.) 20101101 6005

The evolutionary forces responsible for intron loss are unresolved. Whereas research has focused on protein-coding genes, here we analyze noncoding small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) genes in which introns, rather than exons, are typically the functional elements. Within the yeast lineage exemplified by the human pathogen Candida albicans, we find--through deep RNA sequencing and genome-wide annotation of splice junctions--extreme compaction and loss of associated exons, but retention of snoRNAs withi  ...[more]

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