Tubular cell and keratinocyte single-cell transcriptomics applied to lupus nephritis reveal type I IFN and fibrosis relevant pathways.
ABSTRACT: The molecular and cellular processes that lead to renal damage and to the heterogeneity of lupus nephritis (LN) are not well understood. We applied single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) to renal biopsies from patients with LN and evaluated skin biopsies as a potential source of diagnostic and prognostic markers of renal disease. Type I interferon (IFN)-response signatures in tubular cells and keratinocytes distinguished patients with LN from healthy control subjects. Moreover, a high IFN-response signature and fibrotic signature in tubular cells were each associated with failure to respond to treatment. Analysis of tubular cells from patients with proliferative, membranous and mixed LN indicated pathways relevant to inflammation and fibrosis, which offer insight into their histologic differences. In summary, we applied scRNA-seq to LN to deconstruct its heterogeneity and identify novel targets for personalized approaches to therapy.
Project description:Lupus nephritis is a leading cause of mortality among systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and its heterogeneous nature poses a significant challenge to the development of effective diagnostics and treatments. Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) offers a potential solution to dissect the heterogeneity of the disease and enables the study of similar cell types distant from the site of renal injury to identify novel biomarkers. We applied scRNA-seq to human renal and skin biopsy tissues and demonstrated that scRNA-seq can be performed on samples obtained during routine care. Chronicity index, IgG deposition, and quantity of proteinuria correlated with a transcriptomic-based score composed of IFN-inducible genes in renal tubular cells. Furthermore, analysis of cumulative expression profiles of single cell keratinocytes dissociated from nonlesional, non-sun-exposed skin of patients with lupus nephritis also revealed upregulation of IFN-inducible genes compared with keratinocytes isolated from healthy controls. This indicates the possible use of scRNA-seq analysis of skin biopsies as a biomarker of renal disease. These data support the potential utility of scRNA-seq to provide new insights into the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis and pave the way for exploiting a readily accessible tissue to reflect injury in the kidney.
Project description:Recruitment of brown/beige adipocytes (BAs) in white adipose tissue (WAT) involves proliferation and differentiation of adipocyte stem cells (ASCs) in concert with close interactions with resident immune cells. To deconvolve stromal cell heterogeneity in a comprehensive and unbiased fashion, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of >33,000 stromal/vascular cells from epididymal WAT (eWAT) and inguinal WAT (iWAT) under control conditions and during ?3-adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) activation. scRNA-seq identified distinct ASC subpopulations in eWAT and iWAT that appeared to be differentially poised to enter the adipogenic pathway. ADRB3 activation triggered the dramatic appearance of proliferating ASCs in eWAT, whose differentiation into BAs could be inferred from a single time point. scRNA-seq identified various immune cell types in eWAT, including a proliferating macrophage subpopulation that occupies adipogenic niches. These results demonstrate the power of scRNA-seq to deconstruct adipogenic niches and suggest novel functional interactions among resident stromal cell subpopulations.
Project description:Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a key role in the activation of the autoimmune response in LN. Recently we demonstrated that these cells infiltrate the kidney of patients with LN at tubulointerstitial level. The pDCs are the main producers of IFN-alpha, whose effects on the renal tubule are poorly understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of INF-alpha in renal epithelial cells (RPTEC). We investigated the effect of IFN-alpha on the whole-genome gene expression profile in RPTEC cells,. Genomic analysis showed that after stimulation, 108 genes are up-regulated and only 7 are down-regulated, with a fold-change> 2. The Gene Set Enrichment analysis confirmed that IFN-alpha induced the pathway of antigen presentation and the inflammatory signaling in RPTEC. Among the up-regulated genes involved in these pathways, there were HLA-I, the ubiquitins (FBXO6 and DTX3L) and the immunoproteasome subunits LMP7. We performed the validation of these genes by real time PCR and citometry experiments on RPTEC stimulated with IFN-alpha. Immunohistochemical analysis of LMP7 and MXA protein, specific marker of IFN-alpha, showed a significant upregulatation of both proteins in renal biopsies of patients with LN class IV compared to class I. Confocal microscopy showed the colocalization of LMP7-MXA in tubular epithelium of patients with LN class IV and activation of inflammatory signaling via NF-kB in the MXA+ tubules. Our data suggested that inhibition of INF-alpha pathways could represent a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce renal tubular damage in patients with LN. To identify genes specifically modulated by INF-alpha in RPTEC, we stimulated 3 different cell clones with 100U/ml INF-alpha for 48 hours and compared their whole-genome gene expression profiles with that from 3 RPTEC clones cultured without stimuli.
Project description:A comprehensive cellular anatomy of normal human kidney is crucial to address the cellular origins of renal disease and renal cancer. Some kidney diseases may be cell type-specific, especially renal tubular cells. To investigate the classification and transcriptomic information of the human kidney, we rapidly obtained a single-cell suspension of the kidney and conducted single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Here, we present the scRNA-seq data of 23,366 high-quality cells from the kidneys of three human donors. In this dataset, we show 10 clusters of normal human renal cells. Due to the high quality of single-cell transcriptomic information, proximal tubule (PT) cells were classified into three subtypes and collecting ducts cells into two subtypes. Collectively, our data provide a reliable reference for studies on renal cell biology and kidney disease.
Project description:Latent factor modeling applied to single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data is a useful approach to discover gene signatures. However, it is often unclear what methods are best suited for specific tasks and how latent factors should be interpreted. Here, we compare four state-of-the-art methods and propose an approach to assign derived latent factors to pathway activities and specific cell subsets. By applying this framework to scRNA-seq datasets from biopsies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, we discover disease-relevant gene signatures in specific cellular subsets. In rheumatoid arthritis, we identify an inflammatory OSMR signaling signature active in a subset of synovial fibroblasts and an efferocytic signature in a subset of synovial monocytes. Overall, we provide insights into latent factors models for the analysis of scRNA-seq data, develop a framework to identify cell subtypes in a phenotype-driven way, and use it to identify novel pathways dysregulated in rheumatoid arthritis.
Project description:Regulated necrosis has been reported to exert an important role in the pathogenesis of various diseases, including renal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury. Damage to renal tubular epithelial cells and subsequent cell death initiate the progression of acute kidney injury (AKI) and subsequent chronic kidney disease (CKD). We found that ferroptosis appeared in tubular epithelial cells (TECs) of various human kidney diseases and the upregulation of tubular proferroptotic gene ACSL4 was correlated with renal function in patients with acute kidney tubular injury. XJB-5-131, which showed high affinity for TECs, attenuated I/R-induced renal injury and inflammation in mice by specifically inhibiting ferroptosis rather than necroptosis and pyroptosis. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) indicated that ferroptosis-related genes were mainly expressed in tubular epithelial cells after I/R injury, while few necroptosis- and pyroptosis-associated genes were identified to express in this cluster of cell. Taken together, ferroptosis plays an important role in renal tubular injury and the inhibition of ferroptosis by XJB-5-131 is a promising therapeutic strategy for protection against renal tubular cell injury in kidney diseases.
Project description:Breast cancer prognosis is challenging due to the heterogeneity of the disease. Various computational methods using bulk RNA-seq data have been proposed for breast cancer prognosis. However, these methods suffer from limited performances or ambiguous biological relevance, as a result of the neglect of intra-tumor heterogeneity. Recently, single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) has emerged for studying tumor heterogeneity at cellular levels. In this paper, we propose a novel method, scPrognosis, to improve breast cancer prognosis with scRNA-seq data. scPrognosis uses the scRNA-seq data of the biological process Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). It firstly infers the EMT pseudotime and a dynamic gene co-expression network, then uses an integrative model to select genes important in EMT based on their expression variation and differentiation in different stages of EMT, and their roles in the dynamic gene co-expression network. To validate and apply the selected signatures to breast cancer prognosis, we use them as the features to build a prediction model with bulk RNA-seq data. The experimental results show that scPrognosis outperforms other benchmark breast cancer prognosis methods that use bulk RNA-seq data. Moreover, the dynamic changes in the expression of the selected signature genes in EMT may provide clues to the link between EMT and clinical outcomes of breast cancer. scPrognosis will also be useful when applied to scRNA-seq datasets of different biological processes other than EMT.
Project description:Lupus nephritis (LN) is an autoimmune disease with substantial morbidity/mortality and limited efficacy of available therapies. Memory T (Tm) lymphocytes infiltrate LN kidneys, contributing to organ damage. Analysis of LN, diabetic nephropathy, and healthy donor kidney biopsies revealed high infiltration of active CD8+ Tm cells expressing high voltage-dependent Kv1.3 potassium channels-key T cell function regulators-in LN. Nanoparticles that selectively down-regulate Kv1.3 in Tm cells (Kv1.3-NPs) reduced CD40L and interferon-? (IFN?) in Tm cells from LN patients in vitro. Kv1.3-NPs were tested in humanized LN mice obtained by engrafting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from LN patients into immune-deficient mice. LN mice exhibited features of the disease: increased IFN? and CD3+CD8+ T cell renal infiltration, and reduced survival versus healthy donor PBMC engrafted mice. Kv1.3-NP treatment of patient PBMCs before engraftment decreased CD40L/IFN? and prolonged survival of LN mice. These data show the potential benefits of targeting Kv1.3 in LN.
Project description:Data on exosomal-derived urinary miRNAs have identified several miRNAs associated with disease activity and fibrosis formation, but studies on prognosis are lacking. We conducted a qPCR array screening on urinary exosomes from 14 patients with biopsy-proven proliferative lupus glomerulonephritis with a renal outcome of clinical response (n = 7) and non-response (n = 7) following therapy. Validation studies were performed by qRT-PCR in a new lupus nephritis (LN) cohort (responders = 22 and non-responders = 21). Responder patients expressed significantly increased levels of miR-31, miR-107, and miR-135b-5p in urine and renal tissue compared to non-responders. MiR-135b exhibited the best predictive value to discriminate responder patients (area under the curve = 0.783). In vitro studies showed exosome-derived miR-31, miR-107, and miR-135b-5p expression to be mainly produced by tubular renal cells stimulated with inflammatory cytokines (e.g IL1, TNF?, IFN? and IL6). Uptake of urinary exosomes from responders by mesangial cells was superior compared to that from non-responders (90% vs. 50%, p < 0.0001). HIF1A was identified as a potential common target, and low protein levels were found in non-responder renal biopsies. HIF1A inhibition reduced mesangial proliferation and IL-8, CCL2, CCL3, and CXCL1 mesangial cell production and IL-6/VCAM-1 in endothelial cells. Urinary exosomal miR-135b-5p, miR-107, and miR-31 are promising novel markers for clinical outcomes, regulating LN renal recovery by HIF1A inhibition.
Project description:Cellular reprogramming suffers from low efficiency especially for the human cells. To deconstruct the heterogeneity and unravel the mechanisms for successful reprogramming, we adopted single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) and single-cell assay for transposase-accessible chromatin (scATAC-Seq) to profile reprogramming cells across various time points. Our analysis revealed that reprogramming cells proceed in an asynchronous trajectory and diversify into heterogeneous subpopulations. We identified fluorescent probes and surface markers to enrich for the early reprogrammed human cells. Furthermore, combinatory usage of the surface markers enabled the fine segregation of the early-intermediate cells with diverse reprogramming propensities. scATAC-Seq analysis further uncovered the genomic partitions and transcription factors responsible for the regulatory phasing of reprogramming process. Binary choice between a FOSL1 and a TEAD4-centric regulatory network determines the outcome of a successful reprogramming. Together, our study illuminates the multitude of diverse routes transversed by individual reprogramming cells and presents an integrative roadmap for identifying the mechanistic part list of the reprogramming machinery.