Project description:Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse process mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) are events involved in development, wound healing and stem cell behaviour and contribute pathologically to cancer progression. The identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying these phenotypic conversions in hepatocytes are fundamental to design specific therapeutic strategies aimed at optimising liver repair. The role of autophagy in EMT/MET processes of hepatocytes was investigated in liver-specific autophagy-deficient mice (Alb-Cre;ATG7(fl/fl)) and using the nontumorigenic immortalised hepatocytes cell line MMH. Autophagy deficiency in vivo reduces epithelial markers' expression and increases the levels of mesenchymal markers. These alterations are associated with an increased protein level of the EMT master regulator Snail, without transcriptional induction. Interestingly, we found that autophagy degrades Snail in a p62/SQSTM1 (Sequestosome-1)-dependent manner. Moreover, accordingly to a pro-epithelial function, we observed that autophagy stimulation strongly affects EMT progression, whereas it is necessary for MET. Finally, we found that the EMT induced by TGF? affects the autophagy flux, indicating that these processes regulate each other. Overall, we found that autophagy regulates the phenotype plasticity of hepatocytes promoting their epithelial identity through the inhibition of the mesenchymal programme.
Project description:Here we report the expansion of the genetic code of Mus musculus with various unnatural amino acids including N?-acetyl-lysine. Stable integration of transgenes encoding an engineered N?-acetyl-lysyl-tRNA synthetase (AcKRS)/tRNAPyl pair into the mouse genome enables site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids into a target protein in response to the amber codon. We demonstrate temporal and spatial control of protein acetylation in various organs of the transgenic mouse using a recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFPuv) as a model protein. This strategy will provide a powerful tool for systematic in vivo study of cellular proteins in the most commonly used mammalian model organism for human physiology and disease.
Project description:Copy number variation is an important dimension of genetic diversity and has implications in development and disease. As an important model organism, the mouse is a prime candidate for copy number variant (CNV) characterization, but this has yet to be completed for a large sample size. Here we report CNV analysis of publicly available, high-density microarray data files for 351 mouse tail samples, including 290 mice that had not been characterized for CNVs previously.We found 9634 putative autosomal CNVs across the samples affecting 6.87% of the mouse reference genome. We find significant differences in the degree of CNV uniqueness (single sample occurrence) and the nature of CNV-gene overlap between wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains. CNV-gene overlap was associated with lipid metabolism, pheromone response and olfaction compared to immunity, carbohydrate metabolism and amino-acid metabolism for wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains, respectively. Using two subspecies of wild-caught Mus musculus, we identified putative CNVs unique to those subspecies and show this diversity is better captured by wild-derived laboratory strains than by the classical laboratory strains. A total of 9 genic copy number variable regions (CNVRs) were selected for experimental confirmation by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).The analysis we present is a comprehensive, genome-wide analysis of CNVs in Mus musculus, which increases the number of known variants in the species and will accelerate the identification of novel variants in future studies.
Project description:The epithelial-to mesenchymal (EMT) process is increasingly recognized for playing a key role in the progression, dissemination, and therapy resistance of epithelial tumors. Accumulating evidence suggests that EMT inducers also lead to a gain in mesenchymal properties and promote malignancy of nonepithelial tumors. In this review, we present and discuss current findings, illustrating the importance of EMT inducers in tumors originating from nonepithelial/mesenchymal tissues, including brain tumors, hematopoietic malignancies, and sarcomas. Among these tumors, the involvement of mesenchymal transition has been most extensively investigated in glioblastoma, providing proof for cell autonomous and microenvironment-derived stimuli that provoke EMT-like processes that regulate stem cell, invasive, and immunogenic properties as well as therapy resistance. The involvement of prominent EMT transcription factor families, such as TWIST, SNAI, and ZEB, in promoting therapy resistance and tumor aggressiveness has also been reported in lymphomas, leukemias, and sarcomas. A reverse process, resembling mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), seems particularly relevant for sarcomas, where (partial) epithelial differentiation is linked to less aggressive tumors and a better patient prognosis. Overall, a hybrid model in which more stable epithelial and mesenchymal intermediates exist likely extends to the biology of tumors originating from sources other than the epithelium. Deeper investigation and understanding of the EMT/MET machinery in nonepithelial tumors will shed light on the pathogenesis of these tumors, potentially paving the way toward the identification of clinically relevant biomarkers for prognosis and future therapeutic targets.
Project description:Rodent betaherpesviruses vary considerably in genomic content, and these variations can result in a distinct pathogenicity. Therefore, the identification of unknown betaherpesviruses in house mice (Mus musculus), the most important rodent host species in basic research, is of importance. During a search for novel herpesviruses in house mice using herpesvirus consensus PCR and attempts to isolate viruses in tissue culture, we identified a previously unknown betaherpesvirus. The primary PCR search in mouse organs revealed the presence of known strains of murine cytomegalovirus (Murid herpesvirus 1) and of Mus musculus rhadinovirus 1 only. However, the novel virus was detected after incubation of organ pieces in fibroblast tissue culture and subsequent PCR analysis of the supernatants. Long-distance PCR amplification including the DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B genes revealed a 3.4 kb sequence that was similar to sequences of rodent cytomegaloviruses. Pairwise sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses showed that this newly identified murine virus is most similar to the English isolate of rat cytomegalovirus, thereby raising the possibility that two distinct CMV lineages have evolved in both Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Identification of protein-protein interactions is an important first step to understand living systems. High-throughput experimental approaches have accumulated large amount of information on protein-protein interactions in human and other model organisms. Such interaction information has been successfully transferred to other species, in which the experimental data are limited. However, the annotation transfer method could yield false positive interologs due to the lack of conservation of interactions when applied to phylogenetically distant organisms. RESULTS:To address this issue, we used phylogenetic profile method to filter false positives in interologs based on the notion that evolutionary conserved interactions show similar patterns of occurrence along the genomes. The approach was applied to Mus musculus, in which the experimentally identified interactions are limited. We first inferred the protein-protein interactions in Mus musculus by using two approaches: i) identifying mouse orthologs of interacting proteins (interologs) based on the experimental protein-protein interaction data from other organisms; and ii) analyzing frequency of mouse ortholog co-occurrence in predicted operons of bacteria. We then filtered possible false-positives in the predicted interactions using the phylogenetic profiles. We found that this filtering method significantly increased the frequency of interacting protein-pairs coexpressed in the same cells/tissues in gene expression omnibus (GEO) database as well as the frequency of interacting protein-pairs shared the similar Gene Ontology (GO) terms for biological processes and cellular localizations. The data supports the notion that phylogenetic profile helps to reduce the number of false positives in interologs. CONCLUSION:We have developed protein-protein interaction database in mouse, which contains 41109 interologs. We have also developed a web interface to facilitate the use of database http://lgsun.grc.nia.nih.gov/mppi/.
Project description:Mus musculus (Rodentia: Muridae) has generally been infected with a rodent hookworm Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. In this report, we present morphological and molecular identification of N. brasiliensis by light and scanning electron microscopy and PCR amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene and the protein sequences encoded by cox1 gene, respectively. Despite the use of N. brasiliensis in many biochemistry studies from India, their taxonomic identification was not fully understood, especially at the species level, and no molecular data is available in GenBank from India. Sequence analysis of cox1 gene in this study revealed that the present specimen showed close identity with the same species available in GenBank, confirming that the species is N. brasiliensis. This study represents the first record of molecular identification of N. brasiliensis from India and the protein structure to better understand the comparative phylogenetic characteristics.
Project description:Using an in vivo cycling strategy, we selected metastatic cancer cells from the lymph nodes (LN) of mice bearing orthotopic DU145 human prostate tumors. Repeated rounds of metastatic selection (LN1-LN4) progressively increased the epithelial phenotype, resulting in a new model of tumor cell mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET). DU145-LN4 showed increased cell-cell adhesions, higher expression of multiple epithelial markers, such as E-cadherin, EpCAM and cytokeratin 18, and reduced expression of mesenchymal markers such as vimentin. The MET in DU145-LN4 cells was accompanied by increased expression of the miR-200 family, and antimiRs to miR-200c and miR-141 induced an EMT. MET also correlated with the loss of miR-424. Ectopic transient and stable miR-424 expression induced EMT, with reduced epithelial marker expression and increased cell scattering. Our model provides evidence for spontaneous MET in vivo. We show that this cellular plasticity can be mediated through the combined action of miR-424 and the miR-200 family.
Project description:We performed single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to elucidate osteoblastic transcriptional programs during zebrafish caudal fin regeneration. We show that osteoprogenitors are enriched with components associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reverse, mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET). Trajectory analyses indicate osteoblastic cells solely expressed EMT components, or transiently expressed components for MET before EMT. We provide evidence that the EMT markers cdh11 and twist2 are co-expressed in dedifferentiating cells at the amputation stump, and in differentiating osteoblastic cells in the regenerate, the latter of which are enriched in EMT signatures. We also show that esrp1, a regulator of alternative splicing in epithelial cells that is associated with MET, is expressed in a subset of osteoprogenitors during outgrowth. This study provides a single cell resource for the study of osteoblastic cells during zebrafish fin regeneration, and supports the contribution of MET- and EMT-associated components to this process. Overall design: Single-cell RNA profiling of regenerating zebrafish caudal fin tissue at multiple timepoints using sci-RNA-seq3
Project description:Consomic (chromosome substitution) strains (CSs) represent the most recent addition to the mouse genetic resources aimed to genetically analyze complex trait loci (QTLs). In this study, we report the development of a set of 28 mouse intersubspecific CSs. In each CS, we replaced a single chromosome of the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred strain (mostly Mus m. domesticus) with its homolog from the PWD/Ph inbred strain of the Mus m. musculus subspecies. These two progenitor subspecies diverged less than 1 million years ago and accumulated a large number of genetic differences that constitute a rich resource of genetic variation for QTL analyses. Altogether, the 18 consomic, nine subconsomic, and one conplastic strain covered all 19 autosomes, X and Y sex chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. Most CSs had significantly lower reproductive fitness compared with the progenitor strains. CSs homosomic for chromosomes 10 and 11, and the C57BL/6J-Chr X males, failed to reproduce and were substituted by less affected subconsomics carrying either a proximal, central, or distal part of the respective chromosome. A genome-wide scan of 965 DNA markers revealed 99.87% purity of the B6 genetic background. Thirty-three nonsynonymous substitutions were uncovered in the protein-coding regions of the mitochondrial DNA of the B6.PWD-mt conplastic strain. A pilot-phenotyping experiment project revealed a high number of variations among B6.PWD consomics.