Project description:Understanding of seed ageing, which leads to viability loss during storage, is vital for ex situ plant conservation and agriculture alike. Yet the potential for regulation at the transcriptional level has not been fully investigated. Here, we studied the relationship between seed viability, gene expression and glutathione redox status during artificial ageing of pea (Pisum sativum) seeds. Transcriptome-wide analysis using microarrays was complemented with qRT-PCR analysis of selected genes and a multilevel analysis of the antioxidant glutathione. Partial degradation of DNA and RNA occurred from the onset of artificial ageing at 60% RH and 50°C, and transcriptome profiling showed that the expression of genes associated with programmed cell death, oxidative stress and protein ubiquitination were altered prior to any sign of viability loss. After 25 days of ageing viability started to decline in conjunction with progressively oxidising cellular conditions, as indicated by a shift of the glutathione redox state towards more positive values (>-190 mV). The unravelling of the molecular basis of seed ageing revealed that transcriptome reprogramming is a key component of the ageing process, which influences the progression of programmed cell death and decline in antioxidant capacity that ultimately lead to seed viability loss.
Project description:Using gene-regulatory-networks-based approach for single-cell expression profiles can reveal unprecedented details about the effects of external and internal factors. However, noise and batch effect in sparse single-cell expression profiles can hamper correct estimation of dependencies among genes and regulatory changes. Here, we devise a conceptually different method using graphwavelet filters for improving gene network (GWNet)-based analysis of the transcriptome. Our approach improved the performance of several gene network-inference methods. Most Importantly, GWNet improved consistency in the prediction of gene regulatory network using single-cell transcriptome even in the presence of batch effect. The consistency of predicted gene network enabled reliable estimates of changes in the influence of genes not highlighted by differential-expression analysis. Applying GWNet on the single-cell transcriptome profile of lung cells, revealed biologically relevant changes in the influence of pathways and master regulators due to ageing. Surprisingly, the regulatory influence of ageing on pneumocytes type II cells showed noticeable similarity with patterns due to the effect of novel coronavirus infection in human lung.
Project description:Ageing-associated changes in the protein coding transcriptome have been extensively characterised, but less attention has been paid to the non-coding portion of the human genome, especially to long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Only a minority of known lncRNAs have been functionally characterised; however, a handful of these lncRNAs have already been linked to ageing-associated processes. To gain more information on the effects of ageing on lncRNAs, we identified from GTEx data lncRNAs that show ageing-associated expression patterns (age-lncRNAs) in 29 human tissues in 20-79-year-old individuals. The age-lncRNAs identified were highly tissue-specific, but the protein coding genes co-expressed with the age-lncRNAs and the functional categories associated with the age-lncRNAs showed significant overlap across tissues. Functions associated with the age-lncRNAs, including immune system processes and transcription, were similar to what has previously been reported for protein coding genes with ageing-associated expression pattern. As the tissue-specific age-lncRNAs were associated with shared functions across tissues, they may reflect the tissue-specific fine-tuning of the common ageing-associated processes. The present study can be utilised as a resource when selecting and prioritising lncRNAs for further functional analyses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The African annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri has over recent years been established as a model species for ageing-related studies. This is mainly based on its exceptionally short lifespan and the presence of typical characteristics of vertebrate ageing. To substantiate its role as an alternative vertebrate ageing model, a transcript catalogue is needed, which can serve e.g. as basis for identifying ageing-related genes. RESULTS: To build the N. furzeri transcript catalogue, thirteen cDNA libraries were sequenced using Sanger, 454/Roche and Solexa/Illumina technologies yielding about 39 Gb. In total, 19,875 protein-coding genes were identified and annotated. Of these, 71% are represented by at least one transcript contig with a complete coding sequence. Further, transcript levels of young and old fish of the strains GRZ and MZM-0403, which differ in lifespan by twofold, were studied by RNA-seq. In skin and brain, 85 differentially expressed genes were detected; these have a role in cell cycle control and proliferation, inflammation and tissue maintenance. An RNA-seq experiment for zebrafish skin confirmed the ageing-related relevance of the findings in N. furzeri. Notably, analyses of transcript levels between zebrafish and N. furzeri but also between N. furzeri strains differed largely, suggesting that ageing is accelerated in the short-lived N. furzeri strain GRZ compared to the longer-lived strain MZM-0403. CONCLUSIONS: We provide a comprehensive, annotated N. furzeri transcript catalogue and a first transcriptome-wide insight into N. furzeri ageing. This data will serve as a basis for future functional studies of ageing-related genes.
Project description:Cellular and molecular immunoinflammatory changes in gingival tissues drive alveolar bone loss in periodontitis. Since ageing is a risk factor for periodontitis, we sought to identify age-related gingival transcriptome changes associated with bone metabolism in both healthy and in naturally occurring periodontitis.Adult (12-16 years) and aged (18-23 years) non-human primates (M. mulatta) (n = 24) were grouped into healthy and periodontitis. Gingival tissue samples were obtained and subjected to microarray analysis using the Gene Chip Macaque Genome Array. Gene expression profiles involved in osteoclast/osteoblast proliferation, adhesion and function were evaluated and compared across and between the age groups. QPCR was also performed on selected genes to validate microarray data.Healthy aged tissues showed a gene profile expression that suggest enhancement of osteoclastic adhesion, proliferation/survival and function (SPP1, TLR4, MMP8 and TFEC) and impaired osteoblastic activity (SMEK3P and SMAD5). The gingival transcriptome in both adult and aged animals with naturally occurring periodontitis (FOS, IL6, TLR4, MMP9, MMP10 and SPP1 genes) was consistent with a local inflammatory response driving towards bone/connective tissue destruction.A pro-osteoclastogenic gingival transcriptome is associated with periodontitis irrespective of age; however; a greater bone-destructive molecular environment is associated with ageing in healthy tissues.
Project description:The accumulation of 'senescent' cells has long been proposed to act as an ageing mechanism. These cells display a radically altered transcriptome and degenerative phenotype compared with their growing counterparts. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years both in understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling entry into the senescent state and in the direct demonstration that senescent cells act as causal agents of mammalian ageing. The challenges now are to gain a better understanding of how the senescent cell phenotype varies between different individuals and tissues, discover how senescence predisposes to organismal frailty, and develop mechanisms by which the deleterious effects of senescent cells can be ameliorated.
Project description:During ageing, microglia acquire a phenotype that may negatively affect brain function. Here we show that ageing microglial phenotype is largely imposed by interferon type I (IFN-I) chronically present in aged brain milieu. Overexpression of IFN-? in the CNS of adult wild-type mice, but not of mice lacking IFN-I receptor on their microglia, induces an ageing-like transcriptional microglial signature, and impairs cognitive performance. Furthermore, we demonstrate that age-related IFN-I milieu downregulates microglial myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2C (Mef2C). Immune challenge in mice lacking Mef2C in microglia results in an exaggerated microglial response and has an adverse effect on mice behaviour. Overall, our data indicate that the chronic presence of IFN-I in the brain microenvironment, which negatively affects cognitive function, is mediated via modulation of microglial activity. These findings may shed new light on other neurological conditions characterized by elevated IFN-I signalling in the brain.Microglia cells in the brain regulate immune responses, but in ageing can negatively affect brain function. Here the authors show that the chronic presence of type I interferon in aged mouse brain impedes cognitive ability by altering microglia transcriptome and limiting Mef2C, a microglia 'off' signal.
Project description:Ageing is characterized by a decline in stem cell functionality leading to dampened tissue regeneration. While the expression of microRNAs across multiple species is markedly altered with age, the mechanism by which they govern stem cell-sustained tissue regeneration is unknown. We report that in the Drosophila testis, the conserved miR-9a is expressed in germline stem cells and its levels are significantly elevated during ageing. Transcriptome and functional analyses show that miR-9a directly regulates the expression of the adhesion molecule N-cadherin (N-cad). miR-9a null mutants maintain a higher number of stem cells even in the aged tissue. Remarkably, this rise fails to improve tissue regeneration and results in reduced male fertility. Similarly, overexpression of N-cad also results in elevated stem cell number and decreased regeneration. We propose that miR-9a downregulates N-cad to enable adequate detachment of stem cells toward differentiation, thus providing the necessary directionality toward terminal differentiation and spermatogenesis.In the Drosophila testis, ageing leads to loss of germline stem cells. Here, the authors show that, during ageing in Drosophila, miR-9a is upregulated in male germline stem cells and regulates their proliferation by targeting N-cadherin.
Project description:Age-related tissue alterations have been associated with a decline in stem cell number and function. Although increased cell-to-cell variability in transcription or epigenetic marks has been proposed to be a major hallmark of ageing, little is known about the molecular diversity of stem cells during ageing. Here we present a single cell multi-omics study of mouse muscle stem cells, combining single-cell transcriptome and DNA methylome profiling. Aged cells show a global increase of uncoordinated transcriptional heterogeneity biased towards genes regulating cell-niche interactions. We find context-dependent alterations of DNA methylation in aged stem cells. Importantly, promoters with increased methylation heterogeneity are associated with increased transcriptional heterogeneity of the genes they drive. These results indicate that epigenetic drift, by accumulation of stochastic DNA methylation changes in promoters, is associated with the degradation of coherent transcriptional networks during stem cell ageing. Furthermore, our observations also shed light on the mechanisms underlying the DNA methylation clock.
Project description:In the 'Rocket Science' project, storage of Eruca sativa (salad rocket) seeds for six months on board the International Space Station resulted in delayed seedling establishment. Here we investigated the physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning the spaceflight effects on dry seeds. We found that 'Space' seed germination vigor was reduced, and ageing sensitivity increased, but the spaceflight did not compromise seed viability and the development of normal seedlings. Comparative analysis of the transcriptomes (using RNAseq) in dry seeds and upon controlled artificial ageing treatment (CAAT) revealed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with spaceflight and ageing. DEG categories enriched by spaceflight and CAAT included transcription and translation with reduced transcript abundances for 40S and 60S ribosomal subunit genes. Among the 'spaceflight-up' DEGs were heat shock proteins (HSPs), DNAJ-related chaperones, a heat shock factor (HSFA7a-like), and components of several DNA repair pathways (e.g., ATM, DNA ligase 1). The 'response to radiation' category was especially enriched in 'spaceflight-up' DEGs including HSPs, catalases, and the transcription factor HY5. The major finding from the physiological and transcriptome analysis is that spaceflight causes vigor loss and partial ageing during air-dry seed storage, for which space environmental factors and consequences for seed storage during spaceflights are discussed.