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Creators/Authors contains: "Sha, Yutong"

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  1. Abstract

    Genetic mutations to the Lamin A/C gene (LMNA) can cause heart disease, but the mechanisms making cardiac tissues uniquely vulnerable to the mutations remain largely unknown. Further, patients withLMNAmutations have highly variable presentation of heart disease progression and type.In vitropatient-specific experiments could provide a powerful platform for studying this phenomenon, but the use of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CM) introduces heterogeneity in maturity and function thus complicating the interpretation of the results of any single experiment. We hypothesized that integrating single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) with analysis of the tissue architecture and contractile function would elucidate some ofmore »the probable mechanisms. To test this, we investigated five iPSC-CM lines, three controls and two patients with a (c.357-2A>G) mutation. The patient iPSC-CM tissues had significantly weaker stress generation potential than control iPSC-CM tissues demonstrating the viability of ourin vitroapproach. Through scRNA-seq, differentially expressed genes between control and patient lines were identified. Some of these genes, linked to quantitative structural and functional changes, were cardiac specific, explaining the targeted nature of the disease progression seen in patients. The results of this work demonstrate the utility of combiningin vitrotools in exploring heart disease mechanics.

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  2. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an important role in many biological processes during development and cancer. The advent of single-cell transcriptome sequencing techniques allows the dissection of dynamical details underlying EMT with unprecedented resolution. Despite several single-cell data analysis on EMT, how cell communicates and regulates dynamics along the EMT trajectory remains elusive. Using single-cell transcriptomic datasets, here we infer the cell–cell communications and the multilayer gene–gene regulation networks to analyze and visualize the complex cellular crosstalk and the underlying gene regulatory dynamics along EMT. Combining with trajectory analysis, our approach reveals the existence of multiple intermediate cell states (ICSs) withmore »hybrid epithelial and mesenchymal features. Analyses on the time-series datasets from cancer cell lines with different inducing factors show that the induced EMTs are context-specific: the EMT induced by transforming growth factor B1 (TGFB1) is synchronous, whereas the EMTs induced by epidermal growth factor and tumor necrosis factor are asynchronous, and the responses of TGF-β pathway in terms of gene expression regulations are heterogeneous under different treatments or among various cell states. Meanwhile, network topology analysis suggests that the ICSs during EMT serve as the signaling in cellular communication under different conditions. Interestingly, our analysis of a mouse skin squamous cell carcinoma dataset also suggests regardless of the significant discrepancy in concrete genes between in vitro and in vivo EMT systems, the ICSs play dominant role in the TGF-β signaling crosstalk. Overall, our approach reveals the multiscale mechanisms coupling cell–cell communications and gene–gene regulations responsible for complex cell-state transitions.« less
  3. Abstract Rapid growth of single-cell transcriptomic data provides unprecedented opportunities for close scrutinizing of dynamical cellular processes. Through investigating epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), we develop an integrative tool that combines unsupervised learning of single-cell transcriptomic data and multiscale mathematical modeling to analyze transitions during cell fate decision. Our approach allows identification of individual cells making transition between all cell states, and inference of genes that drive transitions. Multiscale extractions of single-cell scale outputs naturally reveal intermediate cell states (ICS) and ICS-regulated transition trajectories, producing emergent population-scale models to be explored for design principles. Testing on the newly designed single-cell gene regulatorymore »network model and applying to twelve published single-cell EMT datasets in cancer and embryogenesis, we uncover the roles of ICS on adaptation, noise attenuation, and transition efficiency in EMT, and reveal their trade-off relations. Overall, our unsupervised learning method is applicable to general single-cell transcriptomic datasets, and our integrative approach at single-cell resolution may be adopted for other cell fate transition systems beyond EMT.« less