All Publications

  • Characterizing expression changes in noncoding RNAs during aging and heterochronic parabiosis across mouse tissues. Nature biotechnology Wagner, V., Kern, F., Hahn, O., Schaum, N., Ludwig, N., Fehlmann, T., Engel, A., Henn, D., Rishik, S., Isakova, A., Tan, M., Sit, R., Neff, N., Hart, M., Meese, E., Quake, S., Wyss-Coray, T., Keller, A. 2023


    Molecular mechanisms of organismal and cell aging remain incompletely understood. We, therefore, generated a body-wide map of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) expression in aging (16 organs at ten timepoints from 1 to 27 months) and rejuvenated mice. We found molecular aging trajectories are largely tissue-specific except for eight broadly deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs). Their individual abundance mirrors their presence in circulating plasma and extracellular vesicles (EVs) whereas tissue-specific ncRNAs were less present. For miR-29c-3p, we observe the largest correlation with aging in solid organs, plasma and EVs. In mice rejuvenated by heterochronic parabiosis, miR-29c-3p was the most prominent miRNA restored to similar levels found in young liver. miR-29c-3p targets the extracellular matrix and secretion pathways, known to be implicated in aging. We provide a map of organism-wide expression of ncRNAs with aging and rejuvenation and identify a set of broadly deregulated miRNAs, which may function as systemic regulators of aging via plasma and EVs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41587-023-01751-6

    View details for PubMedID 37106037

    View details for PubMedCentralID 3836174

  • Deconvoluting complex correlates of COVID-19 severity with a multi-omic pandemic tracking strategy. Nature communications Parikh, V. N., Ioannidis, A. G., Jimenez-Morales, D., Gorzynski, J. E., De Jong, H. N., Liu, X., Roque, J., Cepeda-Espinoza, V. P., Osoegawa, K., Hughes, C., Sutton, S. C., Youlton, N., Joshi, R., Amar, D., Tanigawa, Y., Russo, D., Wong, J., Lauzon, J. T., Edelson, J., Mas Montserrat, D., Kwon, Y., Rubinacci, S., Delaneau, O., Cappello, L., Kim, J., Shoura, M. J., Raja, A. N., Watson, N., Hammond, N., Spiteri, E., Mallempati, K. C., Montero-Martín, G., Christle, J., Kim, J., Kirillova, A., Seo, K., Huang, Y., Zhao, C., Moreno-Grau, S., Hershman, S. G., Dalton, K. P., Zhen, J., Kamm, J., Bhatt, K. D., Isakova, A., Morri, M., Ranganath, T., Blish, C. A., Rogers, A. J., Nadeau, K., Yang, S., Blomkalns, A., O'Hara, R., Neff, N. F., DeBoever, C., Szalma, S., Wheeler, M. T., Gates, C. M., Farh, K., Schroth, G. P., Febbo, P., deSouza, F., Cornejo, O. E., Fernandez-Vina, M., Kistler, A., Palacios, J. A., Pinsky, B. A., Bustamante, C. D., Rivas, M. A., Ashley, E. A. 2022; 13 (1): 5107


    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has differentially impacted populations across race and ethnicity. A multi-omic approach represents a powerful tool to examine risk across multi-ancestry genomes. We leverage a pandemic tracking strategy in which we sequence viral and host genomes and transcriptomes from nasopharyngeal swabs of 1049 individuals (736 SARS-CoV-2 positive and 313 SARS-CoV-2 negative) and integrate them with digital phenotypes from electronic health records from a diverse catchment area in Northern California. Genome-wide association disaggregated by admixture mapping reveals novel COVID-19-severity-associated regions containing previously reported markers of neurologic, pulmonary and viral disease susceptibility. Phylodynamic tracking of consensus viral genomes reveals no association with disease severity or inferred ancestry. Summary data from multiomic investigation reveals metagenomic and HLA associations with severe COVID-19. The wealth of data available from residual nasopharyngeal swabs in combination with clinical data abstracted automatically at scale highlights a powerful strategy for pandemic tracking, and reveals distinct epidemiologic, genetic, and biological associations for those at the highest risk.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-32397-8

    View details for PubMedID 36042219

  • Single-Cell Transcriptomic Atlas of the Human Endometrium During the Menstrual Cycle OBSTETRICAL & GYNECOLOGICAL SURVEY Wang, W., Vilella, F., Alama, P., Moreno, I., Mignardi, M., Isakova, A., Pan, W., Simon, C., Quake, S. R. 2022; 77 (2): 98-99
  • Single-cell quantification of a broad RNA spectrum reveals unique noncoding patterns associated with cell types and states. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Isakova, A., Neff, N., Quake, S. R. 1800; 118 (51)


    The ability to interrogate total RNA content of single cells would enable better mapping of the transcriptional logic behind emerging cell types and states. However, current single-cell RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) methods are unable to simultaneously monitor all forms of RNA transcripts at the single-cell level, and thus deliver only a partial snapshot of the cellular RNAome. Here we describe Smart-seq-total, a method capable of assaying a broad spectrum of coding and noncoding RNA from a single cell. Smart-seq-total does not require splitting the RNA content of a cell and allows the incorporation of unique molecular identifiers into short and long RNA molecules for absolute quantification. It outperforms current poly(A)-independent total RNA-seq protocols by capturing transcripts of a broad size range, thus enabling simultaneous analysis of protein-coding, long-noncoding, microRNA, and other noncoding RNA transcripts from single cells. We used Smart-seq-total to analyze the total RNAome of human primary fibroblasts, HEK293T, and MCF7 cells, as well as that of induced murine embryonic stem cells differentiated into embryoid bodies. By analyzing the coexpression patterns of both noncoding RNA and mRNA from the same cell, we were able to discover new roles of noncoding RNA throughout essential processes, such as cell cycle and lineage commitment during embryonic development. Moreover, we show that independent classes of short-noncoding RNA can be used to determine cell-type identity.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2113568118

    View details for PubMedID 34911763

  • A mouse tissue atlas of small noncoding RNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Isakova, A., Fehlmann, T., Keller, A., Quake, S. R. 2020


    Small noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a vital role in a broad range of biological processes both in health and disease. A comprehensive quantitative reference of small ncRNA expression would significantly advance our understanding of ncRNA roles in shaping tissue functions. Here, we systematically profiled the levels of five ncRNA classes (microRNA [miRNA], small nucleolar RNA [snoRNA], small nuclear RNA [snRNA], small Cajal body-specific RNA [scaRNA], and transfer RNA [tRNA] fragments) across 11 mouse tissues by deep sequencing. Using 14 biological replicates spanning both sexes, we identified that 30% of small ncRNAs are distributed across the body in a tissue-specific manner with some also being sexually dimorphic. We found that some miRNAs are subject to "arm switching" between healthy tissues and that tRNA fragments are retained within tissues in both a gene- and a tissue-specific manner. Out of 11 profiled tissues, we confirmed that brain contains the largest number of unique small ncRNA transcripts, some of which were previously annotated while others are identified in this study. Furthermore, by combining these findings with single-cell chromatin accessibility (scATAC-seq) data, we were able to connect identified brain-specific ncRNAs with their cell types of origin. These results yield the most comprehensive characterization of specific and ubiquitous small RNAs in individual murine tissues to date, and we expect that these data will be a resource for the further identification of ncRNAs involved in tissue function in health and dysfunction in disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2002277117

    View details for PubMedID 32978296

  • Single-cell transcriptomic atlas of the human endometrium during the menstrual cycle. Nature medicine Wang, W., Vilella, F., Alama, P., Moreno, I., Mignardi, M., Isakova, A., Pan, W., Simon, C., Quake, S. R. 2020


    In a human menstrual cycle the endometrium undergoes remodeling, shedding and regeneration, all of which are driven by substantial gene expression changes in the underlying cellular hierarchy. Despite its importance in human fertility and regenerative biology, our understanding of this unique type of tissue homeostasis remains rudimentary. We characterized the transcriptomic transformation of human endometrium at single-cell resolution across the menstrual cycle, resolving cellular heterogeneity in multiple dimensions. We profiled the behavior of seven endometrial cell types, including a previously uncharacterized ciliated cell type, during four major phases of endometrial transformation, and found characteristic signatures for each cell type and phase. We discovered that the human window of implantation opens with an abrupt and discontinuous transcriptomic activation in the epithelia, accompanied with a widespread decidualization feature in the stromal fibroblasts. Our study provides a high-resolution molecular and cellular characterization of human endometrial transformation across the menstrual cycle, providing insights into this essential physiological process.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41591-020-1040-z

    View details for PubMedID 32929266

  • miRSwitch: detecting microRNA arm shift and switch events. Nucleic acids research Kern, F., Amand, J., Senatorov, I., Isakova, A., Backes, C., Meese, E., Keller, A., Fehlmann, T. 2020


    Arm selection, the preferential expression of a 3' or 5' mature microRNA (miRNA), is a highly dynamic and tissue-specific process. Time-dependent expression shifts or switches between the arms are also relevant for human diseases. We present miRSwitch, a web server to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of arm selection events. Our species-independent tool evaluates pre-processed small non-coding RNA sequencing (sncRNA-seq) data, i.e. expression matrices or output files from miRNA quantification tools (miRDeep2, miRMaster, sRNAbench). miRSwitch highlights potential changes in the distribution of mature miRNAs from the same precursor. Group comparisons from one or several user-provided annotations (e.g. disease states) are possible. Results can be dynamically adjusted by choosing from a continuous range of highly specific to very sensitive parameters. Users can compare potential arm shifts in the provided data to a human reference map of pre-computed arm shift frequencies. We created this map from 46 tissues and 30 521 samples. As case studies we present novel arm shift information in a Alzheimer's disease biomarker data set and from a comparison of tissues in Homo sapiens and Mus musculus. In summary, miRSwitch offers a broad range of customized arm switch analyses along with comprehensive visualizations, and is freely available at:

    View details for DOI 10.1093/nar/gkaa323

    View details for PubMedID 32356893

  • Single-cell transcriptomes and whole-brain projections of serotonin neurons in the mouse dorsal and median raphe nuclei. eLife Ren, J. n., Isakova, A. n., Friedmann, D. n., Zeng, J. n., Grutzner, S. M., Pun, A. n., Zhao, G. Q., Kolluru, S. S., Wang, R. n., Lin, R. n., Li, P. n., Li, A. n., Raymond, J. L., Luo, Q. n., Luo, M. n., Quake, S. R., Luo, L. n. 2019; 8


    Serotonin neurons of the dorsal and median raphe nuclei (DR, MR) collectively innervate the entire forebrain and midbrain, modulating diverse physiology and behavior. To gain a fundamental understanding of their molecular heterogeneity, we used plate-based single-cell RNA-sequencing to generate a comprehensive dataset comprising eleven transcriptomically distinct serotonin neuron clusters. Systematic in situ hybridization mapped specific clusters to the principal DR, caudal DR, or MR. These transcriptomic clusters differentially express a rich repertoire of neuropeptides, receptors, ion channels, and transcription factors. We generated novel intersectional viral-genetic tools to access specific subpopulations. Whole-brain axonal projection mapping revealed that DR serotonin neurons co-expressing vesicular glutamate transporter-3 preferentially innervate the cortex, whereas those co-expressing thyrotropin-releasing hormone innervate subcortical regions in particular the hypothalamus. Reconstruction of 50 individual DR serotonin neurons revealed diverse and segregated axonal projection patterns at the single-cell level. Together, these results provide a molecular foundation of the heterogenous serotonin neuronal phenotypes.

    View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.49424

    View details for PubMedID 31647409