All Publications

  • Dynamic Human Environmental Exposome Revealed by Longitudinal Personal Monitoring. Cell Jiang, C., Wang, X., Li, X., Inlora, J., Wang, T., Liu, Q., Snyder, M. 2018; 175 (1): 277


    Human health is dependent upon environmental exposures, yet the diversity and variation in exposures are poorly understood. We developed a sensitive method to monitor personal airborne biological and chemical exposures and followed the personal exposomes of 15 individuals for up to 890days and over 66 distinct geographical locations. We found that individuals are potentially exposed to thousands of pan-domain species and chemical compounds, including insecticides and carcinogens. Personal biological and chemical exposomes are highly dynamic and vary spatiotemporally, even for individuals located in the same general geographical region.Integrated analysis of biological and chemical exposomes revealed strong location-dependent relationships. Finally, construction of an exposome interaction network demonstrated the presence of distinct yet interconnected human- and environment-centric clouds, comprised of interacting ecosystems such as human, flora, pets, and arthropods. Overall, we demonstrate that human exposomes are diverse, dynamic, spatiotemporally-driven interaction networks with the potential to impact human health.

    View details for PubMedID 30241608

  • Disruption of mesoderm formation during cardiac differentiation due to developmental exposure to 13-cis-retinoic acid. Scientific reports Liu, Q., Van Bortle, K., Zhang, Y., Zhao, M., Zhang, J. Z., Geller, B. S., Gruber, J. J., Jiang, C., Wu, J. C., Snyder, M. P. 2018; 8 (1): 12960


    13-cis-retinoic acid (isotretinoin, INN) is an oral pharmaceutical drug used for the treatment of skin acne, and is also a known teratogen. In this study, the molecular mechanisms underlying INN-induced developmental toxicity during early cardiac differentiation were investigated using both human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Pre-exposure of hiPSCs and hESCs to a sublethal concentration of INN did not influence cell proliferation and pluripotency. However, mesodermal differentiation was disrupted when INN was included in the medium during differentiation. Transcriptomic profiling by RNA-seq revealed that INN exposure leads to aberrant expression of genes involved in several signaling pathways that control early mesoderm differentiation, such as TGF-beta signaling. In addition, genome-wide chromatin accessibility profiling by ATAC-seq suggested that INN-exposure leads to enhanced DNA-binding of specific transcription factors (TFs), including HNF1B, SOX10 and NFIC, often in close spatial proximity to genes that are dysregulated in response to INN treatment. Altogether, these results identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying INN-induced perturbation during mesodermal differentiation in the context of cardiac development. This study further highlights the utility of human stem cells as an alternative system for investigating congenital diseases of newborns that arise as a result of maternal drug exposure during pregnancy.

    View details for PubMedID 30154523

  • Genome-Wide Temporal Profiling of Transcriptome and Open Chromatin of Early Cardiomyocyte Differentiation Derived From hiPSCs and hESCs. Circulation research Liu, Q., Jiang, C., Xu, J., Zhao, M. T., Van Bortle, K., Cheng, X., Wang, G., Chang, H. Y., Wu, J. C., Snyder, M. P. 2017; 121 (4): 376–91


    Recent advances have improved our ability to generate cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). However, our understanding of the transcriptional regulatory networks underlying early stages (ie, from mesoderm to cardiac mesoderm) of cardiomyocyte differentiation remains limited.To characterize transcriptome and chromatin accessibility during early cardiomyocyte differentiation from hiPSCs and hESCs.We profiled the temporal changes in transcriptome and chromatin accessibility at genome-wide levels during cardiomyocyte differentiation derived from 2 hiPSC lines and 2 hESC lines at 4 stages: pluripotent stem cells, mesoderm, cardiac mesoderm, and differentiated cardiomyocytes. Overall, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that transcriptomes during early cardiomyocyte differentiation were highly concordant between hiPSCs and hESCs, and clustering of 4 cell lines within each time point demonstrated that changes in genome-wide chromatin accessibility were similar across hiPSC and hESC cell lines. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) identified several modules that were strongly correlated with different stages of cardiomyocyte differentiation. Several novel genes were identified with high weighted connectivity within modules and exhibited coexpression patterns with other genes, including noncoding RNA LINC01124 and uncharacterized RNA AK127400 in the module related to the mesoderm stage; E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) in the module correlated with postcardiac mesoderm. We further demonstrated that ZEB1 is required for early cardiomyocyte differentiation. In addition, based on integrative analysis of both WGCNA and transcription factor motif enrichment analysis, we determined numerous transcription factors likely to play important roles at different stages during cardiomyocyte differentiation, such as T and eomesodermin (EOMES; mesoderm), lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 (LEF1) and mesoderm posterior BHLH transcription factor 1 (MESP1; from mesoderm to cardiac mesoderm), meis homeobox 1 (MEIS1) and GATA-binding protein 4 (GATA4) (postcardiac mesoderm), JUN and FOS families, and MEIS2 (cardiomyocyte).Both hiPSCs and hESCs share similar transcriptional regulatory mechanisms underlying early cardiac differentiation, and our results have revealed transcriptional regulatory networks and new factors (eg, ZEB1) controlling early stages of cardiomyocyte differentiation.

    View details for PubMedID 28663367

  • Synthetic long-read sequencing reveals intraspecies diversity in the human microbiome. Nature biotechnology Kuleshov, V., Jiang, C., Zhou, W., Jahanbani, F., Batzoglou, S., Snyder, M. 2016; 34 (1): 64-69


    Identifying bacterial strains in metagenome and microbiome samples using computational analyses of short-read sequences remains a difficult problem. Here, we present an analysis of a human gut microbiome using TruSeq synthetic long reads combined with computational tools for metagenomic long-read assembly, variant calling and haplotyping (Nanoscope and Lens). Our analysis identifies 178 bacterial species, of which 51 were not found using shotgun reads alone. We recover bacterial contigs that comprise multiple operons, including 22 contigs of >1 Mbp. Furthermore, we observe extensive intraspecies variation within microbial strains in the form of haplotypes that span up to hundreds of Kbp. Incorporation of synthetic long-read sequencing technology with standard short-read approaches enables more precise and comprehensive analyses of metagenomic samples.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nbt.3416

    View details for PubMedID 26655498

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4884093

  • Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights BIOESSAYS Jiang, C., Caccamo, P. D., Brun, Y. V. 2015; 37 (4): 413-425


    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/bies.201400098

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351546000011

    View details for PubMedID 25664446

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4368449

  • Sequential evolution of bacterial morphology by co-option of a developmental regulator NATURE Jiang, C., Brown, P. J., Ducret, A., Brun, Y. V. 2014; 506 (7489): 489-?


    What mechanisms underlie the transitions responsible for the diverse shapes observed in the living world? Although bacteria exhibit a myriad of morphologies, the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of bacterial cell shape are not understood. We investigated morphological diversity in a group of bacteria that synthesize an appendage-like extension of the cell envelope called the stalk. The location and number of stalks varies among species, as exemplified by three distinct subcellular positions of stalks within a rod-shaped cell body: polar in the genus Caulobacter and subpolar or bilateral in the genus Asticcacaulis. Here we show that a developmental regulator of Caulobacter crescentus, SpmX, is co-opted in the genus Asticcacaulis to specify stalk synthesis either at the subpolar or bilateral positions. We also show that stepwise evolution of a specific region of SpmX led to the gain of a new function and localization of this protein, which drove the sequential transition in stalk positioning. Our results indicate that changes in protein function, co-option and modularity are key elements in the evolution of bacterial morphology. Therefore, similar evolutionary principles of morphological transitions apply to both single-celled prokaryotes and multicellular eukaryotes.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature12900

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332165100038

    View details for PubMedID 24463524

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4035126