Transcriptomic Profiling of the Developing Cardiac Conduction System at Single-Cell Resolution.
RATIONALE: The cardiac conduction system (CCS) consists of distinct components including the sinoatrial node (SAN), atrioventricular node (AVN), His bundle, bundle branches (BB) and Purkinje fibers (PF). Despite an essential role for the CCS in heart development and function, the CCS has remained challenging to interrogate due to inherent obstacles including small cell numbers, large cell type heterogeneity, complex anatomy and difficulty in isolation. Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) allows for genome-wide analysis of gene expression at single-cell resolution.OBJECTIVE: Assess the transcriptional landscape of the entire CCS at single-cell resolution by scRNA-seq within the developing mouse heart.METHODS AND RESULTS: Wild-type, embryonic day 16.5 mouse hearts (n=6 per zone) were harvested and three zones of microdissection were isolated, including: Zone I - SAN region; Zone II - AVN/His region; and Zone III - BB/PF region. Tissue was digested into single cell suspensions, isolated, reverse transcribed and barcoded prior to high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analyses. scRNA-seq was performed on over 22,000 cells and all major cell types of the murine heart were successfully captured including bona fide clusters of cells consistent with each major component of the CCS. Unsupervised weighted gene co-expression network analysis led to the discovery of a host of novel CCS genes, a subset of which were validated using fluorescent in situ hybridization as well as whole mount immunolabelling with volume imaging (iDISCO+) in three-dimensions on intact mouse hearts. Further, subcluster analysis unveiled isolation of distinct CCS cell subtypes, including the clinically-relevant but poorly characterized "transitional cells" that bridge the CCS and surrounding myocardium.CONCLUSIONS: Our study represents the first comprehensive assessment of the transcriptional profiles from the entire CCS at single-cell resolution and provides a gene atlas for facilitating future efforts in conduction cell identification, isolation and characterization in the context of development and disease.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314578
View details for PubMedID 31284824
High-Efficiency, Selection-free Gene Repair in Airway Stem Cells from Cystic Fibrosis Patients Rescues CFTR Function in Differentiated Epithelia.
Cell stem cell
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a monogenic disorder caused by mutations in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene. Mortality in CF patients is mostly due to respiratory sequelae. Challenges with gene delivery have limited attempts to treat CF using in vivo gene therapy, and low correction levels have hindered ex vivo gene therapy efforts. We have used Cas9 and adeno-associated virus 6 to correct the ΔF508 mutation in readily accessible upper-airway basal stem cells (UABCs) obtained from CF patients. On average, we achieved 30%-50% allelic correction in UABCs and bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) from 10 CF patients and observed 20%-50% CFTR function relative to non-CF controls in differentiated epithelia. Furthermore, we successfully embedded the corrected UABCs on an FDA-approved porcine small intestinal submucosal membrane (pSIS), and they retained differentiation capacity. This study supports further development of genetically corrected autologous airway stem cell transplant as a treatment for CF.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.stem.2019.11.002
View details for PubMedID 31839569
Whole genome variant association across 100 dogs identifies a frame shift mutation in DISHEVELLED 2 which contributes to Robinow-like syndrome in Bulldogs and related screw tail dog breeds
2018; 14 (12): e1007850
Domestic dog breeds exhibit remarkable morphological variations that result from centuries of artificial selection and breeding. Identifying the genetic changes that contribute to these variations could provide critical insights into the molecular basis of tissue and organismal morphogenesis. Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers share many morphological and disease-predisposition traits, including brachycephalic skull morphology, widely set eyes and short stature. Unlike other brachycephalic dogs, these breeds also exhibit vertebral malformations that result in a truncated, kinked tail (screw tail). Whole genome sequencing of 100 dogs from 21 breeds identified 12.4 million bi-allelic variants that met inclusion criteria. Whole Genome Association of these variants with the breed defining phenotype of screw tail was performed using 10 cases and 84 controls and identified a frameshift mutation in the WNT pathway gene DISHEVELLED 2 (DVL2) (Chr5: 32195043_32195044del, p = 4.37 X 10-37) as the most strongly associated variant in the canine genome. This DVL2 variant was fixed in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs and had a high allele frequency (0.94) in Boston Terriers. The DVL2 variant segregated with thoracic and caudal vertebral column malformations in a recessive manner with incomplete and variable penetrance for thoracic vertebral malformations between different breeds. Importantly, analogous frameshift mutations in the human DVL1 and DVL3 genes cause Robinow syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by similar craniofacial, limb and vertebral malformations. Analysis of the canine DVL2 variant protein showed that its ability to undergo WNT-induced phosphorylation is reduced, suggesting that altered WNT signaling may contribute to the Robinow-like syndrome in the screwtail breeds.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007850
View details for Web of Science ID 000455099000032
View details for PubMedID 30521570
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6303079
Identification of a WNT5A-Responsive Degradation Domain in the Kinesin Superfamily Protein KIF26B
2018; 9 (4)
Noncanonical WNT pathways function independently of the β-catenin transcriptional co-activator to regulate diverse morphogenetic and pathogenic processes. Recent studies showed that noncanonical WNTs, such as WNT5A, can signal the degradation of several downstream effectors, thereby modulating these effectors' cellular activities. The protein domain(s) that mediates the WNT5A-dependent degradation response, however, has not been identified. By coupling protein mutagenesis experiments with a flow cytometry-based degradation reporter assay, we have defined a protein domain in the kinesin superfamily protein KIF26B that is essential for WNT5A-dependent degradation. We found that a human disease-causing KIF26B mutation located at a conserved amino acid within this domain compromises the ability of WNT5A to induce KIF26B degradation. Using pharmacological perturbation, we further uncovered a role of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) in WNT5A regulation of KIF26B degradation. Lastly, based on the identification of the WNT5A-responsive domain, we developed a new reporter system that allows for efficient profiling of WNT5A-KIF26B signaling activity in both somatic and stem cells. In conclusion, our study identifies a new protein domain that mediates WNT5A-dependent degradation of KIF26B and provides a new tool for functional characterization of noncanonical WNT5A signaling in cells.
View details for DOI 10.3390/genes9040196
View details for Web of Science ID 000435182200024
View details for PubMedID 29621187
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5924538
Kinesin superfamily protein Kif26b links Wnt5a-Ror signaling to the control of cell and tissue behaviors in vertebrates
Wnt5a-Ror signaling constitutes a developmental pathway crucial for embryonic tissue morphogenesis, reproduction and adult tissue regeneration, yet the molecular mechanisms by which the Wnt5a-Ror pathway mediates these processes are largely unknown. Using a proteomic screen, we identify the kinesin superfamily protein Kif26b as a downstream target of the Wnt5a-Ror pathway. Wnt5a-Ror, through a process independent of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin-dependent pathway, regulates the cellular stability of Kif26b by inducing its degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Through this mechanism, Kif26b modulates the migratory behavior of cultured mesenchymal cells in a Wnt5a-dependent manner. Genetic perturbation of Kif26b function in vivo caused embryonic axis malformations and depletion of primordial germ cells in the developing gonad, two phenotypes characteristic of disrupted Wnt5a-Ror signaling. These findings indicate that Kif26b links Wnt5a-Ror signaling to the control of morphogenetic cell and tissue behaviors in vertebrates and reveal a new role for regulated proteolysis in noncanonical Wnt5a-Ror signal transduction.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.26509
View details for Web of Science ID 000409963200001
View details for PubMedID 28885975
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5590807