In vertebrate development, the sequential and rhythmic segmentation of the body axis is regulated by a 'segmentation clock.' This clock is comprised of a population of coordinated oscillating cells that together produce rhythmic gene expression patterns in the embryo. Whether individual cells autonomously maintain oscillations, or whether oscillations depend on signals from neighboring cells is unknown. Using a transgenic zebrafish reporter line for the cyclic transcription factor Her1, we recorded single tailbud cells in vitro. We demonstrate that individual cells can behave as autonomous cellular oscillators. We described the observed variability in cell behavior using a theory of generic oscillators with correlated noise. Single cells have longer periods and lower precision than the tissue, highlighting the role of collective processes in the segmentation clock. Our work reveals a population of cells from the zebrafish segmentation clock that behave as self-sustained, autonomous oscillators with distinctive noisy dynamics.
Animal experimentation: Zebrafish experimentation was carried out in strict accordance with the ethics and regulations of the Saxonian Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture in Germany under licence Az. 74-9165.40-9-2001, and the Home Office in the United Kingdom under project licence PPL No. 70/7675.
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
© 2016, Webb et al.
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A deep analysis of multiple genomic datasets reveals which genetic pathways associated with atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease are shared between mice and humans.
Mouse models have been used extensively to study human coronary artery disease (CAD) or atherosclerosis and to test therapeutic targets. However, whether mouse and human share similar genetic factors and pathogenic mechanisms of atherosclerosis has not been thoroughly investigated in a data-driven manner. We conducted a cross-species comparison study to better understand atherosclerosis pathogenesis between species by leveraging multiomics data. Specifically, we compared genetically driven and thus CAD-causal gene networks and pathways, by using human GWAS of CAD from the CARDIoGRAMplusC4D consortium and mouse GWAS of atherosclerosis from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP) followed by integration with functional multiomics human (STARNET and GTEx) and mouse (HMDP) databases. We found that mouse and human shared >75% of CAD causal pathways. Based on network topology, we then predicted key regulatory genes for both the shared pathways and species-specific pathways, which were further validated through the use of single cell data and the latest CAD GWAS. In sum, our results should serve as a much-needed guidance for which human CAD-causal pathways can or cannot be further evaluated for novel CAD therapies using mouse models.