Enhancers are the primary DNA regulatory elements that confer cell type specificity of gene expression. Recent studies characterizing individual enhancers have revealed their potential to direct heterologous gene expression in a highly cell-type-specific manner. However, it has not yet been possible to systematically identify and test the function of enhancers for each of the many cell types in an organism. We have developed PESCA, a scalable and generalizable method that leverages ATAC- and single-cell RNA-sequencing protocols, to characterize cell-type-specific enhancers that should enable genetic access and perturbation of gene function across mammalian cell types. Focusing on the highly heterogeneous mammalian cerebral cortex, we apply PESCA to find enhancers and generate viral reagents capable of accessing and manipulating a subset of somatostatin-expressing cortical interneurons with high specificity. This study demonstrates the utility of this platform for developing new cell-type-specific viral reagents, with significant implications for both basic and translational research.
- Michael E Greenberg
- Sinisa Hrvatin
- M Aurel Nagy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#IS00000074-3) of Harvard Medical School. All surgery was performed under isoflurane anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Anne E West, Duke University School of Medicine, United States
© 2019, Hrvatin et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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Telomeres define the natural ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are crucial for chromosomal stability. The budding yeast Cdc13, Stn1 and Ten1 proteins form a heterotrimeric complex, and the inactivation of any of its subunits leads to a uniformly lethal phenotype due to telomere deprotection. Although Cdc13, Stn1 and Ten1 seem to belong to an epistasis group, it remains unclear whether they function differently in telomere protection. Here, we employed the single-linear-chromosome yeast SY14, and surprisingly found that the deletion of CDC13 leads to telomere erosion and intrachromosome end-to-end fusion, which depends on Rad52 but not Yku. Interestingly, the emergence frequency of survivors in the SY14 cdc13Δ mutant was ~29 fold higher than that in either the stn1Δ or ten1Δ mutant, demonstrating a predominant role of Cdc13 in inhibiting telomere fusion. Chromosomal fusion readily occurred in the telomerase-null SY14 strain, further verifying the default role of intact telomeres in inhibiting chromosome fusion.
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