Genetic effects on gene expression and splicing can be modulated by cellular and environmental factors; yet interactions between genotypes, cell type and treatment have not been comprehensively studied together. We used an induced pluripotent stem cell system to study multiple cell types derived from the same individuals and exposed them to a large panel of treatments. Cellular responses involved different genes and pathways for gene expression and splicing, and were highly variable across contexts. For thousands of genes, we identified variable allelic expression across contexts and characterized different types of gene-environment interactions, many of which are associated with complex traits. Promoter functional and evolutionary features distinguished genes with elevated allelic imbalance mean and variance. On average half of the genes with dynamic regulatory interactions were missed by large eQTL mapping studies, indicating the importance of exploring multiple treatments to reveal previously unrecognized regulatory loci that may be important for disease.
Sequencing files have been uploaded to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) under Bioproject PRJNA694697
Gene expression of LCLs, IPSCs, and CMs following 28 perturbationsNCBI Bioproject, PRJNA694697.
- Roger Pique-Regi
- Francesca Luca
- Yoav Gilad
- Anthony S Findley
- Sriram Sankararaman
- Ali Pazokitoroudi
- Sriram Sankararaman
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Stephen CJ Parker, University of Michigan, United States
© 2021, Findley 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.
Maternal pre-pregnancy (pregravid) obesity is associated with adverse outcomes for both mother and offspring. Amongst the complications for the offspring is increased susceptibility and severity of neonatal infections necessitating admission to the intensive care unit, notably bacterial sepsis and enterocolitis. Previous studies have reported aberrant responses to LPS and polyclonal stimulation by umbilical cord blood monocytes that were mediated by alterations in the epigenome. In this study, we show that pregravid obesity dysregulates umbilical cord blood monocyte responses to bacterial and viral pathogens. Specifically, interferon-stimulated gene expression and inflammatory responses to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and E. coli were significantly dampened, respectively . Although upstream signaling events were comparable, translocation of the key transcription factor NF-κB and chromatin accessibility at pro-inflammatory gene promoters following TLR stimulation was significantly attenuated. Using a rhesus macaque model of western style diet-induced obesity, we further demonstrate that this defect is detected in fetal peripheral monocytes and tissue-resident macrophages during gestation. Collectively, these data indicate that maternal obesity alters metabolic, signaling, and epigenetic profiles of fetal monocytes leading to a state of immune paralysis during late gestation and at birth.
To synchronize flowering time with spring, many plants undergo vernalization, a floral-promotion process triggered by exposure to long-term winter cold. In Arabidopsis thaliana, this is achieved through cold-mediated epigenetic silencing of the floral repressor, FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC). COOLAIR, a cold-induced antisense RNA transcribed from the FLC locus, has been proposed to facilitate FLC silencing. Here, we show that C-repeat (CRT)/dehydration-responsive elements (DREs) at the 3′-end of FLC and CRT/DRE-binding factors (CBFs) are required for cold-mediated expression of COOLAIR. CBFs bind to CRT/DREs at the 3′-end of FLC, both in vitro and in vivo, and CBF levels increase gradually during vernalization. Cold-induced COOLAIR expression is severely impaired in cbfs mutants in which all CBF genes are knocked-out. Conversely, CBF-overexpressing plants show increased COOLAIR levels even at warm temperatures. We show that COOLAIR is induced by CBFs during early stages of vernalization but COOLAIR levels decrease in later phases as FLC chromatin transitions to an inactive state to which CBFs can no longer bind. We also demonstrate that cbfs and FLCΔCOOLAIR mutants exhibit a normal vernalization response despite their inability to activate COOLAIR expression during cold, revealing that COOLAIR is not required for the vernalization process.