Non-coding RNAs exert diverse functions in many cell types. In addition to transcription factors from coding genes, non-coding RNAs may also play essential roles in shaping and directing the fate of germ cells. The presence of many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) which are specifically expressed in the germ cells during human gonadal development were reportedand one divergent lncRNA, LNC1845, was functionally characterized. Comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of these lncRNAs indicates that divergent lncRNAs occupied the majority of female and male germ cells. Integrating lncRNA expression into the bioinformatic analysis also enhances the cell-type classification of female germ cells. Functional dissection using in vitro differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to germ cells revealed the regulatory role of LNC1845 on a transcription factor essential for ovarian follicle development, LHX8, by modulating the levels of histone modifications, H3K4me3 and H3K27Ac. Hence, bioinformatical analysis and experimental verification provide a comprehensive analysis of lncRNAs in developing germ cells and elucidate how a lncRNA function as a cis regulator during human germ cell development.
Raw single cell RNA-seq data are available in GEO with accession GSE86146
Single-Cell RNA-Seq Analysis Maps Development of Human Germline Cells and Gonadal Niche InteractionsNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE86146.
- Kehkooi Kee
- Kehkooi Kee
- Kehkooi Kee
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Deborah Bourc'his, Institut Curie, France
© 2023, Wang 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.
Previously, we showed that a massively parallel reporter assay, mSTARR-seq, could be used to simultaneously test for both enhancer-like activity and DNA methylation-dependent enhancer activity for millions of loci in a single experiment (Lea et al., 2018). Here, we apply mSTARR-seq to query nearly the entire human genome, including almost all CpG sites profiled either on the commonly used Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC array or via reduced representation bisulfite sequencing. We show that fragments containing these sites are enriched for regulatory capacity, and that methylation-dependent regulatory activity is in turn sensitive to the cellular environment. In particular, regulatory responses to interferon alpha (IFNA) stimulation are strongly attenuated by methyl marks, indicating widespread DNA methylation-environment interactions. In agreement, methylation-dependent responses to IFNA identified via mSTARR-seq predict methylation-dependent transcriptional responses to challenge with influenza virus in human macrophages. Our observations support the idea that pre-existing DNA methylation patterns can influence the response to subsequent environmental exposures—one of the tenets of biological embedding. However, we also find that, on average, sites previously associated with early life adversity are not more likely to functionally influence gene regulation than expected by chance.
A new in vitro system called Rec-Seq sheds light on how mRNA molecules compete for the machinery that translates their genetic sequence into proteins.