Many developmental processes depend on precise temporal control of gene expression. We have previously established a theoretical framework for regulatory strategies that can govern such high temporal precision, but experimental validation of these predictions was still lacking. Here, we use the time-dependent expression of a Wnt receptor that controls neuroblast migration in C. elegans as a tractable system to study a robust, cell-intrinsic timing mechanism in vivo. Single molecule mRNA quantification showed that the expression of the receptor increases non-linearly, a dynamic that is predicted to enhance timing precision over an unregulated, linear increase in timekeeper abundance. We show that this upregulation depends on transcriptional activation, providing in vivo evidence for a model in which the timing of receptor expression is regulated through an accumulating activator that triggers expression when a specific threshold is reached. This timing mechanism acts across a cell division that occurs in the neuroblast lineage, and is influenced by the asymmetry of the division. Finally, we show that positive feedback of receptor expression through the canonical Wnt pathway enhances temporal precision. We conclude that robust cell-intrinsic timing can be achieved by combining regulation and feedback of the timekeeper gene.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and figures. Source datafiles containing the numerical data used to generate the figures can be accessed at https://github.com/erikschild/mig 1_timer_code
- Marie-Anne Félix
- Andrew Mugler
- Hendrik C Korswagen
- Shivam Gupta
- Andrew Mugler
- Shivam Gupta
- Andrew Mugler
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Marianne E Bronner, California Institute of Technology, United States
© 2023, Schild 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.
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.
Candida albicans, an opportunistic human pathogen, poses a significant threat to human health and is associated with significant socio-economic burden. Current antifungal treatments fail, at least in part, because C. albicans can initiate a strong drug tolerance response that allows some cells to grow at drug concentrations above their minimal inhibitory concentration. To better characterize this cytoprotective tolerance program at the molecular single-cell level, we used a nanoliter droplet-based transcriptomics platform to profile thousands of individual fungal cells and establish their subpopulation characteristics in the absence and presence of antifungal drugs. Profiles of untreated cells exhibit heterogeneous expression that correlates with cell cycle stage with distinct metabolic and stress responses. At 2 days post-fluconazole exposure (a time when tolerance is measurable), surviving cells bifurcate into two major subpopulations: one characterized by the upregulation of genes encoding ribosomal proteins, rRNA processing machinery, and mitochondrial cellular respiration capacity, termed the Ribo-dominant (Rd) state; and the other enriched for genes encoding stress responses and related processes, termed the Stress-dominant (Sd) state. This bifurcation persists at 3 and 6 days post-treatment. We provide evidence that the ribosome assembly stress response (RASTR) is activated in these subpopulations and may facilitate cell survival.