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Blanco S.,University of Cambridge | Kurowski A.,University of Cambridge | Nichols J.,University of Cambridge | Watt F.M.,University of Cambridge | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

Homeostasis of most adult tissues is maintained by balancing stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, but whether post-transcriptional mechanisms can regulate this process is unknown. Here, we identify that an RNA methyltransferase (Misu/Nsun2) is required to balance stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in skin. In the epidermis, this methyltransferase is found in a defined sub-population of hair follicle stem cells poised to undergo lineage commitment, and its depletion results in enhanced quiescence and aberrant stem cell differentiation. Our results reveal that post-transcriptional RNA methylation can play a previously unappreciated role in controlling stem cell fate. © 2011 Blanco et al.


Hunziker L.,University College London | Hunziker L.,University of Basel | Benitah S.,University Pompeu Fabra | Braun K.M.,Center for Cutaneous Research | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The thymic stroma supports T lymphocyte development and consists of an epithelium maintained by thymic epithelial progenitors. The molecular pathways that govern epithelial homeostasis are poorly understood. Here we demonstrate that deletion of Rac1 in Keratin 5/Keratin 14 expressing embryonic and adult thymic epithelial cells leads to loss of the thymic epithelial compartment. Rac1 deletion led to an increase in c-Myc expression and a generalized increase in apoptosis associated with a decrease in thymic epithelial proliferation. Our results suggest Rac1 maintains the epithelial population, and equilibrium between Rac1 and c-Myc may control proliferation, apoptosis and maturation of the thymic epithelial compartment. Understanding thymic epithelial maintenance is a step toward the dual goals of in vitro thymic epithelial cell culture and T cell differentiation, and the clinical repair of thymic damage from graft-versus-host-disease, chemotherapy or irradiation. © 2011 Hunziker et al.


Tortajada S.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Fuster-Garcia E.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Vicente J.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Wesseling P.,Radboud University Nijmegen | And 21 more authors.
Journal of Biomedical Informatics | Year: 2011

In the last decade, machine learning (ML) techniques have been used for developing classifiers for automatic brain tumour diagnosis. However, the development of these ML models rely on a unique training set and learning stops once this set has been processed. Training these classifiers requires a representative amount of data, but the gathering, preprocess, and validation of samples is expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, for a classical, non-incremental approach to ML, it is necessary to wait long enough to collect all the required data. In contrast, an incremental learning approach may allow us to build an initial classifier with a smaller number of samples and update it incrementally when new data are collected. In this study, an incremental learning algorithm for Gaussian Discriminant Analysis (iGDA) based on the Graybill and Deal weighted combination of estimators is introduced. Each time a new set of data becomes available, a new estimation is carried out and a combination with a previous estimation is performed. iGDA does not require access to the previously used data and is able to include new classes that were not in the original analysis, thus allowing the customization of the models to the distribution of data at a particular clinical center. An evaluation using five benchmark databases has been used to evaluate the behaviour of the iGDA algorithm in terms of stability-plasticity, class inclusion and order effect. Finally, the iGDA algorithm has been applied to automatic brain tumour classification with magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and compared with two state-of-the-art incremental algorithms. The empirical results obtained show the ability of the algorithm to learn in an incremental fashion, improving the performance of the models when new information is available, and converging in the course of time. Furthermore, the algorithm shows a negligible instance and concept order effect, avoiding the bias that such effects could introduce. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Frye M.,Wellcome Trust Center for Stem Cell Research | Dragoni I.,CR UK Cancer Research Technology Ltd. | Chin S.-F.,CR UK Cambridge Research Institute | Spiteri I.,CR UK Cambridge Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
Cancer Letters | Year: 2010

We have examined expression of the Myc target gene Misu (NSUN2) in breast cancer. There was extensive copy number gain, and increased mRNA and protein levels, of Misu in approximately one third of breast cancer cell lines and primary tumours examined, irrespective of tumour subtype. Genes on 5p15.31-33, where Misu is located, showed evolutionary synteny. siRNA-mediated knockdown of Misu reduced cell number in over half of the cell lines tested, irrespective of estrogen receptor status. We conclude that Misu is up-regulated in a substantial proportion of breast cancers and has therapeutic potential as a drug target. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hussain S.,University of Cambridge | Tuorto F.,German Cancer Research Center | Menon S.,CR UK Cambridge Research Institute | Blanco S.,University of Cambridge | And 6 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2013

Posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms are crucial for protein synthesis during spermatogenesis and are often organized by the chromatoid body. Here, we identify the RNA methyltransferase NSun2 as a novel component of the chromatoid body and, further, show that NSun2 is essential for germ cell differentiation in the mouse testis. In NSun2-depleted testes, genes encoding Ddx4, Miwi, and Tudor domain-containing (Tdr) proteins are repressed, indicating that RNA-processing and posttranscriptional pathways are impaired. Loss of NSun2 specifically blocked meiotic progression of germ cells into the pachytene stage, as spermatogonial and Sertoli cells were unaffected in knockout mice. We observed the same phenotype when we simultaneously deleted NSun2 and Dnmt2, the only other cytosine-5 RNA methyltransferase characterized to date, indicating that Dnmt2 was not functionally redundant with NSun2 in spermatogonial stem cells or Sertoli cells. Specific NSun2- and Dnmt2-methylated tRNAs decreased in abundance when both methyltransferases were deleted, suggesting that RNA methylation pathways play an essential role in male germ cell differentiation. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

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