Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science

Utrecht, Netherlands

Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science

Utrecht, Netherlands

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Peterson K.A.,Harvard University | Peterson K.A.,University of Southern California | Nishi Y.,Harvard University | Nishi Y.,University of Southern California | And 24 more authors.
Genes and Development | Year: 2012

In the vertebrate neural tube, regional Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling invokes a time- and concentration-dependent induction of six different cell populations mediated through Gli transcriptional regulators. Elsewhere in the embryo, Shh/Gli responses invoke different tissue-appropriate regulatory programs. A genome-scale analysis of DNA binding by Gli1 and Sox2, a pan-neural determinant, identified a set of shared regulatory regions associated with key factors central to cell fate determination and neural tube patterning. Functional analysis in transgenic mice validates core enhancers for each of these factors and demonstrates the dual requirement for Gli1 and Sox2 inputs for neural enhancer activity. Furthermore, through an unbiased determination of Gli-binding site preferences and analysis of binding site variants in the developing mammalian CNS, we demonstrate that differential Gli-binding affinity underlies threshold-level activator responses to Shh input. In summary, our results highlight Sox2 input as a contextspecific determinant of the neural-specific Shh response and differential Gli-binding site affinity as an important cis-regulatory property critical for interpreting Shh morphogen action in the mammalian neural tube. © 2012 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


Grun D.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Grun D.,University Utrecht | Grun D.,Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Van Oudenaarden A.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Van Oudenaarden A.,University Utrecht
Cell | Year: 2015

Recent advances in single-cell sequencing hold great potential for exploring biological systems with unprecedented resolution. Sequencing the genome of individual cells can reveal somatic mutations and allows the investigation of clonal dynamics. Single-cell transcriptome sequencing can elucidate the cell type composition of a sample. However, single-cell sequencing comes with major technical challenges and yields complex data output. In this Primer, we provide an overview of available methods and discuss experimental design and single-cell data analysis. We hope that these guidelines will enable a growing number of researchers to leverage the power of single-cell sequencing. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Dey S.S.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Dey S.S.,University Utrecht | Kester L.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Kester L.,University Utrecht | And 7 more authors.
Nature Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Single-cell genomics and single-cell transcriptomics have emerged as powerful tools to study the biology of single cells at a genome-wide scale. However, a major challenge is to sequence both genomic DNA and mRNA from the same cell, which would allow direct comparison of genomic variation and transcriptome heterogeneity. We describe a quasilinear amplification strategy to quantify genomic DNA and mRNA from the same cell without physically separating the nucleic acids before amplification. We show that the efficiency of our integrated approach is similar to existing methods for single-cell sequencing of either genomic DNA or mRNA. Further, we find that genes with high cell-to-cell variability in transcript numbers generally have lower genomic copy numbers, and vice versa, suggesting that copy number variations may drive variability in gene expression among individual cells. Applications of our integrated sequencing approach could range from gaining insights into cancer evolution and heterogeneity to understanding the transcriptional consequences of copy number variations in healthy and diseased tissues. © Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Etemad B.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Kops G.J.P.L.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Kops G.J.P.L.,University Utrecht
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2016

Cell division culminates in the segregation of duplicated chromosomes in opposite directions prior to cellular fission. This process is guarded by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which prevents the anaphase of cell division until stable connections between spindle microtubules and the kinetochores of all chromosomes are established. The anaphase inhibitor is generated at unattached kinetochores and inhibitor production is prevented when microtubules are captured. Understanding the molecular changes in the kinetochore that are evoked by microtubule attachments is crucial for understanding the mechanisms of SAC signaling and silencing. Here, we highlight the most recent findings on these events, pinpoint some remaining mysteries, and argue for incorporating holistic views of kinetochore dynamics in order to understand SAC silencing. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Bienko M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Crosetto N.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Teytelman L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Klemm S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 4 more authors.
Nature Methods | Year: 2013

We developed a cost-effective genome-scale PCR-based method for high-definition DNA FISH (HD-FISH). We visualized gene loci with diffraction-limited resolution, chromosomes as spot clusters and single genes together with transcripts by combining HD-FISH with single-molecule RNA FISH. We provide a database of over 4.3 million primer pairs targeting the human and mouse genomes that is readily usable for rapid and flexible generation of probes. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Mooijman D.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Mooijman D.,University Utrecht | Dey S.S.,Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science | Dey S.S.,University Utrecht | And 7 more authors.
Nature Biotechnology | Year: 2016

The epigenetic DNA modification 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) has crucial roles in development and gene regulation. Quantifying the abundance of this epigenetic mark at the single-cell level could enable us to understand its roles. We present a single-cell, genome-wide and strand-specific 5hmC sequencing technology, based on 5hmC glucosylation and glucosylation-dependent digestion of DNA, that reveals pronounced cell-to-cell variability in the abundance of 5hmC on the two DNA strands of a given chromosome. We develop a mathematical model that reproduces the strand bias and use this model to make two predictions. First, the variation in strand bias should decrease when 5hmC turnover increases. Second, the strand bias of two sister cells should be strongly anti-correlated. We validate these predictions experimentally, and use our model to reconstruct lineages of two- and four-cell mouse embryos, showing that single-cell 5hmC sequencing can be used as a lineage reconstruction tool. © 2016 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


PubMed | University Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Open biology | Year: 2016

The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) maintains genomic integrity by preventing progression of mitotic cell division until all chromosomes are stably attached to spindle microtubules. The SAC critically relies on the paralogues Bub1 and BubR1/Mad3, which integrate kinetochore-spindle attachment status with generation of the anaphase inhibitory complex MCC. We previously reported on the widespread occurrences of independent gene duplications of an ancestral MadBub gene in eukaryotic evolution and the striking parallel subfunctionalization that lead to loss of kinase function in BubR1/Mad3-like paralogues. Here, we present an elaborate subfunctionalization analysis of the Bub1/BubR1 gene family and perform de novo sequence discovery in a comparative phylogenomics framework to trace the distribution of ancestral sequence features to extant paralogues throughout the eukaryotic tree of life. We show that known ancestral sequence features are consistently retained in the same functional paralogue: GLEBS/CMI/CDII/kinase in the Bub1-like and KEN1/KEN2/D-Box in the BubR1/Mad3-like. The recently described ABBA motif can be found in either or both paralogues. We however discovered two additional ABBA motifs that flank KEN2. This cassette of ABBA1-KEN2-ABBA2 forms a strictly conserved module in all ancestral and BubR1/Mad3-like proteins, suggestive of a specific and crucial SAC function. Indeed, deletion of the ABBA motifs in human BUBR1 abrogates the SAC and affects APC/C-Cdc20 interactions. Our detailed comparative genomics analyses thus enabled discovery of a conserved cassette of motifs essential for the SAC and shows how this approach can be used to uncover hitherto unrecognized functional protein features.


PubMed | Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature | Year: 2015

Understanding the development and function of an organ requires the characterization of all of its cell types. Traditional methods for visualizing and isolating subpopulations of cells are based on messenger RNA or protein expression of only a few known marker genes. The unequivocal identification of a specific marker gene, however, poses a major challenge, particularly if this cell type is rare. Identifying rare cell types, such as stem cells, short-lived progenitors, cancer stem cells, or circulating tumour cells, is crucial to acquire a better understanding of normal or diseased tissue biology. To address this challenge we first sequenced the transcriptome of hundreds of randomly selected cells from mouse intestinal organoids, cultured self-organizing epithelial structures that contain all cell lineages of the mammalian intestine. Organoid buds, like intestinal crypts, harbour stem cells that continuously differentiate into a variety of cell types, occurring at widely different abundances. Since available computational methods can only resolve more abundant cell types, we developed RaceID, an algorithm for rare cell type identification in complex populations of single cells. We demonstrate that this algorithm can resolve cell types represented by only a single cell in a population of randomly sampled organoid cells. We use this algorithm to identify Reg4 as a novel marker for enteroendocrine cells, a rare population of hormone-producing intestinal cells. Next, we use Reg4 expression to enrich for these rare cells and investigate the heterogeneity within this population. RaceID confirmed the existence of known enteroendocrine lineages, and moreover discovered novel subtypes, which we subsequently validated in vivo. Having validated RaceID we then applied the algorithm to ex vivo-isolated Lgr5-positive stem cells and their direct progeny. We find that Lgr5-positive cells represent a homogenous abundant population of stem cells mixed with a rare population of Lgr5-positive secretory cells. We envision broad applicability of our method for discovering rare cell types and the corresponding marker genes in healthy and diseased organs.


PubMed | Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2015

The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is a genome surveillance mechanism that protects against aneuploidization. Despite profound progress on understanding mechanisms of its activation, it remains unknown what aspect of chromosome-spindle interactions is monitored by the SAC: kinetochore-microtubule attachment or the force generated by dynamic microtubules that signals stable biorientation of chromosomes? To answer this, we uncoupled these two processes by expressing a non-phosphorylatable version of the main microtubule-binding protein at kinetochores (HEC1-9A), causing stabilization of incorrect kinetochore-microtubule attachments despite persistent activity of the error-correction machinery. The SAC is fully functional in HEC1-9A-expressing cells, yet cells in which chromosomes cannot biorient but are stably attached to microtubules satisfy the SAC and exit mitosis. SAC satisfaction requires neither intra-kinetochore stretching nor dynamic microtubules. Our findings support the hypothesis that in human cells the end-on interactions of microtubules with kinetochores are sufficient to satisfy the SAC without the need for microtubule-based pulling forces.


PubMed | University Utrecht and Hubrecht Institute KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and science
Type: | Journal: Current opinion in cell biology | Year: 2016

Cell division culminates in the segregation of duplicated chromosomes in opposite directions prior to cellular fission. This process is guarded by the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which prevents the anaphase of cell division until stable connections between spindle microtubules and the kinetochores of all chromosomes are established. The anaphase inhibitor is generated at unattached kinetochores and inhibitor production is prevented when microtubules are captured. Understanding the molecular changes in the kinetochore that are evoked by microtubule attachments is crucial for understanding the mechanisms of SAC signaling and silencing. Here, we highlight the most recent findings on these events, pinpoint some remaining mysteries, and argue for incorporating holistic views of kinetochore dynamics in order to understand SAC silencing.

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