Publications

The Babraham Institute Publications database contains details of all publications resulting from our research groups and scientific services.

Individual publications are linked to the website of the journal - subscriptions may be required to view the full text. The database also includes Open Access publications, which can be identified by the icons found on search results.

Open Access symbol We are working to provide Open Access to as many publications as possible. 'Green' Open Access publications are marked by the pink 'Download' icon. Click on the icon to access a pre-print PDF version of the publication. ​'Gold' Open Access publications have the gold open padlock icon. You can read the full version of these papers on the publishing journal’s website without a subscription.

Title / Authors / Details Open Access Download

PtdIns(3,4,5)P-dependent Rac exchanger 1 (P-Rex1) promotes mammary tumor initiation and metastasis.
Srijakotre N, Liu HJ, Nobis M, Man J, Yip HYK, Papa A, Abud HE, Anderson KI, Welch HCE, Tiganis T, Timpson P, McLean CA, Ooms LM, Mitchell CA

The Rac-GEF, P-Rex1, activates Rac1 signaling downstream of G protein-coupled receptors and PI3K. Increased P-Rex1 expression promotes melanoma progression; however, its role in breast cancer is complex, with differing reports of the effect of its expression on disease outcome. To address this we analyzed human databases, undertook gene array expression analysis, and generated unique murine models of P-Rex1 gain or loss of function. Analysis of mRNA expression in breast cancer cDNA arrays and a METABRIC cohort revealed that higher mRNA in ER/luminal tumors was associated with poor outcome in luminal B cancers. deletion in MMTV- or MMTV- mice reduced Rac1 activation in vivo and improved survival. High level MMTVdriven transgenic expression resulted in apicobasal polarity defects and increased mammary epithelial cell proliferation associated with hyperplasia and development of de novo mammary tumors. MMTV- expression in MMTV- mice increased tumor initiation and enhanced metastasis in vivo, but had no effect on primary tumor growth. Pharmacological inhibition of Rac1 or MEK1/2 reduced P-Rex1-driven tumoroid formation and cell invasion. Therefore, P-Rex1 can act as an oncogene and cooperate with HER2/neu to enhance breast cancer initiation and metastasis, despite having no effect on primary tumor growth.

+ View Abstract

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33097662

High-resolution three-dimensional chromatin profiling of the Chinese hamster ovary cell genome.
Bevan S, Schoenfelder S, Young RJ, Zhang L, Andrews S, Fraser P, O'Callaghan PM

Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines are the pillars of a multi-billion dollar biopharmaceutical industry producing recombinant therapeutic proteins. The effects of local chromatin organisation and epigenetic repression within these cell lines result in unpredictable and unstable transgene expression following random integration. Limited knowledge of the CHO genome and its higher-order chromatin organisation has thus far impeded functional genomics approaches required to tackle these issues. Here, we present an integrative three-dimensional (3D) map of genome organisation within the CHOK1SV® 10E9 cell line in conjunction with an improved, less fragmented CHOK1SV® 10E9 genome assembly. Using our high-resolution chromatin conformation datasets, we have assigned ≈ 90% of sequence to a chromosome-scale genome assembly. Our genome-wide 3D map identifies higher-order chromatin structures such as topologically associated domains, incorporates our chromatin accessibility data to enhance the identification of active cis-regulatory elements and importantly links these cis-regulatory elements to target promoters in a 3D promoter interactome. We demonstrate the power of our improved functional annotation by evaluating the 3D landscape of a transgene integration site and two phenotypically different cell lines. Our work opens up further novel genome engineering targets, has the potential to inform vital improvements for industrial biotherapeutic production, and represents a significant advancement for CHO cell line development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

+ View Abstract

Biotechnology and bioengineering , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33095445

Regulatory T Cell-Derived TGF-β1 Controls Multiple Checkpoints Governing Allergy and Autoimmunity.
Turner JA, Stephen-Victor E, Wang S, Rivas MN, Abdel-Gadir A, Harb H, Cui Y, Fanny M, Charbonnier LM, Fong JJH, Benamar M, Wang L, Burton OT, Bansal K, Bry L, Zhu C, Li QZ, Clement RL, Oettgen HC, Crestani E, Rachid R, Sage PT, Chatila TA

The mechanisms by which regulatory T (Treg) cells differentially control allergic and autoimmune responses remain unclear. We show that Treg cells in food allergy (FA) had decreased expression of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) because of interleukin-4 (IL-4)- and signal transducer and activator of transciription-6 (STAT6)-dependent inhibition of Tgfb1 transcription. These changes were modeled by Treg cell-specific Tgfb1 monoallelic inactivation, which induced allergic dysregulation by impairing microbiota-dependent retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma t (ROR-γt) Treg cell differentiation. This dysregulation was rescued by treatment with Clostridiales species, which upregulated Tgfb1 expression in Treg cells. Biallelic deficiency precipitated fatal autoimmunity with intense autoantibody production and dysregulated T follicular helper and B cell responses. These results identify a privileged role of Treg cell-derived TGF-β1 in regulating allergy and autoimmunity at distinct checkpoints in a Tgfb1 gene dose- and microbiota-dependent manner.

+ View Abstract

Immunity , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33086036

The role of ZFP57 and additional KRAB-zinc finger proteins in the maintenance of human imprinted methylation and multi-locus imprinting disturbances.
Monteagudo-Sánchez A, Hernandez Mora JR, Simon C, Burton A, Tenorio J, Lapunzina P, Clark S, Esteller M, Kelsey G, López-Siguero JP, de Nanclares GP, Torres-Padilla ME, Monk D

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic process regulated by germline-derived DNA methylation that is resistant to embryonic reprogramming, resulting in parental origin-specific monoallelic gene expression. A subset of individuals affected by imprinting disorders (IDs) displays multi-locus imprinting disturbances (MLID), which may result from aberrant establishment of imprinted differentially methylated regions (DMRs) in gametes or their maintenance in early embryogenesis. Here we investigated the extent of MLID in a family harbouring a ZFP57 truncating variant and characterize the interactions between human ZFP57 and the KAP1 co-repressor complex. By ectopically targeting ZFP57 to reprogrammed loci in mouse embryos using a dCas9 approach, we confirm that ZFP57 recruitment is sufficient to protect oocyte-derived methylation from reprogramming. Expression profiling in human pre-implantation embryos and oocytes reveals that unlike in mice, ZFP57 is only expressed following embryonic-genome activation, implying that other KRAB-zinc finger proteins (KZNFs) recruit KAP1 prior to blastocyst formation. Furthermore, we uncover ZNF202 and ZNF445 as additional KZNFs likely to recruit KAP1 to imprinted loci during reprogramming in the absence of ZFP57. Together, these data confirm the perplexing link between KZFPs and imprint maintenance and highlight the differences between mouse and humans in this respect.

+ View Abstract

Nucleic acids research , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33053156

Update on LIPID MAPS Classification, Nomenclature and Shorthand Notation for MS-derived Lipid Structures.
Liebisch G, Fahy E, Aoki J, Dennis EA, Durand T, Ejsing C, Fedorova M, Feussner I, Griffiths WJ, Koefeler H, Merrill AH, Murphy RC, O'Donnell VB, Oskolkova OV, Subramaniam S, Wakelam M, Spener F

A comprehensive and standardized system to report lipid structures analyzed by mass spectrometry is essential for the communication and storage of lipidomics data. Herein, an update on both the LIPID MAPS classification system and shorthand notation of lipid structures is presented for lipid categories Fatty Acyls (FA), Glycerolipids (GL), Glycerophospholipids (GP), Sphingolipids (SP), and Sterols (ST). With its major changes, i.e. annotation of ring double bond equivalents and number of oxygens, the updated shorthand notation facilitates reporting of newly delineated oxygenated lipid species as well. For standardized reporting in lipidomics, the hierarchical architecture of shorthand notation reflects the diverse structural resolution powers provided by mass spectrometric assays. Moreover, shorthand notation is expanded beyond mammalian phyla to lipids from plant and yeast phyla. Finally, annotation of atoms is included for the use of stable isotope-labelled compounds in metabolic labelling experiments or as internal standards.This update on lipid classification, nomenclature and shorthand annotation for lipid mass spectra is considered a standard for lipid data presentation.

+ View Abstract

Journal of lipid research , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33037133

Open Access

Decreased expression of miR-29 family associated with autoimmune myasthenia gravis.
Cron MA, Payet CA, Fayet OM, Maillard S, Truffault F, Fadel E, Guihaire J, Berrih-Aknin S, Liston A, Le Panse R

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare autoimmune disease mainly mediated by autoantibodies against the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) at the neuromuscular junction. The thymus is the effector organ, and its removal alleviates the symptoms of the disease. In the early-onset form of MG, the thymus displays functional and morphological abnormalities such as B cell infiltration leading to follicular hyperplasia, and the production of AChR antibodies. Type-I interferon (IFN-I), especially IFN-β, is the orchestrator of thymic changes observed in MG. As Dicer and miR-29 subtypes play a role in modulating the IFN-I signalization in mouse thymus, we investigated their expression in MG thymus.

+ View Abstract

Journal of neuroinflammation , 17 , 1 ,

PMID: 33032631

Open Access

LipidFinder 2.0: advanced informatics pipeline for lipidomics discovery applications.
Alvarez-Jarreta J, Rodrigues PRS, Fahy E, O'Connor A, Price A, Gaud C, Andrews S, Benton P, Siuzdak G, Hawksworth JI, Valdivia-Garcia M, Allen SM, O'Donnell VB

We present LipidFinder 2.0, incorporating four new modules that apply artefact filters, remove lipid and contaminant stacks, in-source fragments and salt clusters, and a new isotope deletion method which is significantly more sensitive than available open-access alternatives. We also incorporate a novel false discovery rate (FDR) method, utilizing a target-decoy strategy, which allows users to assess data quality. A renewed lipid profiling method is introduced which searches three different databases from LIPID MAPS and returns bulk lipid structures only, and a lipid category scatter plot with color blind friendly pallet. An API interface with XCMS Online is made available on LipidFinder's online version. We show using real data that LipidFinder 2.0 provides a significant improvement over non-lipid metabolite filtering and lipid profiling, compared to available tools.

+ View Abstract

Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33027502

Active turnover of DNA methylation during cell fate decisions.
Parry A, Rulands S, Reik W

DNA methylation is a key layer of epigenetic regulation. The deposition of methylation marks relies on the catalytic activity of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), and their active removal relies on the activity of ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes. Paradoxically, in important biological contexts these antagonistic factors are co-expressed and target overlapping genomic regions. The ensuing cyclic biochemistry of cytosine modifications gives rise to a continuous, out-of-thermal equilibrium transition through different methylation states. But what is the purpose of this intriguing turnover of DNA methylation? Recent evidence demonstrates that methylation turnover is enriched at gene distal regulatory elements, including enhancers, and can give rise to large-scale oscillatory dynamics. We discuss this phenomenon and propose that DNA methylation turnover might facilitate key lineage decisions.

+ View Abstract

Nature reviews. Genetics , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 33024290

Generation and Characterization of Anti-Glucosepane Antibodies Enabling Direct Detection of Glucosepane in Retinal Tissue.
Streeter MD, Rowan S, Ray J, McDonald DM, Volkin J, Clark J, Taylor A, Spiegel DA

Although there is ample evidence that the advanced glycation end-product (AGE) glucosepane contributes to age-related morbidities and diabetic complications, the impact of glucosepane modifications on proteins has not been extensively explored due to the lack of sufficient analytical tools. Here, we report the development of the first polyclonal anti-glucosepane antibodies using a synthetic immunogen that contains the core bicyclic ring structure of glucosepane. We investigate the recognition properties of these antibodies through ELISAs involving an array of synthetic AGE derivatives and determine them to be both high-affinity and selective in binding glucosepane. We then employ these antibodies to image glucosepane in aging mouse retinae via immunohistochemistry. Our studies demonstrate for the first time accumulation of glucosepane within the retinal pigment epithelium, Bruch's membrane, and choroid: all regions of the eye impacted by age-related macular degeneration. Co-localization studies further suggest that glucosepane colocalizes with lipofuscin, which has previously been associated with lysosomal dysfunction and has been implicated in the development of age-related macular degeneration, among other diseases. We believe that the anti-glucosepane antibodies described in this study will prove highly useful for examining the role of glycation in human health and disease.

+ View Abstract

ACS chemical biology , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32975399

Landscape of Genome-Wide DNA Methylation of Colorectal Cancer Metastasis.
Ili C, Buchegger K, Demond H, Castillo-Fernandez J, Kelsey G, Zanella L, Abanto M, Riquelme I, López J, Viscarra T, García P, Bellolio E, Saavedra D, Brebi P

Colorectal cancer is a heterogeneous disease caused by both genetic and epigenetics factors. Analysing DNA methylation changes occurring during colorectal cancer progression and metastasis formation is crucial for the identification of novel epigenetic markers of patient prognosis. Genome-wide methylation sequencing of paired samples of colon (normal adjacent, primary tumour and lymph node metastasis) showed global hypomethylation and CpG island (CGI) hypermethylation of primary tumours compared to normal. In metastasis we observed high global and non-CGI regions methylation, but lower CGI methylation, compared to primary tumours. Gene ontology analysis showed shared biological processes between hypermethylated CGIs in metastasis and primary tumours. After complementary analysis with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) cohort, , , , and genes were found associated with poor survival. We mapped the methylation landscape of colon normal tissues, primary tumours and lymph node metastasis, being capable of identified methylation changes throughout the genome. Furthermore, we found five genes with potential for methylation biomarkers of poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.

+ View Abstract

Cancers , 12 , 9 ,

PMID: 32971738

Quantification of lactoyl-CoA (lactyl-CoA) by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in mammalian cells and tissues.
Varner EL, Trefely S, Bartee D, von Krusenstiern E, Izzo L, Bekeova C, O'Connor RS, Seifert EL, Wellen KE, Meier JL, Snyder NW

Lysine lactoylation is a recently described protein post-translational modification (PTM). However, the biochemical pathways responsible for this acylation remain unclear. Two metabolite-dependent mechanisms have been proposed: enzymatic histone lysine lactoylation derived from lactoyl-coenzyme A (lactoyl-CoA, also termed lactyl-CoA), and non-enzymatic lysine lactoylation resulting from acyl-transfer via lactoyl-glutathione. While the former has precedent in the form of enzyme-catalysed lysine acylation, the lactoyl-CoA metabolite has not been previously quantified in mammalian systems. Here, we use liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) together with a synthetic standard to detect and validate the presence of lactoyl-CoA in cell and tissue samples. Conducting a retrospective analysis of data from previously analysed samples revealed the presence of lactoyl-CoA in diverse cell and tissue contexts. In addition, we describe a biosynthetic route to generate CN-isotopically labelled lactoyl-CoA, providing a co-eluting internal standard for analysis of this metabolite. We estimate lactoyl-CoA concentrations of 1.14 × 10 pmol per cell in cell culture and 0.0172 pmol mg tissue wet weight in mouse heart. These levels are similar to crotonyl-CoA, but between 20 and 350 times lower than predominant acyl-CoAs such as acetyl-, propionyl- and succinyl-CoA. Overall our studies provide the first quantitative measurements of lactoyl-CoA in metazoans, and provide a methodological foundation for the interrogation of this novel metabolite in biology and disease.

+ View Abstract

Open biology , 10 , 9 ,

PMID: 32961073

Open Access

Dominant mutations in ITPR3 cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Rönkkö J, Molchanova S, Revah-Politi A, Pereira EM, Auranen M, Toppila J, Kvist J, Ludwig A, Neumann J, Bultynck G, Humblet-Baron S, Liston A, Paetau A, Rivera C, Harms MB, Tyynismaa H, Ylikallio E

ITPR3, encoding inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 3, was previously reported as a potential candidate disease gene for Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy. Here, we present genetic and functional evidence that ITPR3 is a Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease gene.

+ View Abstract

Annals of clinical and translational neurology , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32949214

Open Access

Profiling DNA Methylation Genome-Wide in Single Cells.
Galvão A, Kelsey G

Single-cell bisulfite sequencing (scBS-seq) enables profiling of DNA methylation at single-nucleotide resolution and across all genomic features. It can explore methylation differences between cells in mixed cell populations and profile methylation in very rare cell types, such as mammalian oocytes and cells from early embryos. Here, we outline the scBS-seq protocol in a 96-well plate format applicable to studies of moderate throughput.

+ View Abstract

Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) , 2214 , 1 ,

PMID: 32944913

Species-specific pace of development is associated with differences in protein stability.
Rayon T, Stamataki D, Perez-Carrasco R, Garcia-Perez L, Barrington C, Melchionda M, Exelby K, Lazaro J, Tybulewicz VLJ, Fisher EMC, Briscoe J

Although many molecular mechanisms controlling developmental processes are evolutionarily conserved, the speed at which the embryo develops can vary substantially between species. For example, the same genetic program, comprising sequential changes in transcriptional states, governs the differentiation of motor neurons in mouse and human, but the tempo at which it operates differs between species. Using in vitro directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells to motor neurons, we show that the program runs more than twice as fast in mouse as in human. This is not due to differences in signaling, nor the genomic sequence of genes or their regulatory elements. Instead, there is an approximately two-fold increase in protein stability and cell cycle duration in human cells compared with mouse cells. This can account for the slower pace of human development and suggests that differences in protein turnover play a role in interspecies differences in developmental tempo.

+ View Abstract

Science (New York, N.Y.) , 369 , 6510 ,

PMID: 32943498

Open Access

Inflammatory aortitis in a patient with type 2 hyper IgM syndrome.
Staels F, Betrains A, Willemsen M, Corvelyn A, Tousseyn T, Dierickx D, Humblet-Baron S, Liston A, Vanderschueren S, Schrijvers R

-

+ View Abstract

Rheumatology (Oxford, England) , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32940674

Of Mosaicism and Mechanisms: How JAK1 Goes Awry.
Ross SH, Cantrell DA

Personalized medicines require understanding the molecular causes of disease. In this issue of Immunity, Gruber et al. reveal that a gain-of-function JAK1 genetic variant results in a mutant protein with mosaic expression that drives multi-organ immune dysregulation via kinase dependent and independent mechanisms. The work highlights how biochemistry can inform therapies to resolve complex immune disorders.

+ View Abstract

Immunity , 53 , 3 ,

PMID: 32937149

LifeTime and improving European healthcare through cell-based interceptive medicine.
Rajewsky N, Almouzni G, Gorski SA, Aerts S, Amit I, Bertero MG, Bock C, Bredenoord AL, Cavalli G, Chiocca S, Clevers H, De Strooper B, Eggert A, Ellenberg J, Fernández XM, Figlerowicz M, Gasser SM, Hubner N, Kjems J, Knoblich JA, Krabbe G, Lichter P, Linnarsson S, Marine JC, Marioni J, Marti-Renom MA, Netea MG, Nickel D, Nollmann M, Novak HR, Parkinson H, Piccolo S, Pinheiro I, Pombo A, Popp C, Reik W, Roman-Roman S, Rosenstiel P, Schultze JL, Stegle O, Tanay A, Testa G, Thanos D, Theis FJ, Torres-Padilla ME, Valencia A, Vallot C, van Oudenaarden A, Vidal M, Voet T,

LifeTime aims to track, understand and target human cells during the onset and progression of complex diseases and their response to therapy at single-cell resolution. This mission will be implemented through the development and integration of single-cell multi-omics and imaging, artificial intelligence and patient-derived experimental disease models during progression from health to disease. Analysis of such large molecular and clinical datasets will discover molecular mechanisms, create predictive computational models of disease progression, and reveal new drug targets and therapies. Timely detection and interception of disease embedded in an ethical and patient-centered vision will be achieved through interactions across academia, hospitals, patient-associations, health data management systems and industry. Applying this strategy to key medical challenges in cancer, neurological, infectious, chronic inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases at the single-cell level will usher in cell-based interceptive medicine in Europe over the next decade.

+ View Abstract

Nature , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32894860

Frizzled-Dependent Planar Cell Polarity without Secreted Wnt Ligands.
Yu JJS, Maugarny-Calès A, Pelletier S, Alexandre C, Bellaiche Y, Vincent JP, McGough IJ

Planar cell polarity (PCP) organizes the orientation of cellular protrusions and migratory activity within the tissue plane. PCP establishment involves the subcellular polarization of core PCP components. It has been suggested that Wnt gradients could provide a global cue that coordinates local PCP with tissue axes. Here, we dissect the role of Wnt ligands in the orientation of hairs of Drosophila wings, an established system for the study of PCP. We found that PCP was normal in quintuple mutant wings that rely solely on the membrane-tethered Wingless for Wnt signaling, suggesting that a Wnt gradient is not required. We then used a nanobody-based approach to trap Wntless in the endoplasmic reticulum, and hence prevent all Wnt secretion, specifically during the period of PCP establishment. PCP was still established. We conclude that, even though Wnt ligands could contribute to PCP, they are not essential, and another global cue must exist for tissue-wide polarization.

+ View Abstract

Developmental cell , 54 , 5 ,

PMID: 32888416

Open Access

Tumor Necrosis Factor α Influences Phenotypic Plasticity and Promotes Epigenetic Changes in Human Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neuroblasts.
Guarnieri G, Sarchielli E, Comeglio P, Herrera-Puerta E, Piaceri I, Nacmias B, Benelli M, Kelsey G, Maggi M, Gallina P, Vannelli GB, Morelli A

TNFα is the main proinflammatory cytokine implicated in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, but it also modulates physiological functions in both the developing and adult brain. In this study, we investigated a potential direct role of TNFα in determining phenotypic changes of a recently established cellular model of human basal forebrain cholinergic neuroblasts isolated from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (hfNBMs). Exposing hfNBMs to TNFα reduced the expression of immature markers, such as nestin and β-tubulin III, and inhibited primary cilium formation. On the contrary, TNFα increased the expression of TNFα receptor TNFR2 and the mature neuron marker MAP2, also promoting neurite elongation. Moreover, TNFα affected nerve growth factor receptor expression. We also found that TNFα induced the expression of DNA-methylation enzymes and, accordingly, downregulated genes involved in neuronal development through epigenetic mechanisms, as demonstrated by methylome analysis. In summary, TNFα showed a dual role on hfNBMs phenotypic plasticity, exerting a negative influence on neurogenesis despite a positive effect on differentiation, through mechanisms that remain to be elucidated. Our results help to clarify the complexity of TNFα effects in human neurons and suggest that manipulation of TNFα signaling could provide a potential therapeutic approach against neurodegenerative disorders.

+ View Abstract

International journal of molecular sciences , 21 , 17 ,

PMID: 32854421

SBML Level 3: an extensible format for the exchange and reuse of biological models.
Keating SM, Waltemath D, König M, Zhang F, Dräger A, Chaouiya C, Bergmann FT, Finney A, Gillespie CS, Helikar T, Hoops S, Malik-Sheriff RS, Moodie SL, Moraru II, Myers CJ, Naldi A, Olivier BG, Sahle S, Schaff JC, Smith LP, Swat MJ, Thieffry D, Watanabe L, Wilkinson DJ, Blinov ML, Begley K, Faeder JR, Gómez HF, Hamm TM, Inagaki Y, Liebermeister W, Lister AL, Lucio D, Mjolsness E, Proctor CJ, Raman K, Rodriguez N, Shaffer CA, Shapiro BE, Stelling J, Swainston N, Tanimura N, Wagner J, Meier-Schellersheim M, Sauro HM, Palsson B, Bolouri H, Kitano H, Funahashi A, Hermjakob H, Doyle JC, Hucka M,

Systems biology has experienced dramatic growth in the number, size, and complexity of computational models. To reproduce simulation results and reuse models, researchers must exchange unambiguous model descriptions. We review the latest edition of the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML), a format designed for this purpose. A community of modelers and software authors developed SBML Level 3 over the past decade. Its modular form consists of a core suited to representing reaction-based models and packages that extend the core with features suited to other model types including constraint-based models, reaction-diffusion models, logical network models, and rule-based models. The format leverages two decades of SBML and a rich software ecosystem that transformed how systems biologists build and interact with models. More recently, the rise of multiscale models of whole cells and organs, and new data sources such as single-cell measurements and live imaging, has precipitated new ways of integrating data with models. We provide our perspectives on the challenges presented by these developments and how SBML Level 3 provides the foundation needed to support this evolution.

+ View Abstract

Molecular systems biology , 16 , 8 ,

PMID: 32845085

Imprints in the history of epigenetics.
Kelsey G

No abstract available

+ View Abstract

Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32839539

Hypermethylation and reduced expression of Gtl2, Rian and Mirg at the Dlk1-Dio3 imprinted locus as a marker for poor developmental potential of mouse embryonic stem cells.
Schacker M, Cheng YH, Eckersley-Maslin M, Snaith RM, Colledge WH

Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have played a crucial role in biomedical research where they can be used to elucidate gene function through the generation of genetically modified mice. A critical requirement for the success of this technology is the ability of ESCs to contribute to viable chimaeras with germ-line transmission of the genetically modified allele. We have identified several ESC clones that cause embryonic death of chimaeras at mid to late gestation stages. These clones had a normal karyotype, were pathogen free and their in vitro differentiation potential was not compromised. Chimaeric embryos developed normally up to E13.5 but showed a significant decrease in embryo survival by E17.5 with frequent haemorrhaging. We investigated the relationship between the ESCs transcriptional and epigenomic state and their ability to contribute to viable chimaeras. RNA sequencing identified four genes (Gtl2, Rian, Mirg and Rtl1as) located in the Dlk1-Dio3 imprinted locus that were expressed at lower levels in the compromised ESC clones and this was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Bisulphite sequencing analysis showed significant hypermethylation at the Dlk1-Dio3 imprinted locus with no consistent differences in methylation patterns at other imprinted loci. Treatment of the compromised ESCs with 5-azacytidine reactivated stable expression of Gtl2 and rescued the lethal phenotype but only gave low level chimaeras.

+ View Abstract

Stem cell research , 48 , 1 ,

PMID: 32822966

Cbls boost B cells.
Linterman MA

T cell regulation of antibody-mediated immunity is critical for health. In this issue of JEM, Li et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20191537) identify the Cbl family of E3 ubiquitin ligases as B cell-intrinsic gatekeepers of T cell-dependent humoral immunity.

+ View Abstract

The Journal of experimental medicine , 217 , 9 ,

PMID: 32813871

Open Access

Naive Pluripotent Stem Cells Exhibit Phenotypic Variability that Is Driven by Genetic Variation.
Ortmann D, Brown S, Czechanski A, Aydin S, Muraro D, Huang Y, Tomaz RA, Osnato A, Canu G, Wesley BT, Skelly DA, Stegle O, Choi T, Churchill GA, Baker CL, Rugg-Gunn PJ, Munger SC, Reinholdt LG, Vallier L

Variability among pluripotent stem cell (PSC) lines is a prevailing issue that hampers not only experimental reproducibility but also large-scale applications and personalized cell-based therapy. This variability could result from epigenetic and genetic factors that influence stem cell behavior. Naive culture conditions minimize epigenetic fluctuation, potentially overcoming differences in PSC line differentiation potential. Here we derived PSCs from distinct mouse strains under naive conditions and show that lines from distinct genetic backgrounds have divergent differentiation capacity, confirming a major role for genetics in PSC phenotypic variability. This is explained in part through inconsistent activity of extra-cellular signaling, including the Wnt pathway, which is modulated by specific genetic variants. Overall, this study shows that genetic background plays a dominant role in driving phenotypic variability of PSCs.

+ View Abstract

Cell stem cell , 1 , 1 ,

PMID: 32795399

Open Access