Featured Publications

Xist exerts gene-specific silencing during XCI maintenance and impacts lineage-specific cell differentiation and proliferation during hematopoiesis

Eda Yilidrim and team investigated the functional and mechanistic roles of Xist in hematopoietic stem cell and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and the role of Xist in regulating X-linked gene expression during X chromosome inactivation (XCI) maintenance. Their findings on the role of Xist in regulation of expression of XCI escape and subjective genes will provide insights for treatment strategies of X-linked diseases.

READ FULL TEXT IN NATURE COMMUNICATIONS


Enhancer selection dictates gene expression responses in remote organs during tissue regeneration

Ken Poss, Greg Crawford and colleagues explored long-range tissue interactions during regeneration by assessing the brain transcriptomes of zebrafish subjected to severe cardiac injury. Their findings suggest a concept in whole-animal management of tissue regeneration in which injury-responsive enhancer elements expand the range and functions of key regulatory genes.

READ FULL TEXT IN NATURE CELL BIOLOGY


Human distal lung maps and lineage hierarchies reveal a bipotent progenitor

Purushothama Rao Tata, along with Simon Gregory and team, identified molecularly distinct terminal and respiratory bronchioles (TRBs) cell types that have not been previously characterized. Their findings revise human lung cell maps and lineage trajectories and implicate an epithelial transitional state in primate lung regeneration and disease.

READ FULL TEXT IN NATURE


Epigenetic basis of oncogenic-Kras-mediated epithelial-cellular proliferation and plasticity

Greg Crawford, Purushothama Rao Tata, and Tim Reddy were part of a team that identified two orthogonal processes in Kras-mutant distal airway club cells. Mutant KRAS is one of the most frequent drivers of epithelial cancers, and they found that oncogenic Kras activity in epithelia of several organs, including lung, skin, and intestine all follow a similar trajectory. Their study implicates a conserved pathway to target Kras-driven tumors.

READ FULL TEXT IN DEVELOPMENTAL CELL


Engineered bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel platform for cardiac gene therapy

Nenad Bursac and colleagues have demonstrated a gene therapy that helps heart muscle cells electrically activate in live mice. The first demonstration of its kind, the approach features engineered bacterial genes that code for sodium ion channels and could lead to therapies to treat a wide variety of electrical heart diseases and disorders.

READ FULL TEXT IN NATURE COMMUNICATIONS


Focused goodness of fit tests for gene set analyses

Andrew Allen and team developed a flexible gene set-based signal detection framwork based on tail-focused goodness of fit statistics. The team provides guidance on statistics to choose , and they apply these methods to a whole exome sequencing of amyotrophic sclerosis.

READ FULL TEXT BRIEFINGS IN BIOINFORMATICS


Hif-1a suppresses ROS-induced proliferation of cardiac fibroblasts following myocardial infarction

Nenad Bursac and colleagues report that a progenitor-like subpopulation of cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) resides in a hypoxic niche, expresses Hif-1a, and exhibits a distinct metabolic profile. They investigated the function of HIF-1α in CFs in homeostasis and after myocardial infarction using conditional gene targeting and single-cell genomics. 

READ FULL TEXT IN CELL STEM CELL


The membrane associated accessory protein is an adeno-associated viral egress factor

Aravind Asokan and team provide structural and functional insights into the recently identified membrane-associated accessory protein (MAAP), which is encoded from a different, alternative open reading frames (ORF) within the adeno-associated virus (AAV) cap gene.

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Cnksr2 loss in mice leads to increased neural activity and behavioral phenotypes of Epilepsy-Aphasia Syndrome

Scott Soderling and team developed a genetic mouse model for epilepsy-aphasia syndromes (EAS) - a spectrum of childhood epileptic, cognitive and language disorders - and show how these mice exhibit electrophysiological and behavioral phenotypes similar to those of patients, providing an important new model for future studies of EAS.

READ FULL TEXT IN THE JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE


DMD gene editing restores full-length dystrophin

Charlie Gersbach, Aravind Asokan, Bill Majoros and team used an AAV-based homology-independent targeted integration (HITI) approach to correct full-length dystrophin expression in a humanized mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

READ FULL TEXT IN CELL


Chromatin Remodeling of Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastasis is Mediated by an HGF-PU.1-DPP4 Axis

Xiling Shen, David Hsu, Greg Crawford, Charlie Gersbach, Perushothama Rao Tata and team investigate chromatin remodeling in metastatic cells in the liver and present a potential strategy to target that chromatic remodeling in metastatic cancer and the promise of repurposing drugs to treat metastasis.

READ FULL TEXT IN ADVANCED SCIENCE


Transgenic mice for in vivo epigenome editing with CRISPR-based systems

Aravind Asokan, Maria Ciofani, Ken Poss, Tim Reddy, Anne West and Charlie Gersbach collaborated to develop two conditional transgenic mouse lines for epigenome editing. They demonstrated the flexibility, versatility and robustness of these mouse lines through a variety of experiments. The mice are publicly available through The Jackson Laboratory.

READ FULL TEXT IN NATURE


Action potential-coupled Rho GTPase signaling drives presynaptic plasticity

Scott Soderling and team applied BioID to presynaptic terminals in vivo to discover a new mechanism of presynaptic plasticity. Their results provide a new proteomic framework from which to view the cellular biology of presynaptic physiology. 

READ FULL TEXT IN ELIFE


Receptor switching in newly evolved adeno-associated viruses

Aravind Asokan and team demonstrate that distinct epitopes on the surface of adeno-associated viruses can be evolved by infectious cycling to recognize different cell surface carbohydrates and glycoprotein receptors and solve the 3D structure of one such newly evolved AAV capsid, which provides a roadmap for designing viruses with improved attributes for gene therapy applications.

READ FULL TEXT IN THE JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY 


Living fabrication of functional semi-interpenetrating polymeric materials

Xiling Shen was part of a team that created a new approach to fabricate semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (IPN) that is living, functional and biocompatible. This is the first time bacterially-fabricated living materials have been used in a setting with direct clinical relelvance: to protect the gut microbiota against unintended perturbations by antibiotics. 

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Characterization of liver GSD IX γ2 pathophysiology in a novel Phkg2/ mouse model

Aravind Asokan was part of a team that made the first mouse model that can recapitulate the liver-specific pathology of patients with Liver Glycogen Storage Disease IX.

READ FULL TEXT IN MOLECULAR GENETICS AND METABOLISM »


Three-dimensional tissue-engineered human skeletal muscle model of Pompe disease

Nenad Bursac and team developed a 3-D model of infantile-onset Pompe disease that demonstrates the signature pathological features of the disease.

READ THE FULL TEXT IN NATURE »


The NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing program

Charlie Gersbach, Nenad Bursac and Aravind Asokan are part of the NIH Somatic Cell Gene Editing Consortium. In this publication, the team lays our their plans to develop and benchmark approaches to induce and measure genome modifications, and define downstream functional consequences of genome editing within human cells.

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In vivo proximity labeling identifies cardiomyocyte protein networks during zebrafish heart regeneration

Ken Poss and team used a transgenic BioID2 strategy to capture cell-specific proteome changes in cardiomyocytes during heart regeneration in adult zebrafish.

Read full text in eLife »


Correcting signal biases and detecting regulatory elements in STARR-seq data

Bill Majoros, Andrew Allen, Tim Reddy and team developed a statistical model that corrects technical biases in STARR-seq data and improves detection of regulatory elements. 

READ FULL TEXT IN GENOME RESEARCH »


AP-1 subunits converge promiscuously at enhancers to potentiate transcription

Charlie Gersbach, Tim Reddy and team definitively established the genome-wide binding patterns of five AP-1 subunits using CRISPR to introduce a common antibody tag on each subunit.

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Mutational processes in cancer preferentially affect binding of particular transcription factors

Raluca Gordan collaborated with Duke-NUS to develop the "Signature-QBiC" model that integrates signature profiles of mutational processes with the QBiC estimates of changes in binding affinity to investigate the effect of mutational signatures on the binding of 582 human transcription factors.

Read full text in PMC »


Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated Gene Therapy in the Mashlool, Atp1a3 Mashl/+, Mouse Model of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood

Boris Kantor and Aravid Asokan were part of a team that investigated the effects of delivering an extra copy of the normal gene in a mouse model carrying the most common mutation that causes Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) in humans. AHC is a devastating autosomal dominant that can cause evere hemiplegia and dystonia spells, ataxia, debilitating disabilities, and premature death.

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Exercise mimetics and JAK inhibition attenuate IFN-γ–induced wasting in engineered human skeletal muscle

Nenad Bursac and team demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off the damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised. The discovery was made possible through the use of lab-grown, engineered human muscle.

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Causal network inference from gene transcriptional time-series response to glucocorticoids

Tim Reddy and team developed a new method, BETS, that infers causal gene networks from gene expression time series. BETS runs quickly because it is parallelized, allowing even data sets with thousands of genes to be analyzed. 

READ FULL TEXT IN PLOS COMPUTATIONAL BIOLOGY »


Induced organoids derived from patients with ulcerative colitis recapitulate colitic reactivity

Xiling Shen was part of a team that provided evidence linking recent advances in stem cell biology with intestinal development to reprogram colonic fibroblasts isolated from ulcerative colitis patients to induced pluripotent stem cells, followed by directed differentiation to induced human ulcerative colitis organoids. This patient-derived organoid model will generate new insights into the underlying pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis while offering opportunities to tailor interventions to the individual patient.

Read the full text in Nature »


Control of osteoblast regeneration by a train of Erk activity waves

Ken Poss and team applied transgenic tools, live imaging, quantitative analysis and mathematical modelling to investigate how signalling dynamics regulate bone regeneration in adult zebrafish. They discovered a signaling protein molecules called Erks that cause cells to divide also tell them when to stop dividing. This discovery could have future implications for regenerative therapy in humans.

READ THE FULL TEXT IN NATURE »