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Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity

Cannon, D; Corrigan, AM; Miermont, A; McDonel, P; Chubb, JR; (2015) Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity. Development , 142 (16) pp. 2840-2849. 10.1242/dev.120741. Green open access

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Abstract

Much of development and disease concerns the generation of gene expression differences between related cells sharing similar niches. However, most analyses of gene expression only assess population and time-averaged levels of steady-state transcription. The mechanisms driving differentiation are buried within snapshots of the average cell, lacking dynamic information and the diverse regulatory history experienced by individual cells. Here, we use a quantitative imaging platform with large time series data sets to determine the regulation of developmental gene expression by cell cycle, lineage, motility and environment. We apply this technology to the regulation of the pluripotency gene Nanog in mouse embryonic stem cells. Our data reveal the diversity of cell and population-level interactions with Nanog dynamics and heterogeneity, and how this regulation responds to triggers of pluripotency. Cell cycles are highly heterogeneous and cycle time increases with Nanog reporter expression, with longer, more variable cycle times as cells approach ground-state pluripotency. Nanog reporter expression is highly stable over multiple cell generations, with fluctuations within cycles confined by an attractor state. Modelling reveals an environmental component to expression stability, in addition to any cell-autonomous behaviour, and we identify interactions of cell density with both cycle behaviour and Nanog. Rex1 expression dynamics showed shared and distinct regulatory effects. Overall, our observations of multiple partially overlapping dynamic heterogeneities imply complex cell and environmental regulation of pluripotent cell behaviour, and suggest simple deterministic views of stem cell states are inappropriate.

Type: Article
Title: Multiple cell and population-level interactions with mouse embryonic stem cell heterogeneity
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1242/dev.120741
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.120741
Language: English
Keywords: Heterogeneity, High-content imaging, Nanog, Rex1, Stem cell, Stochastic gene expression, Zfp42
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470164
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