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Publications in Genetics & Heredity by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

November 6, 2023

Chromatin conformation reorganization is emerging as an important layer of regulation for gene expression and lineage specification. Yet, how lineage-specific transcription factors contribute to the establishment of cell type-specific 3D chromatin architecture in the immune cells remains unclear, especially for the late stages of T cell subset differentiation and maturation. Regulatory T cells (Treg) are mainly generated in the thymus as a subpopulation of T cells specializing in suppressing excessive immune responses. Here, by comprehensively mapping 3D chromatin organization during Treg cell differentiation, we show that Treg-specific chromatin structures were progressively established during its lineage specification, and highly associated with Treg signature gene expression. Additionally, the binding sites of Foxp3, a Treg lineage specifying transcription factor, were highly enriched at Treg-specific chromatin loop anchors. Further comparison of the chromatin interactions between wide-type Tregs versus Treg cells from Foxp3 knock-in/knockout or newly-generated Foxp3 domain-swap mutant mouse revealed that Foxp3 was essential for the establishment of Treg-specific 3D chromatin architecture, although it was not dependent on the formation of the Foxp3 domain-swapped dimer. These results highlighted an underappreciated role of Foxp3 in modulating Treg-specific 3D chromatin structure formation.

Research field(s)
Genetics & Heredity, Immunology, Oncology & Carcinogenesis

NOMIS Researcher(s)

September 1, 2019

The fatal neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by a profound loss of motor neurons (MNs). Until now only riluzole minimally extends life expectancy in ALS, presumably by inhibiting glutamatergic neurotransmission and calcium overload of MNs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the glutamate receptor properties and key aspects of intracellular calcium dynamics in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived MNs from ALS patients with C9orf72 (n = 4 cell lines), fused in sarcoma (FUS) (n = 9), superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) (n = 3) or transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43) (n = 3) mutations as well as healthy (n = 7 cell lines) and isogenic controls (n = 3). Using calcium imaging, we most frequently observed spontaneous transients in mutant C9orf72 MNs. Basal intracellular calcium levels and α-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)-induced signal amplitudes were elevated in mutant TDP43 MNs. Besides, a majority of mutant TDP43 MNs responded to 3.5-dihydroxyphenylglycine as metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist. Quantitative real-Time PCR demonstrated significantly increased expression levels of AMPA and kainate receptors in mutant FUS cells compared to healthy and isogenic controls. Furthermore, the expression of kainate receptors and voltage gated calcium channels in mutant C9orf72 MNs as well as metabotropic glutamate receptors in mutant SOD1 cells was markedly elevated compared to controls. Our data of iPSC-derived MNs from familial ALS patients revealed several mutation-specific alterations in glutamate receptor properties and calcium dynamics that could play a role in ALS pathogenesis and may lead to future translational strategies with individual stratification of neuroprotective ALS treatments.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Biomedical Research, Genetics & Heredity

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

March 1, 2018

High-throughput sequencing (HTS) has revolutionized genetics by enabling the detection of sequence variants at hitherto unprecedented large scale. Despite these advances, however, there are still remaining challenges in the complete coverage of targeted regions (genes, exome or genome) as well as in HTS data analysis and interpretation. Moreover, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the plethora of available methods and tools for HTS. Here, we review the step-by-step process from the generation of sequence data to molecular diagnosis of Mendelian diseases. Highlighting advantages and limitations, this review addresses the current state of (1) HTS technologies, considering targeted, whole-exome, and whole-genome sequencing on short- and long-read platforms; (2) read alignment, variant calling and interpretation; as well as (3) regulatory issues related to genetic counseling, reimbursement, and data storage.

Research field(s)
Health Sciences, Biomedical Research, Genetics & Heredity