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Nature Methods

Ayelet Alpert, Lindsay S Moore, Tania Dubovik, Shai S Shen-Orr
Single-cell RNA sequencing and high-dimensional cytometry can be used to generate detailed trajectories of dynamic biological processes such as differentiation or development. Here we present cellAlign, a quantitative framework for comparing expression dynamics within and between single-cell trajectories. By applying cellAlign to mouse and human embryonic developmental trajectories, we systematically delineate differences in the temporal regulation of gene expression programs that would otherwise be masked.
March 12, 2018: Nature Methods
Florian Erhard, Anne Halenius, Cosima Zimmermann, Anne L'Hernault, Daniel J Kowalewski, Michael P Weekes, Stefan Stevanovic, Ralf Zimmer, Lars Dölken
Ribosome profiling has been used to predict thousands of short open reading frames (sORFs) in eukaryotic cells, but it suffers from substantial levels of noise. PRICE ( is a computational method that models experimental noise to enable researchers to accurately resolve overlapping sORFs and noncanonical translation initiation. We experimentally validated translation using major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) peptidomics and observed that sORF-derived peptides efficiently enter the MHC I presentation pathway and thus constitute a substantial fraction of the antigen repertoire...
March 12, 2018: Nature Methods
Jianzhu Ma, Michael Ku Yu, Samson Fong, Keiichiro Ono, Eric Sage, Barry Demchak, Roded Sharan, Trey Ideker
Although artificial neural networks are powerful classifiers, their internal structures are hard to interpret. In the life sciences, extensive knowledge of cell biology provides an opportunity to design visible neural networks (VNNs) that couple the model's inner workings to those of real systems. Here we develop DCell, a VNN embedded in the hierarchical structure of 2,526 subsystems comprising a eukaryotic cell ( Trained on several million genotypes, DCell simulates cellular growth nearly as accurately as laboratory observations...
March 5, 2018: Nature Methods
Rui Lin, Qiru Feng, Peng Li, Ping Zhou, Ruiyu Wang, Zhe Liu, Zhiqiang Wang, Xiangbing Qi, Nan Tang, Feng Shao, Minmin Luo
Immunosignal hybridization chain reaction (isHCR) combines antibody-antigen interactions with hybridization chain reaction (HCR) technology, which results in amplification of immunofluorescence signals by up to two to three orders of magnitude with low background. isHCR's highly modular and easily adaptable design enables the technique to be applied broadly, and we further optimized its use in multiplexed imaging and in state-of-the-art tissue expansion and clearing techniques.
February 26, 2018: Nature Methods
Chiara Alberti, Raphael A Manzenreither, Ivica Sowemimo, Thomas R Burkard, Jingkui Wang, Katharina Mahofsky, Stefan L Ameres, Luisa Cochella
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in the post-transcriptional regulation of animal development and physiology. However, in vivo studies aimed at linking miRNA function to the biology of distinct cell types within complex tissues remain challenging, partly because in vivo miRNA-profiling methods lack cellular resolution. We report microRNome by methylation-dependent sequencing (mime-seq), an in vivo enzymatic small-RNA-tagging approach that enables high-throughput sequencing of tissue- and cell-type-specific miRNAs in animals...
February 26, 2018: Nature Methods
Charlotte Soneson, Mark D Robinson
Many methods have been used to determine differential gene expression from single-cell RNA (scRNA)-seq data. We evaluated 36 approaches using experimental and synthetic data and found considerable differences in the number and characteristics of the genes that are called differentially expressed. Prefiltering of lowly expressed genes has important effects, particularly for some of the methods developed for bulk RNA-seq data analysis. However, we found that bulk RNA-seq analysis methods do not generally perform worse than those developed specifically for scRNA-seq...
February 26, 2018: Nature Methods
Ali Akbari, Joseph J Vitti, Arya Iranmehr, Mehrdad Bakhtiari, Pardis C Sabeti, Siavash Mirarab, Vineet Bafna
Most approaches that capture signatures of selective sweeps in population genomics data do not identify the specific mutation favored by selection. We present iSAFE (for "integrated selection of allele favored by evolution"), a method that enables researchers to accurately pinpoint the favored mutation in a large region (∼5 Mbp) by using a statistic derived solely from population genetics signals. iSAFE does not require knowledge of demography, the phenotype under selection, or functional annotations of mutations...
February 19, 2018: Nature Methods
Andrew J Hill, José L McFaline-Figueroa, Lea M Starita, Molly J Gasperini, Kenneth A Matreyek, Jonathan Packer, Dana Jackson, Jay Shendure, Cole Trapnell
Several groups recently coupled CRISPR perturbations and single-cell RNA-seq for pooled genetic screens. We demonstrate that vector designs of these studies are susceptible to ∼50% swapping of guide RNA-barcode associations because of lentiviral template switching. We optimized a published alternative, CROP-seq, in which the guide RNA also serves as the barcode, and here confirm that this strategy performs robustly and doubled the rate at which guides are assigned to cells to 94%.
February 19, 2018: Nature Methods
Siân Culley, David Albrecht, Caron Jacobs, Pedro Matos Pereira, Christophe Leterrier, Jason Mercer, Ricardo Henriques
Super-resolution microscopy depends on steps that can contribute to the formation of image artifacts, leading to misinterpretation of biological information. We present NanoJ-SQUIRREL, an ImageJ-based analytical approach that provides quantitative assessment of super-resolution image quality. By comparing diffraction-limited images and super-resolution equivalents of the same acquisition volume, this approach generates a quantitative map of super-resolution defects and can guide researchers in optimizing imaging parameters...
February 19, 2018: Nature Methods
Xichen Bao, Xiangpeng Guo, Menghui Yin, Muqddas Tariq, Yiwei Lai, Shahzina Kanwal, Jiajian Zhou, Na Li, Yuan Lv, Carlos Pulido-Quetglas, Xiwei Wang, Lu Ji, Muhammad J Khan, Xihua Zhu, Zhiwei Luo, Changwei Shao, Do-Hwan Lim, Xiao Liu, Nan Li, Wei Wang, Minghui He, Yu-Lin Liu, Carl Ward, Tong Wang, Gong Zhang, Dongye Wang, Jianhua Yang, Yiwen Chen, Chaolin Zhang, Ralf Jauch, Yun-Gui Yang, Yangming Wang, Baoming Qin, Minna-Liisa Anko, Andrew P Hutchins, Hao Sun, Huating Wang, Xiang-Dong Fu, Biliang Zhang, Miguel A Esteban
We combine the labeling of newly transcribed RNAs with 5-ethynyluridine with the characterization of bound proteins. This approach, named capture of the newly transcribed RNA interactome using click chemistry (RICK), systematically captures proteins bound to a wide range of RNAs, including nascent RNAs and traditionally neglected nonpolyadenylated RNAs. RICK has identified mitotic regulators amongst other novel RNA-binding proteins with preferential affinity for nonpolyadenylated RNAs, revealed a link between metabolic enzymes/factors and nascent RNAs, and expanded the known RNA-bound proteome of mouse embryonic stem cells...
February 12, 2018: Nature Methods
Muthukumar Ramanathan, Karim Majzoub, Deepti S Rao, Poornima H Neela, Brian J Zarnegar, Smarajit Mondal, Julien G Roth, Hui Gai, Joanna R Kovalski, Zurab Siprashvili, Theo D Palmer, Jan E Carette, Paul A Khavari
RNA-protein interactions play numerous roles in cellular function and disease. Here we describe RNA-protein interaction detection (RaPID), which uses proximity-dependent protein labeling, based on the BirA* biotin ligase, to rapidly identify the proteins that bind RNA sequences of interest in living cells. RaPID displays utility in multiple applications, including in evaluating protein binding to mutant RNA motifs in human genetic disorders, in uncovering potential post-transcriptional networks in breast cancer, and in discovering essential host proteins that interact with Zika virus RNA...
February 5, 2018: Nature Methods
Giuseppe Vicidomini, Paolo Bianchini, Alberto Diaspro
Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy provides subdiffraction resolution while preserving useful aspects of fluorescence microscopy, such as optical sectioning, and molecular specificity and sensitivity. However, sophisticated microscopy architectures and high illumination intensities have limited STED microscopy's widespread use in the past. Here we summarize the progress that is mitigating these problems and giving substantial momentum to STED microscopy applications. We discuss the future of this method in regard to spatiotemporal limits, live-cell imaging and combination with spectroscopy...
January 29, 2018: Nature Methods
Thomas D Grant
Using a novel iterative structure factor retrieval algorithm, here I show that electron density can be directly calculated from solution scattering data without modeling. The algorithm was validated with experimental data from 12 different biological macromolecules. This approach avoids many of the assumptions limiting the resolution and accuracy of modeling algorithms by explicitly calculating electron density. This algorithm can be applied to a wide variety of molecular systems.
January 29, 2018: Nature Methods
Clement M Potel, Miao-Hsia Lin, Albert J R Heck, Simone Lemeer
For decades, major difficulties in analyzing histidine phosphorylation have limited the study of phosphohistidine signaling. Here we report a method revealing widespread and abundant protein histidine phosphorylation in Escherichia coli. We generated an extensive E. coli phosphoproteome data set, in which a remarkably high percentage (∼10%) of phosphorylation sites are phosphohistidine sites. This resource should help enable a better understanding of the biological function of histidine phosphorylation.
January 29, 2018: Nature Methods
Mario Leonardo Squadrito, Chiara Cianciaruso, Sarah K Hansen, Michele De Palma
We describe a lentivirus-encoded chimeric receptor, termed extracellular vesicle (EV)-internalizing receptor (EVIR), which enables the selective uptake of cancer-cell-derived EVs by dendritic cells (DCs). The EVIR enhances DC presentation of EV-associated tumor antigens to CD8+ T cells primarily through MHCI recycling and cross-dressing. EVIRs should facilitate exploring the mechanisms and implications of horizontal transfer of tumor antigens to antigen-presenting cells.
January 22, 2018: Nature Methods
Jeremy A Schofield, Erin E Duffy, Lea Kiefer, Meaghan C Sullivan, Matthew D Simon
RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) offers a snapshot of cellular RNA populations, but not temporal information about the sequenced RNA. Here we report TimeLapse-seq, which uses oxidative-nucleophilic-aromatic substitution to convert 4-thiouridine into cytidine analogs, yielding apparent U-to-C mutations that mark new transcripts upon sequencing. TimeLapse-seq is a single-molecule approach that is adaptable to many applications and reveals RNA dynamics and induced differential expression concealed in traditional RNA-seq...
January 22, 2018: Nature Methods
Daniel R Garalde, Elizabeth A Snell, Daniel Jachimowicz, Botond Sipos, Joseph H Lloyd, Mark Bruce, Nadia Pantic, Tigist Admassu, Phillip James, Anthony Warland, Michael Jordan, Jonah Ciccone, Sabrina Serra, Jemma Keenan, Samuel Martin, Luke McNeill, E Jayne Wallace, Lakmal Jayasinghe, Chris Wright, Javier Blasco, Stephen Young, Denise Brocklebank, Sissel Juul, James Clarke, Andrew J Heron, Daniel J Turner
Sequencing the RNA in a biological sample can unlock a wealth of information, including the identity of bacteria and viruses, the nuances of alternative splicing or the transcriptional state of organisms. However, current methods have limitations due to short read lengths and reverse transcription or amplification biases. Here we demonstrate nanopore direct RNA-seq, a highly parallel, real-time, single-molecule method that circumvents reverse transcription or amplification steps. This method yields full-length, strand-specific RNA sequences and enables the direct detection of nucleotide analogs in RNA...
January 15, 2018: Nature Methods
Fanghao Hu, Chen Zeng, Rong Long, Yupeng Miao, Lu Wei, Qizhi Xu, Wei Min
Optical multiplexing has a large impact in photonics, the life sciences and biomedicine. However, current technology is limited by a 'multiplexing ceiling' from existing optical materials. Here we engineered a class of polyyne-based materials for optical supermultiplexing. We achieved 20 distinct Raman frequencies, as 'Carbon rainbow', through rational engineering of conjugation length, bond-selective isotope doping and end-capping substitution of polyynes. With further probe functionalization, we demonstrated ten-color organelle imaging in individual living cells with high specificity, sensitivity and photostability...
January 15, 2018: Nature Methods
Heidi K Norton, Daniel J Emerson, Harvey Huang, Jesi Kim, Katelyn R Titus, Shi Gu, Danielle S Bassett, Jennifer E Phillips-Cremins
Mammalian genomes are folded in a hierarchy of compartments, topologically associating domains (TADs), subTADs and looping interactions. Here, we describe 3DNetMod, a graph theory-based method for sensitive and accurate detection of chromatin domains across length scales in Hi-C data. We identify nested, partially overlapping TADs and subTADs genome wide by optimizing network modularity and varying a single resolution parameter. 3DNetMod can be applied broadly to understand genome reconfiguration in development and disease...
January 15, 2018: Nature Methods
Ryan M Layer, Brent S Pedersen, Tonya DiSera, Gabor T Marth, Jason Gertz, Aaron R Quinlan
GIGGLE is a genomics search engine that identifies and ranks the significance of genomic loci shared between query features and thousands of genome interval files. GIGGLE ( scales to billions of intervals and is over three orders of magnitude faster than existing methods. Its speed extends the accessibility and utility of resources such as ENCODE, Roadmap Epigenomics, and GTEx by facilitating data integration and hypothesis generation.
January 8, 2018: Nature Methods
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