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Stochasticity of cellular differentiation

Vera Schützhold, Jens Hahn, Katja Tummler, Edda Klipp
Lipid metabolism is essential for all major cell functions and has recently gained increasing attention in research and health studies. However, mathematical modeling by means of classical approaches such as stoichiometric networks and ordinary differential equation systems has not yet provided satisfactory insights, due to the complexity of lipid metabolism characterized by many different species with only slight differences and by promiscuous multifunctional enzymes. Here, we present an object-oriented stochastic model approach as a way to cope with the complex lipid metabolic network...
2016: Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Matthew Z Anderson, Allison M Porman, Na Wang, Eugenio Mancera, Denis Huang, Christina A Cuomo, Richard J Bennett
Heritable epigenetic changes underlie the ability of cells to differentiate into distinct cell types. Here, we demonstrate that the fungal pathogen Candida tropicalis exhibits multipotency, undergoing stochastic and reversible switching between three cellular states. The three cell states exhibit unique cellular morphologies, growth rates, and global gene expression profiles. Genetic analysis identified six transcription factors that play key roles in regulating cell differentiation. In particular, we show that forced expression of Wor1 or Efg1 transcription factors can be used to manipulate transitions between all three cell states...
October 2016: PLoS Genetics
Manuel Gunkel, Holger Erfle, Vytaute Starkuviene
The Golgi complex plays a central role in a number of diverse cellular processes, and numerous regulators that control these functions and/or morphology of the Golgi complex are known by now. Many of them were identified by large-scale experiments, such as RNAi-based screening. However, high-throughput experiments frequently provide only initial information that a particular protein might play a role in regulating structure and function of the Golgi complex. Multiple follow-up experiments are necessary to functionally characterize the selected hits...
2016: Methods in Molecular Biology
Sayuri K Hahl, Andreas Kremling
In the mathematical modeling of biochemical reactions, a convenient standard approach is to use ordinary differential equations (ODEs) that follow the law of mass action. However, this deterministic ansatz is based on simplifications; in particular, it neglects noise, which is inherent to biological processes. In contrast, the stochasticity of reactions is captured in detail by the discrete chemical master equation (CME). Therefore, the CME is frequently applied to mesoscopic systems, where copy numbers of involved components are small and random fluctuations are thus significant...
2016: Frontiers in Genetics
Shawal Spencer, Agustina Gugliotta, Natascha Gödecke, Hansjörg Hauser, Dagmar Wirth
Tumor cells display phenotypic plasticity and heterogeneity due to genetic and epigenetic variations which limit the predictability of therapeutic interventions. Chromatin modifications can arise stochastically but can also be a consequence of environmental influences such as the microenvironment of cancer cells. A better understanding of the impact and dynamics of epigenetic modulation at defined chromosomal sites is required to get access to the underlying mechanisms. We investigated the epigenetic modulations leading to cell-to-cell heterogeneity in a tumor cell line model...
August 20, 2016: Journal of Genetics and Genomics, Yi Chuan Xue Bao
Arne Bittig, Adelinde Uhrmacher
Spatio-temporal dynamics of cellular processes can be simulated at different levels of detail, from (deterministic) partial differential equations via the spatial Stochastic Simulation algorithm to tracking Brownian trajectories of individual particles. We present a spatial simulation approach for multi-level rule-based models, which includes dynamically hierarchically nested cellular compartments and entities. Our approach ML-Space combines discrete compartmental dynamics, stochastic spatial approaches in discrete space, and particles moving in continuous space...
August 3, 2016: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Steffen Rulands, Benjamin D Simons
The coordination of cell proliferation and differentiation is central to the development and maintenance of tissues, while its dysregulation underlies the transition to diseased states. By combining lineage tracing with transcriptional profiling and marker-based assays, statistical methods are delivering insights into the dynamics of stem cells and their developmental precursors. These studies have provided evidence for molecular heterogeneity and fate priming, and have revealed a role for stochasticity in stem cell fate, refocusing the search for regulatory mechanisms...
July 27, 2016: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Zheng Sun, Maksim V Plikus, Natalia L Komarova
Homeostatic maintenance of tissues is orchestrated by well tuned networks of cellular signaling. Such networks regulate, in a stochastic manner, fates of all cells within the respective lineages. Processes such as symmetric and asymmetric divisions, differentiation, de-differentiation, and death have to be controlled in a dynamic fashion, such that the cell population is maintained at a stable equilibrium, has a sufficiently low level of stochastic variation, and is capable of responding efficiently to external damage...
July 2016: PLoS Computational Biology
Miguel Fdo Salazar, Paola Andrea Escalante Abril, María Verónica Velasco Vales, Celene Martínez Ruiz, Erick Gómez Apo, Laura G Chávez Macías
Haemangioblastomas are neoplasms of uncertain histogenesis with cellular and reticular variants advocated in current lore. Herein we describe an intriguing cerebellar specimen with unusual traits including spindle cell morphology and CD34 positivity. A thirty-nine-year old man had an infratentorial tumour discovered incidentally and resected three times. In all the instances, histopathological diagnosis was haemangioblastoma; nonetheless, he had neither physical stigmata nor family history of von Hippel-Lindau disease...
2016: Case Reports in Pathology
Hirotaka Matsumoto, Hisanori Kiryu
BACKGROUND: Single-cell technologies make it possible to quantify the comprehensive states of individual cells, and have the power to shed light on cellular differentiation in particular. Although several methods have been developed to fully analyze the single-cell expression data, there is still room for improvement in the analysis of differentiation. RESULTS: In this paper, we propose a novel method SCOUP to elucidate differentiation process. Unlike previous dimension reduction-based approaches, SCOUP describes the dynamics of gene expression throughout differentiation directly, including the degree of differentiation of a cell (in pseudo-time) and cell fate...
2016: BMC Bioinformatics
Nikolay Martyushenko, Sigurd Hagen Johansen, Cheol-Min Ghim, Eivind Almaas
BACKGROUND: Genetic switches are ubiquitous in nature, frequently associated with the control of cellular functions and developmental programs. In the realm of synthetic biology, it is of great interest to engineer genetic circuits that can change their mode of operation from monostable to bistable, or even to multistable, based on the experimental fine-tuning of readily accessible parameters. In order to successfully design robust, bistable synthetic circuits to be used as biomolecular probes, or understand modes of operation of such naturally occurring circuits, we must identify parameters that are key in determining their characteristics...
2016: BMC Systems Biology
Sarah Filippi, Chris P Barnes, Paul D W Kirk, Takamasa Kudo, Katsuyuki Kunida, Siobhan S McMahon, Takaho Tsuchiya, Takumi Wada, Shinya Kuroda, Michael P H Stumpf
Cellular signaling processes can exhibit pronounced cell-to-cell variability in genetically identical cells. This affects how individual cells respond differentially to the same environmental stimulus. However, the origins of cell-to-cell variability in cellular signaling systems remain poorly understood. Here, we measure the dynamics of phosphorylated MEK and ERK across cell populations and quantify the levels of population heterogeneity over time using high-throughput image cytometry. We use a statistical modeling framework to show that extrinsic noise, particularly that from upstream MEK, is the dominant factor causing cell-to-cell variability in ERK phosphorylation, rather than stochasticity in the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of ERK...
June 14, 2016: Cell Reports
François Delavat, Sara Mitri, Serge Pelet, Jan Roelof van der Meer
Horizontal gene transfer is an important evolutionary mechanism for bacterial adaptation. However, given the typical low transfer frequencies in a bacterial population, little is known about the fate and interplay of donor cells and the mobilized DNA during transfer. Here we study transfer of an integrative and conjugative element (ICE) among individual live bacterial cells. ICEs are widely distributed mobile DNA elements that are different than plasmids because they reside silent in the host chromosome and are maintained through vertical descent...
June 14, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Yuncheng Du, Hector M Budman, Thomas A Duever
Accurate automated quantitative analysis of living cells based on fluorescence microscopy images can be very useful for fast evaluation of experimental outcomes and cell culture protocols. In this work, an algorithm is developed for fast differentiation of normal and apoptotic viable Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. For effective segmentation of cell images, a stochastic segmentation algorithm is developed by combining a generalized polynomial chaos expansion with a level set function-based segmentation algorithm...
June 2016: Microscopy and Microanalysis
Annapurna Vemu, Joseph Atherton, Jeffrey O Spector, Agnieszka Szyk, Carolyn A Moores, Antonina Roll-Mecak
Microtubules are polymers that cycle stochastically between polymerization and depolymerization, i.e. they exhibit "dynamic instability." This behavior is crucial for cell division, motility, and differentiation. Although studies in the last decade have made fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of how cellular effectors modulate microtubule dynamics, analysis of the relationship between tubulin sequence, structure, and dynamics has been held back by a lack of dynamics measurements with and structural characterization of homogeneous isotypically pure engineered tubulin...
June 17, 2016: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Daniel L Smith, Crystal H Maharrey, Christopher R Carey, Richard A White, John L Hartman
PURPOSE: Research into the genetic mechanisms of aging has expanded rapidly over the past two decades. This has in part been the result of the use of model organisms (particularly yeast, worms and flies) and high-throughput technologies, combined with a growing interest in aging research. Despite this progress, widespread consensus regarding the pathways that are fundamental to the modulation of cellular aging and lifespan for all organisms has been limited due to discrepancies between different studies...
April 25, 2016: Experimental Gerontology
Neus Cantariño, M Teresa Fernández-Figueras, Vanesa Valero, Eva Musulén, Roberto Malinverni, Isabel Granada, Stephen J Goldie, Juan Martín-Caballero, Julien Douet, Sonia-Vanina Forcales, Marcus Buschbeck
Squamous cell carcinomas have a range of histopathological manifestations. The parameters that determine this clinically observed heterogeneity are not fully understood. Here, we report the generation of a cell culture model that reflects part of this heterogeneity. We have used the catalytic subunit of human telomerase hTERT and large T to immortalize primary UV-unexposed keratinocytes. Then, mutant HRAS G12V has been introduced to transform these immortal keratinocytes. When injected into immunosuppressed mice, transformed cells grew as xenografts with distinct histopathological characteristics...
September 1, 2016: International Journal of Cancer. Journal International du Cancer
Narayan Ganesan, Jie Li, Vishakha Sharma, Hanyu Jiang, Adriana Compagnoni
Biological systems encompass complexity that far surpasses many artificial systems. Modeling and simulation of large and complex biochemical pathways is a computationally intensive challenge. Traditional tools, such as ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, stochastic master equations, and Gillespie type methods, are all limited either by their modeling fidelity or computational efficiency or both. In this work, we present a scalable computational framework based on modeling biochemical reactions in explicit 3D space, that is suitable for studying the behavior of large and complex biological pathways...
March 2016: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Györgyi Műzes, Ferenc Sipos
Stem cells possess the extraordinary capacity of self-renewal and differentiation to various cell types, thus to form original tissues and organs. Stem cell heterogeneity including genetic and nongenetic mechanisms refers to biological differences amongst normal and stem cells originated within the same tissue. Cell differentiation hierarchy and stochasticity in gene expression and signaling pathways may result in phenotypic differences of stem cells. The maintenance of stemness and activation of differentiation potential are fundamentally orchestrated by microenvironmental stem cell niche-related cellular and humoral signals...
2016: Methods in Molecular Biology
Gabriela Antunes, Antonio C Roque, Fabio M Simoes de Souza
Frequently, a common chemical entity triggers opposite cellular processes, which implies that the components of signalling networks must detect signals not only through their chemical natures, but also through their dynamic properties. To gain insights on the mechanisms of discrimination of the dynamic properties of cellular signals, we developed a computational stochastic model and investigated how three calcium ion (Ca(2+))-dependent enzymes (adenylyl cyclase (AC), phosphodiesterase 1 (PDE1), and calcineurin (CaN)) differentially detect Ca(2+) transients in a hippocampal dendritic spine...
2016: Scientific Reports
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