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See detailForecasting of a complex microbial community using meta-omics
Delogu, Francesco UL; Kunath, Benoît UL; Queirós, P. M. et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Microbial communities are complex assemblages whose dynamics are shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. A major challenge concerns correctly forecasting the community behaviour in the future. In this ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are complex assemblages whose dynamics are shaped by abiotic and biotic factors. A major challenge concerns correctly forecasting the community behaviour in the future. In this context, communities in biological wastewater treatment plants (BWWTPs) represent excellent model systems, because forecasting them is required to ultimately control and operate the plants in a sustainable manner. Here, we forecast the microbial community from the water-air interface of the anaerobic tank of a BWWTP via longitudinal meta-omics (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics) data covering 14 months at weekly intervals. We extracted all the available time-dependent information, summarised it in 17 temporal signals (explaining 91.1 of the temporal variance) and linked them over time to rebuild the sequence of ecological phenomena behind the community dynamics. We forecasted the signals over the following five years and tested the predictions with 21 extra samples. We were able to correctly forecast five signals accounting for 22.5 of the time-dependent information in the system and generate mechanistic predictions on the ecological events in the community (e.g. a predation cycle involving bacteria, viruses and amoebas). Through the forecasting of the 17 signals and the environmental variables readings we reconstructed the gene abundance and expression for the following 5 years, showing a nearly perfect trend prediction (coefficient of determination >= 0.97) for the first 2 years. The study demonstrates the maturity of microbial ecology to forecast composition and gene expression of open microbial ecosystems using year-spanning interactions between community cycles and environmental parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailAn archaeal compound as a driver of Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis
Trezzi, Jean-Pierre; Aho, Velma UL; Jäger, Christian UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit differences in their gut microbiomes compared to healthy individuals. Although differences have most commonly been described in the abundances of bacterial ... [more ▼]

Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) exhibit differences in their gut microbiomes compared to healthy individuals. Although differences have most commonly been described in the abundances of bacterial taxa, changes to viral and archaeal populations have also been observed. Mechanistic links between gut microbes and PD pathogenesis remain elusive but could involve molecules that promote α-synuclein aggregation. Here, we show that 2-hydroxypyridine (2-HP) represents a key molecule for the pathogenesis of PD. We observe significantly elevated 2-HP levels in faecal samples from patients with PD or its prodrome, idiopathic REM sleep behaviour disorder (iRBD), compared to healthy controls. 2-HP is correlated with the archaeal species Methanobrevibacter smithii and with genes involved in methane metabolism, and it is detectable in isolate cultures of M. smithii. We demonstrate that 2-HP is selectively toxic to transgenic α-synuclein overexpressing yeast and increases α-synuclein aggregation in a yeast model as well as in human induced pluripotent stem cell derived enteric neurons. It also exacerbates PD-related motor symptoms, α-synuclein aggregation, and striatal degeneration when injected intrastriatally in transgenic mice overexpressing human α-synuclein. Our results highlight the effect of an archaeal molecule in relation to the gut-brain axis, which is critical for the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of PD. [less ▲]

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See detailSingle-cell transcriptional profiling and gene regulatory network modeling in Tg2576 mice reveal gender-dependent molecular features preceding Alzheimer-like pathologies
Ali, Muhammad UL; Huarte, Oihane; Heurtaux, Tony UL et al

in Molecular Neurobiology (2022), in press (doi:10.1007/s12035-022-02985-2)(in press),

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) onset and progression is influenced by a complex interplay of several environmental and genetic factors, one of them gender. Pronounced gender differences have been observed both ... [more ▼]

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) onset and progression is influenced by a complex interplay of several environmental and genetic factors, one of them gender. Pronounced gender differences have been observed both in the relative risk of developing AD and in clinical disease manifestations. A molecular level understanding of these gender disparities is still missing, but could provide important clues on cellular mechanisms modulating the disease and reveal new targets for gender-oriented disease-modifying precision therapies. We therefore present here a comprehensive single-cell analysis of disease-associated molecular gender differences in transcriptomics data from the neocortex, one of the brain regions most susceptible to AD, in one of the most widely used AD mouse models, the Tg2576 model. Cortical areas are also most commonly used in studies of post-mortem AD brains. To identify disease-linked molecular processes that occur before the onset of detectable neuropathology, we focused our analyses on an age with no detectable plaques and microgliosis. Cell-type specific alterations were investigated at the level of individual genes, pathways, and gene regulatory networks. The number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was not large enough to build context-specific gene regulatory networks for each individual cell type, and thus, we focused on the study of cell types with dominant changes and included analyses of changes across the combination of cell types. We observed significant disease-associated gender differences in cellular processes related to synapse organization and axonogenesis, and identified a limited set of transcription factors, including Egr1 and Klf6, as key regulators of many of the disease-associated and gender-dependent gene expression changes in the model. Overall, our analyses revealed significant celltype-specific gene expression changes in individual genes, pathways and subnetworks, including gender-specific and gender-dimorphic changes in both upstream transcription factors and their downstream targets, in the Tg2576 AD model before the onset of overt disease. This opens a window into molecular events that could determine gender-susceptibility to AD, and uncovers tractable target candidates for potential gender-specific precision medicine for AD. [less ▲]

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See detailFunctional meta-omics provide critical insights into long- and short-read assemblies
Galata, Valentina UL; Busi, Susheel Bhanu UL; Kunath, Benoît UL et al

in Briefings in Bioinformatics (2021)

Real-world evaluations of metagenomic reconstructions are challenged by distinguishing reconstruction artifacts from genes and proteins present in situ. Here, we evaluate short-read-only, long-read-only ... [more ▼]

Real-world evaluations of metagenomic reconstructions are challenged by distinguishing reconstruction artifacts from genes and proteins present in situ. Here, we evaluate short-read-only, long-read-only and hybrid assembly approaches on four different metagenomic samples of varying complexity. We demonstrate how different assembly approaches affect gene and protein inference, which is particularly relevant for downstream functional analyses. For a human gut microbiome sample, we use complementary metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic data to assess the metagenomic data-based protein predictions. Our findings pave the way for critical assessments of metagenomic reconstructions. We propose a reference-independent solution, which exploits the synergistic effects of multi-omic data integration for the in situ study of microbiomes using long-read sequencing data. [less ▲]

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See detailPersistence of birth mode-dependent effects on gut microbiome composition, immune system stimulation and antimicrobial resistance during the first year of life
Busi, Susheel Bhanu UL; de Nies, Laura UL; Habier, Janine UL et al

in ISME Communications (2021)

Caesarean section delivery (CSD) disrupts mother-to-neonate transmission of specific microbial strains and functional repertoires as well as linked immune system priming. Here we investigate whether ... [more ▼]

Caesarean section delivery (CSD) disrupts mother-to-neonate transmission of specific microbial strains and functional repertoires as well as linked immune system priming. Here we investigate whether differences in microbiome composition and impacts on host physiology persist at 1 year of age. We perform high-resolution, quantitative metagenomic analyses of the gut microbiomes of infants born by vaginal delivery (VD) or by CSD, from immediately after birth through to 1 year of life. Several microbial populations show distinct enrichments in CSD-born infants at 1 year of age including strains of Bacteroides caccae, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Ruminococcus gnavus, whereas others are present at higher levels in the VD group including Faecalibacterium prausnitizii, Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium kashiwanohense. The stimulation of healthy donor-derived primary human immune cells with LPS isolated from neonatal stool samples results in higher levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in the case of CSD extracts over time, compared to extracts from VD infants for which no such changes were observed during the first year of life. Functional analyses of the VD metagenomes at 1 year of age demonstrate a significant increase in the biosynthesis of the natural antibiotics, carbapenem and phenazine. Concurrently, we find antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes against several classes of antibiotics in both VD and CSD. The abundance of AMR genes against synthetic (including semi-synthetic) agents such as phenicol, pleuromutilin and diaminopyrimidine are increased in CSD children at day 5 after birth. In addition, we find that mobile genetic elements, including phages, encode AMR genes such as glycopeptide, diaminopyrimidine and multidrug resistance genes. Our results demonstrate persistent effects at 1 year of life resulting from birth mode-dependent differences in earliest gut microbiome colonisation. [less ▲]

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See detailCritical Assessment of MetaProteome Investigation (CAMPI): a multi-laboratory comparison of established workflows
Van Den Bossche, Tim; Kunath, Benoît UL; Schallert, Kay et al

in Nature Communications (2021), 12(1), 7305

Abstract Metaproteomics has matured into a powerful tool to assess functional interactions in microbial communities. While many metaproteomic workflows are available, the impact of method choice on ... [more ▼]

Abstract Metaproteomics has matured into a powerful tool to assess functional interactions in microbial communities. While many metaproteomic workflows are available, the impact of method choice on results remains unclear. Here, we carry out a community-driven, multi-laboratory comparison in metaproteomics: the critical assessment of metaproteome investigation study (CAMPI). Based on well-established workflows, we evaluate the effect of sample preparation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatic analysis using two samples: a simplified, laboratory-assembled human intestinal model and a human fecal sample. We observe that variability at the peptide level is predominantly due to sample processing workflows, with a smaller contribution of bioinformatic pipelines. These peptide-level differences largely disappear at the protein group level. While differences are observed for predicted community composition, similar functional profiles are obtained across workflows. CAMPI demonstrates the robustness of present-day metaproteomics research, serves as a template for multi-laboratory studies in metaproteomics, and provides publicly available data sets for benchmarking future developments. [less ▲]

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See detailDichloromethane Degradation Pathway from Unsequenced Hyphomicrobium sp. MC8b Rapidly Explored by Pan-Proteomics
Hayoun, Karim; Geersens, Emilie; Laczny, Cedric Christian UL et al

in Microorganisms (2020)

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See detailOptimised biomolecular extraction for metagenomic analysis of microbial biofilms from high-mountain streams
Busi, Susheel Bhanu UL; Pramateftaki, Paraskevi; Brandani, Jade et al

in PeerJ (2020)

Glacier-fed streams (GFS) are harsh ecosystems dominated by microbial life organized in benthic biofilms, yet the biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by these communities remain under ... [more ▼]

Glacier-fed streams (GFS) are harsh ecosystems dominated by microbial life organized in benthic biofilms, yet the biodiversity and ecosystem functions provided by these communities remain under-appreciated. To better understand the microbial processes and communities contributing to GFS ecosystems, it is necessary to leverage high throughput sequencing. Low biomass and high inorganic particle load in GFS sediment samples may affect nucleic acid extraction efficiency using extraction methods tailored to other extreme environments such as deep-sea sediments. Here, we benchmarked the utility and efficacy of four extraction protocols, including an up-scaled phenol-chloroform protocol. We found that established protocols for comparable sample types consistently failed to yield sufficient high-quality DNA, delineating the extreme character of GFS. The methods differed in the success of downstream applications such as library preparation and sequencing. An adapted phenol-chloroform-based extraction method resulted in higher yields and better recovered the expected taxonomic profile and abundance of reconstructed genomes when compared to commercially-available methods. Affordable and straight-forward, this method consistently recapitulated the abundance and genomes of a mock community, including eukaryotes. Moreover, by increasing the amount of input sediment, the protocol is readily adjustable to the microbial load of the processed samples without compromising protocol efficiency. Our study provides a first systematic and extensive analysis of the different options for extraction of nucleic acids from glacier-fed streams for high-throughput sequencing applications, which may be applied to other extreme environments. [less ▲]

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See detailPituitary Tumor Transforming Gene 1 Orchestrates Gene Regulatory Variation in Mouse Ventral Midbrain During Aging
Gui, Yujuan UL; Thomas, Mélanie H.; Garcia, Pierre et al

in Frontiers in Genetics (2020)

Dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain are of particular interest due to their role in diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Genetic variation between individuals can affect the integrity ... [more ▼]

Dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain are of particular interest due to their role in diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Genetic variation between individuals can affect the integrity and function of dopaminergic neurons but the DNA variants and molecular cascades modulating dopaminergic neurons and other cells types of ventral midbrain remain poorly defined. Three genetically diverse inbred mouse strains – C57BL/6J, A/J, and DBA/2J – differ significantly in their genomes (∼7 million variants), motor and cognitive behavior, and susceptibility to neurotoxins. To further dissect the underlying molecular networks responsible for these variable phenotypes, we generated RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data from ventral midbrains of the 3 mouse strains. We defined 1000–1200 transcripts that are differentially expressed among them. These widespread differences may be due to altered activity or expression of upstream transcription factors. Interestingly, transcription factors were significantly underrepresented among the differentially expressed genes, and only one transcription factor, Pttg1, showed significant differences between all three strains. The changes in Pttg1 expression were accompanied by consistent alterations in histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation at Pttg1 transcription start site. The ventral midbrain transcriptome of 3-month-old C57BL/6J congenic Pttg1–/– mutants was only modestly altered, but shifted toward that of A/J and DBA/2J in 9-month-old mice. Principle component analysis (PCA) identified the genes underlying the transcriptome shift and deconvolution of these bulk RNA-seq changes using midbrain single cell RNA-seq data suggested that the changes were occurring in several different cell types, including neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. Taken together, our results show that Pttg1 contributes to gene regulatory variation between mouse strains and influences mouse midbrain transcriptome during aging. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopmental GABA polarity switch and neuronal plasticity in Bioengineered Neuronal Organoids
Zafeiriou, Maria-Patapia; Bao, Guobin; Hudson, James et al

in Nature Communications (2020), 11(1), 3791

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See detailCompositional and functional characterisation of biomass-degrading microbial communities in guts of plant fibre- and soil-feeding higher termites.
Marynowska, Martyna; Goux, Xavier; Sillam-Dusses, David et al

in Microbiome (2020)

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See detailIntegrative omics analysis of the termite gut system adaptation to Miscanthus diet identifies lignocellulose degradation enzymes.
Calusinska, Magdalena; Marynowska, Martyna; Bertucci, Marie UL et al

in Communications Biology (2020)

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See detailGlutathione Restricts Serine Metabolism to Preserve Regulatory T Cell Function
Kurniawan, Henry; Franchina, Davide G.; Guerra, Luana UL et al

in Cell Metabolism (2020), 31(5), 920--9367

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune homeostasis and prevent autoimmunity. Serine stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis and feeds into the one-carbon metabolic network (1CMet) essential for ... [more ▼]

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune homeostasis and prevent autoimmunity. Serine stimulates glutathione (GSH) synthesis and feeds into the one-carbon metabolic network (1CMet) essential for effector T cell (Teff) responses. However, serine’s functions, linkage to GSH, and role in stress responses in Tregs are unknown. Here, we show, using mice with Treg-specific ablation of the catalytic subunit of glutamate cysteine ligase ( Gclc), that GSH loss in Tregs alters serine import and synthesis and that the integrity of this feedback loop is critical for Treg suppressive capacity. Although Gclc ablation does not impair Treg differentiation, mutant mice exhibit severe autoimmunity and enhanced anti-tumor responses. Gclc-deficient Tregs show increased serine metabolism, mTOR activation, and proliferation but downregulated FoxP3. Limitation of cellular serine in vitro and in vivo restores FoxP3 expression and suppressive capacity of Gclc-deficient Tregs. Our work reveals an unexpected role for GSH in restricting serine availability to preserve Treg functionality. [less ▲]

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See detailSynapse alterations precede neuronal damage and storage pathology in a human cerebral organoid model of CLN3-juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
Gomez Giro, Gemma UL; Arias-Fuenzalida, Jonathan; Jarazo, Javier UL et al

in Acta Neuropathologica Communications (2020)

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See detailIntegrated In Vitro and In Silico Modeling Delineates the Molecular Effects of a Synbiotic Regimen on Colorectal-Cancer-Derived Cells
Greenhalgh, Kacy UL; Ramiro Garcia, Javier UL; Heinken et al

in Cell Reports (2019), 27

By modulating the human gut microbiome, prebiotics and probiotics (combinations of which are called synbiotics) may be used to treat diseases such as colorectal cancer (CRC). Methodological limitations ... [more ▼]

By modulating the human gut microbiome, prebiotics and probiotics (combinations of which are called synbiotics) may be used to treat diseases such as colorectal cancer (CRC). Methodological limitations have prevented determining the potential combina- torial mechanisms of action of such regimens. We expanded our HuMiX gut-on-a-chip model to co-culture CRC-derived epithelial cells with a model probiotic under a simulated prebiotic regimen, and we integrated the multi-omic results with in silico metabolic modeling. In contrast to individual prebi- otic or probiotic treatments, the synbiotic regimen caused downregulation of genes involved in procarci- nogenic pathways and drug resistance, and reduced levels of the oncometabolite lactate. Distinct ratios of organic and short-chain fatty acids were produced during the simulated regimens. Treatment of primary CRC-derived cells with a molecular cocktail reflecting the synbiotic regimen attenuated self-renewal ca- pacity. Our integrated approach demonstrates the potential of modeling for rationally formulating synbi- otics-based treatments in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailImpaired serine metabolism complements LRRK2-G2019S pathogenicity in PD patients
Nickels, Sarah UL; Walter, Jonas; Bolognin, Silvia UL et al

in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (2019)

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See detailTemporal enhancer profiling of parallel lineages identifies AHR and GLIS1 as regulators of mesenchymal multipotency
Gerard, Déborah UL; Schmidt, Florian; Ginolhac, Aurélien UL et al

in Nucleic Acids Research (2018)

Temporal data on gene expression and context-specific open chromatin states can improve identification of key transcription factors (TFs) and the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) controlling cellular ... [more ▼]

Temporal data on gene expression and context-specific open chromatin states can improve identification of key transcription factors (TFs) and the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) controlling cellular differentiation. However, their integration remains challenging. Here, we delineate a general approach for data-driven and unbiased identification of key TFs and dynamic GRNs, called EPIC-DREM. We generated time-series transcriptomic and epigenomic profiles during differentiation of mouse multipotent bone marrow stromal cell line (ST2) toward adipocytes and osteoblasts. Using our novel approach we constructed time-resolved GRNs for both lineages and identifed the shared TFs involved in both differentiation processes. To take an alternative approach to prioritize the identified shared regulators, we mapped dynamic super-enhancers in both lineages and associated them to target genes with correlated expression profiles. The combination of the two approaches identified aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and Glis family zinc finger 1 (GLIS1) as mesenchymal key TFs controlled by dynamic cell type-specific super-enhancers that become repressed in both lineages. AHR and GLIS1 control differentiation-induced genes and their overexpression can inhibit the lineage commitment of the multipotent bone marrow-derived ST2 cells. [less ▲]

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See detailTREM2 triggers microglial density and age‐related neuronal loss
Linnartz-Gerlach, Bettina; Bodea, Liviu-Gabriel; Klaus, Christine et al

in Glia (2018)

The microglial triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) signals via the activatory membrane adaptor molecule TYROBP. Genetic variants or mutations of TREM2 or TYROBP have been linked to ... [more ▼]

The microglial triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) signals via the activatory membrane adaptor molecule TYROBP. Genetic variants or mutations of TREM2 or TYROBP have been linked to inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases associated with aging. The typical aging process goes along with microglial changes and mild neuronal loss, but the exact contribution of TREM2 is still unclear. Aged TREM2 knock‐out mice showed decreased age‐related neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and the hippocampus. Transcriptomic analysis of the brains of 24 months old TREM2 knock‐out mice revealed 211 differentially expressed genes mostly downregulated and associated with complement activation and oxidative stress response pathways. Consistently, 24 months old TREM2 knock‐out mice showed lower transcription of microglial (Aif1 and Tmem119), oxidative stress markers (Inos, Cyba, and Cybb) and complement components (C1qa, C1qb, C1qc, C3, C4b, Itgam, and Itgb2), decreased microglial numbers and expression of the microglial activation marker Cd68, as well as accumulation of oxidized lipids. Cultured microglia of TREM2 knock‐out mice showed reduced phagocytosis and oxidative burst. Thus, microglial TREM2 contributes to age‐related microglial changes, phagocytic oxidative burst, and loss of neurons with possible detrimental effects during physiological aging. [less ▲]

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