The Babraham Institute Publications database contains details of all publications resulting from our research groups and scientific facilities. Pre-prints by Institute authors can be viewed on the Institute's bioRxiv channel. We believe that free and open access to the outputs of publicly‐funded research offers significant social and economic benefits, as well as aiding the development of new research. We are working to provide Open Access to as many publications as possible and these can be identified below by the padlock icon. Where this hasn't been possible, subscriptions may be required to view the full text.

Belkina AC, Roe CE, Tang VA, Back JB, Bispo C, Conway A, Chakraborty U, Daniels KT, de la Cruz G, Ferrer-Font L, Filby A, Gravano DM, Gregory MD, Hall C, Kukat C, Mozes A, Ordoñez-Rueda D, Orlowski-Oliver E, Pesce I, Porat Z, Poulton NJ, Reifel KM, Rieger AM, Sheridan RTC, Van Isterdael G, Walker RV Flow Cytometry

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for establishing and maintaining growth and development of flow cytometry shared resource laboratories. While the best practices offered in this manuscript are not intended to be universal or exhaustive, they do outline key goals that should be prioritized to achieve operational excellence and meet the needs of the scientific community. Additionally, this document provides information on available technologies and software relevant to shared resource laboratories. This manuscript builds on the work of Barsky et al. 2016 published in Cytometry Part A and incorporates recent advancements in cytometric technology. A flow cytometer is a specialized piece of technology that require special care and consideration in its housing and operations. As with any scientific equipment, a thorough evaluation of the location, space requirements, auxiliary resources, and support is crucial for successful operation. This comprehensive resource has been written by past and present members of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) Shared Resource Laboratory (SRL) Emerging Leaders Program with extensive expertise in managing flow cytometry SRLs from around the world in different settings including academia and industry. It is intended to assist in establishing a new flow cytometry SRL, re-purposing an existing space into such a facility, or adding a flow cytometer to an individual lab in academia or industry. This resource reviews the available cytometry technologies, the operational requirements, and best practices in SRL staffing and management.

+view abstract Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology, PMID: 37941128

Taylor D, Sousa B, West G, Neo Huipeng A, Lopez-Clavijo AF Lipidomics

Extraction protocols and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods for the measurement of four lipid categories, namely glycerophospholipids, glycerolipids, sphingolipids and sterol lipids in human plasma, are described here. Step-by-step instructions are provided for the liquid-liquid extraction methods, including solution preparation and the non-endogenous lipid internal standards used. All instrumental conditions, chromatography columns and solutions required for the LC-MS and LC-MS/MS methods are also provided in detail.

+view abstract Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM, PMID: 37882103

Johansen VBI, Hampson E, Tsonou E, Pantarelli C, Chu JY, Crossland L, Okkenhaug H, Massey AJ, Hornigold DC, Welch HCE, Chetwynd SA Signalling,Imaging

Norbin is an adaptor protein that binds numerous G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), is highly expressed in neurons, and is essential for a functioning nervous system in rodent models. Yet, beyond its control of neurite outgrowth and synaptic plasticity, few cellular roles of Norbin have been investigated to date. Furthermore, while Norbin is known to regulate the steady-state cell surface levels of several GPCRs, only in one case has the protein been shown to control the agonist-induced receptor internalisation which serves to attenuate GPCR signalling. Here, we generated a Norbin-deficient PC12 cell line which enabled us to study both the cellular functions of Norbin and its roles in GPCR trafficking and signalling. We show that Norbin limits cell size and spreading, and is required for the growth, viability and cell cycle progression of PC12 cells. We also found that Norbin regulates both the steady-state surface level and agonist-induced internalisation of the GPCR sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) in these cells, suggesting that its role in agonist-dependent GPCR trafficking is more widespread than previously appreciated. Finally, we show that Norbin limits the S1P-stimulated activation of Akt and p38 Mapk, and is required for the activation of Erk in PC12 cells. Together, our findings provide a better understanding of the cellular functions of Norbin and its control of GPCR trafficking.

+view abstract Scientific reports, PMID: 37880240

Alanis-Lobato G, Bartlett TE, Huang Q, Simon CS, McCarthy A, Elder K, Snell P, Christie L, Niakan KK Epigenetics

Recent advances in single-cell omics have transformed characterisation of cell types in challenging-to-study biological contexts. In contexts with limited single-cell samples, such as the early human embryo inference of transcription factor-gene regulatory network (GRN) interactions is especially difficult. Here, we assessed application of different linear or non-linear GRN predictions to single-cell simulated and human embryo transcriptome datasets. We also compared how expression normalisation impacts on GRN predictions, finding that transcripts per million reads outperformed alternative methods. GRN inferences were more reproducible using a non-linear method based on mutual information (MI) applied to single-cell transcriptome datasets refined with chromatin accessibility (CA) (called MICA), compared with alternative network prediction methods tested. MICA captures complex non-monotonic dependencies and feedback loops. Using MICA, we generated the first GRN inferences in early human development. MICA predicted co-localisation of the AP-1 transcription factor subunit proto-oncogene JUND and the TFAP2C transcription factor AP-2γ in early human embryos. Overall, our comparative analysis of GRN prediction methods defines a pipeline that can be applied to single-cell multi-omics datasets in especially challenging contexts to infer interactions between transcription factor expression and target gene regulation.

+view abstract Life science alliance, PMID: 37879938

Wilkinson AL, Zorzan I, Rugg-Gunn PJ Epigenetics

Studies of mammalian development have advanced our understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, and cellular processes that orchestrate embryogenesis and have uncovered new insights into the unique aspects of human embryogenesis. Recent studies have now produced the first epigenetic maps of early human embryogenesis, stimulating new ideas about epigenetic reprogramming, cell fate control, and the potential mechanisms underpinning developmental plasticity in human embryos. In this review, we discuss these new insights into the epigenetic regulation of early human development and the importance of these processes for safeguarding development. We also highlight unanswered questions and key challenges that remain to be addressed.

+view abstract Cell stem cell, PMID: 37858333

Conroy MJ, Andrews RM, Andrews S, Cockayne L, Dennis EA, Fahy E, Gaud C, Griffiths WJ, Jukes G, Kolchin M, Mendivelso K, Lopez-Clavijo AF, Ready C, Subramaniam S, O'Donnell VB Signalling,Lipidomics

LIPID MAPS (LIPID Metabolites and Pathways Strategy),, provides a systematic and standardized approach to organizing lipid structural and biochemical data. Founded 20 years ago, the LIPID MAPS nomenclature and classification has become the accepted community standard. LIPID MAPS provides databases for cataloging and identifying lipids at varying levels of characterization in addition to numerous software tools and educational resources, and became an ELIXIR-UK data resource in 2020. This paper describes the expansion of existing databases in LIPID MAPS, including richer metadata with literature provenance, taxonomic data and improved interoperability to facilitate FAIR compliance. A joint project funded by ELIXIR-UK, in collaboration with WikiPathways, curates and hosts pathway data, and annotates lipids in the context of their biochemical pathways. Updated features of the search infrastructure are described along with implementation of programmatic access via API and SPARQL. New lipid-specific databases have been developed and provision of lipidomics tools to the community has been updated. Training and engagement have been expanded with webinars, podcasts and an online training school.

+view abstract Nucleic acids research, PMID: 37855672

Watson JL, Seinkmane E, Styles CT, Mihut A, Krüger LK, McNally KE, Planelles-Herrero VJ, Dudek M, McCall PM, Barbiero S, Vanden Oever M, Peak-Chew SY, Porebski BT, Zeng A, Rzechorzek NM, Wong DCS, Beale AD, Stangherlin A, Riggi M, Iwasa J, Morf J, Miliotis C, Guna A, Inglis AJ, Brugués J, Voorhees RM, Chambers JE, Meng QJ, O'Neill JS, Edgar RS, Derivery E

Optimum protein function and biochemical activity critically depends on water availability because solvent thermodynamics drive protein folding and macromolecular interactions. Reciprocally, macromolecules restrict the movement of 'structured' water molecules within their hydration layers, reducing the available 'free' bulk solvent and therefore the total thermodynamic potential energy of water, or water potential. Here, within concentrated macromolecular solutions such as the cytosol, we found that modest changes in temperature greatly affect the water potential, and are counteracted by opposing changes in osmotic strength. This duality of temperature and osmotic strength enables simple manipulations of solvent thermodynamics to prevent cell death after extreme cold or heat shock. Physiologically, cells must sustain their activity against fluctuating temperature, pressure and osmotic strength, which impact water availability within seconds. Yet, established mechanisms of water homeostasis act over much slower timescales; we therefore postulated the existence of a rapid compensatory response. We find that this function is performed by water potential-driven changes in macromolecular assembly, particularly biomolecular condensation of intrinsically disordered proteins. The formation and dissolution of biomolecular condensates liberates and captures free water, respectively, quickly counteracting thermal or osmotic perturbations of water potential, which is consequently robustly buffered in the cytoplasm. Our results indicate that biomolecular condensation constitutes an intrinsic biophysical feedback response that rapidly compensates for intracellular osmotic and thermal fluctuations. We suggest that preserving water availability within the concentrated cytosol is an overlooked evolutionary driver of protein (dis)order and function.

+view abstract Nature, PMID: 37853127

Gravano DM, Rieger AM, Nettenstrom L, Hall C, Ferrer-Font L Flow Cytometry

With the increase in the number of parameters that can be detected at the single-cell level using flow and mass cytometry, there has been a paradigm shift when handling and analyzing data sets. Cytometry Shared Resource Laboratories (SRLs) already take on the responsibility of ensuring users have resources and training in experimental design and operation of instruments to promote high-quality data acquisition. However, the role of SRLs downstream, during data handling and analysis, is not as well defined and agreed upon. Best practices dictate a central role for SRLs in this process as they are in a pivotal position to support research in this context, but key considerations about how to effectively fill this role need to be addressed. Two surveys and one workshop at CYTO 2022 in Philadelphia, PA, were performed to gain insight into what strategies SRLs are successfully employing to support high-dimensional data analysis and where SRLs and their users see limitations and long-term challenges in this area. Recommendations for high-dimensional data analysis support provided by SRLs will be offered and discussed.

+view abstract Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology, PMID: 37800362

Cross J, Durgan J, McEwan DG, Tayler M, Ryan KM, Florey O Signalling

Cells harness multiple pathways to maintain lysosome integrity, a central homeostatic process. Damaged lysosomes can be repaired or targeted for degradation by lysophagy, a selective autophagy process involving ATG8/LC3. Here, we describe a parallel ATG8/LC3 response to lysosome damage, mechanistically distinct from lysophagy. Using a comprehensive series of biochemical, pharmacological, and genetic approaches, we show that lysosome damage induces non-canonical autophagy and Conjugation of ATG8s to Single Membranes (CASM). Following damage, ATG8s are rapidly and directly conjugated onto lysosome membranes, independently of ATG13/WIPI2, lipidating to PS (and PE), a molecular hallmark of CASM. Lysosome damage drives V-ATPase V0-V1 association, direct recruitment of ATG16L1 via its WD40-domain/K490A, and is sensitive to Salmonella SopF. Lysosome damage-induced CASM is associated with formation of dynamic, LC3A-positive tubules, and promotes robust LC3A engagement with ATG2, a lipid transfer protein central to lysosome repair. Together, our data identify direct ATG8 conjugation as a rapid response to lysosome damage, with important links to lipid transfer and dynamics.

+view abstract The Journal of cell biology, PMID: 37796195

Singh AK, Khan S, Moore D, Andrews S, Christophorou MA Epigenetics,Bioinformatics

During mammalian embryo development, pluripotent epiblast cells diversify into the three primary germ layers, which will later give rise to all fetal and adult tissues. These processes involve profound transcriptional and epigenetic changes that require precise coordination. Peptidylarginine deiminase IV (PADI4) is a transcriptional regulator that is strongly associated with inflammation and carcinogenesis but whose physiological roles are less well understood. We previously found that expression is associated with pluripotency. Here, we examined the role of PADI4 in maintaining the multi-lineage differentiation potential of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. Using bulk and single-cell transcriptomic analyses of embryoid bodies (EBs) derived from knock-out () mouse ES cells, we find that PADI4 loss impairs mesoderm diversification and differentiation of cardimyocytes and endothelial cells. Additionally, deletion leads to concerted downregulation of genes associated with polarized growth, sterol metabolism and the extracellular matrix (ECM). This study indicates a requirement for in the specification of the mesodermal lineage and reports the associated transcriptome, providing a platform for understanding the physiological functions of in development and homeostasis. This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'The virtues and vices of protein citrullination'.

+view abstract Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, PMID: 37778387

Christophorou MA, Sharma P, Zhang X Epigenetics


+view abstract Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, PMID: 37778381

Agostinho de Sousa J, Wong CW, Dunkel I, Owens T, Voigt P, Hodgson A, Baker D, Schulz EG, Reik W, Smith A, Rostovskaya M, von Meyenn F Epigenetics

Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are of fundamental relevance in regenerative medicine. Naïve hPSCs hold promise to overcome some of the limitations of conventional (primed) hPSCs, including recurrent epigenetic anomalies. Naïve-to-primed transition (capacitation) follows transcriptional dynamics of human embryonic epiblast and is necessary for somatic differentiation from naïve hPSCs. We found that capacitated hPSCs are transcriptionally closer to postimplantation epiblast than conventional hPSCs. This prompted us to comprehensively study epigenetic and related transcriptional changes during capacitation. Our results show that CpG islands, gene regulatory elements, and retrotransposons are hotspots of epigenetic dynamics during capacitation and indicate possible distinct roles of specific epigenetic modifications in gene expression control between naïve and primed hPSCs. Unexpectedly, PRC2 activity appeared to be dispensable for the capacitation. We find that capacitated hPSCs acquire an epigenetic state similar to conventional hPSCs. Significantly, however, the X chromosome erosion frequently observed in conventional female hPSCs is reversed by resetting and subsequent capacitation.

+view abstract Science advances, PMID: 37774033

Lee JL, Innocentin S, Silva-Cayetano A, Guillaume SM, Linterman MA Immunology

Affinity maturation, the progressive increase in serum Ab affinity after vaccination, is an essential process that contributes to an effective humoral response against vaccines and infections. Germinal centers are key for affinity maturation, because they are where B cells undergo somatic hypermutation of their Ig genes in the dark zone before going through positive selection in the light zone via interactions with T follicular helper cells and follicular dendritic cells. In aged mice, affinity maturation has been shown to be impaired after immunization, but whether B cell-intrinsic factors contribute to this defect remains unclear. In this study, we show that B cells from aged BCR transgenic mice are able to become germinal center B cells, which are capable of receiving positive selection signals to a similar extent as B cells from young adult mice. Consistent with this, aging also does not impact the ability of B cells to undergo somatic hypermutation and acquire affinity-enhancing mutations. By contrast, transfer of B cells from young adult BCR mice into aged recipients resulted in the impaired acquisition of affinity-enhancing mutations, demonstrating that the aged microenvironment causes altered affinity maturation.

+view abstract Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), PMID: 37756528

Jung R, Lechler MC, Fernandez-Villegas A, Chung CW, Jones HC, Choi YH, Thompson MA, Rödelsperger C, Röseler W, Kaminski Schierle GS, Sommer RJ, David DC Signalling

During aging, proteostasis capacity declines and distinct proteins become unstable and can accumulate as protein aggregates inside and outside of cells. Both in disease and during aging, proteins selectively aggregate in certain tissues and not others. Yet, tissue-specific regulation of cytoplasmic protein aggregation remains poorly understood. Surprisingly, we found that the inhibition of 3 core protein quality control systems, namely chaperones, the proteasome, and macroautophagy, leads to lower levels of age-dependent protein aggregation in Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal muscles, but higher levels in body-wall muscles. We describe a novel safety mechanism that selectively targets newly synthesized proteins to suppress their aggregation and associated proteotoxicity. The safety mechanism relies on macroautophagy-independent lysosomal degradation and involves several previously uncharacterized components of the intracellular pathogen response (IPR). We propose that this protective mechanism engages an anti-aggregation machinery targeting aggregating proteins for lysosomal degradation.

+view abstract PLoS biology, PMID: 37708127

Mielczarek O, Rogers CH, Zhan Y, Matheson LS, Stubbington MJT, Schoenfelder S, Bolland DJ, Javierre BM, Wingett SW, Várnai C, Segonds-Pichon A, Conn SJ, Krueger F, Andrews S, Fraser P, Giorgetti L, Corcoran AE Immunology,Bioinformatics

To produce a diverse antibody repertoire, immunoglobulin heavy-chain (Igh) loci undergo large-scale alterations in structure to facilitate juxtaposition and recombination of spatially separated variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) genes. These chromosomal alterations are poorly understood. Uncovering their patterns shows how chromosome dynamics underpins antibody diversity. Using tiled Capture Hi-C, we produce a comprehensive map of chromatin interactions throughout the 2.8-Mb Igh locus in progenitor B cells. We find that the Igh locus folds into semi-rigid subdomains and undergoes flexible looping of the V genes to its 3' end, reconciling two views of locus organization. Deconvolution of single Igh locus conformations using polymer simulations identifies thousands of different structures. This heterogeneity may underpin the diversity of V(D)J recombination events. All three immunoglobulin loci also participate in a highly specific, developmentally regulated network of interchromosomal interactions with genes encoding B cell-lineage factors. This suggests a model of interchromosomal coordination of B cell development.

+view abstract Cell reports, PMID: 37676766

Zylstra A, Hadj-Moussa H, Horkai D, Whale AJ, Piguet B, Houseley J Epigenetics

The massive accumulation of extrachromosomal ribosomal DNA circles (ERCs) in yeast mother cells has been long cited as the primary driver of replicative ageing. ERCs arise through ribosomal DNA (rDNA) recombination, and a wealth of genetic data connects rDNA instability events giving rise to ERCs with shortened life span and other ageing pathologies. However, we understand little about the molecular effects of ERC accumulation. Here, we studied ageing in the presence and absence of ERCs, and unexpectedly found no evidence of gene expression differences that might indicate stress responses or metabolic feedback caused by ERCs. Neither did we observe any global change in the widespread disruption of gene expression that accompanies yeast ageing, altogether suggesting that ERCs are largely inert. Much of the differential gene expression that accompanies ageing in yeast was actually associated with markers of the senescence entry point (SEP), showing that senescence, rather than age, underlies these changes. Cells passed the SEP irrespective of ERCs, but we found the SEP to be associated with copy number amplification of a region of chromosome XII between the rDNA and the telomere (ChrXIIr) forming linear fragments up to approximately 1.8 Mb size, which arise in aged cells due to rDNA instability but through a different mechanism to ERCs. Therefore, although rDNA copy number increases dramatically with age due to ERC accumulation, our findings implicate ChrXIIr, rather than ERCs, as the primary driver of senescence during budding yeast ageing.

+view abstract PLoS biology, PMID: 37643194

Horkai D, Hadj-Moussa H, Whale AJ, Houseley J Epigenetics

Caloric restriction increases lifespan and improves ageing health, but it is unknown whether these outcomes can be separated or achieved through less severe interventions. Here, we show that an unrestricted galactose diet in early life minimises change during replicative ageing in budding yeast, irrespective of diet later in life. Average mother cell division rate is comparable between glucose and galactose diets, and lifespan is shorter on galactose, but markers of senescence and the progressive dysregulation of gene expression observed on glucose are minimal on galactose, showing that these are not intrinsic aspects of replicative ageing but rather associated processes. Respiration on galactose is critical for minimising hallmarks of ageing, and forced respiration during ageing on glucose by overexpression of the mitochondrial biogenesis factor Hap4 also has the same effect though only in a fraction of cells. This fraction maintains Hap4 activity to advanced age with low senescence and a youthful gene expression profile, whereas other cells in the same population lose Hap4 activity, undergo dramatic dysregulation of gene expression and accumulate fragments of chromosome XII (ChrXIIr), which are tightly associated with senescence. Our findings support the existence of two separable ageing trajectories in yeast. We propose that a complete shift to the healthy ageing mode can be achieved in wild-type cells through dietary change in early life without caloric restriction.

+view abstract PLoS biology, PMID: 37643155

Florey O Signalling

Maintaining the integrity of the endolysosomal system is of great importance for cellular homeostasis. Recent work published in The EMBO Journal and EMBO Reports reveals a novel role for the protein TECPR1 as a sensor for stressed membranes and regulator of lysosomal membrane repair.

+view abstract The EMBO journal, PMID: 37638605

Renna FJ, Enriqué Steinberg JH, Gonzalez CD, Manifava M, Tadic MS, Orquera T, Vecino CV, Ropolo A, Guardavaccaro D, Rossi M, Ktistakis NT, Vaccaro MI Signalling

Autophagy is a tightly regulated catabolic process involved in the degradation and recycling of proteins and organelles. Ubiquitination plays an important role in the regulation of autophagy. Vacuole Membrane Protein 1 (VMP1) is an essential autophagy protein. The expression of VMP1 in pancreatic cancer stem cells carrying the activated Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) triggers autophagy and enables therapy resistance. Using biochemical and cellular approaches, we identified ubiquitination as a post-translational modification of VMP1 from the initial steps in autophagosome biogenesis. VMP1 remains ubiquitinated as part of the autophagosome membrane throughout autophagic flux until autolysosome formation. However, VMP1 is not degraded by autophagy, nor by the ubiquitin-proteasomal system. Mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation showed that the cell division cycle protein cdt2 (Cdt2), the substrate recognition subunit of the E3 ligase complex associated with cancer, cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase complex 4 (CRL4), is a novel interactor of VMP1 and is involved in VMP1 ubiquitination. VMP1 ubiquitination decreases under the CRL inhibitor MLN4924 and increases with Cdt2 overexpression. Moreover, VMP1 recruitment and autophagosome formation is significantly affected by CRL inhibition. Our results indicate that ubiquitination is a novel post-translational modification of VMP1 during autophagy in human tumor cells. VMP1 ubiquitination may be of clinical relevance in tumor-cell-therapy resistance.

+view abstract International journal of molecular sciences, PMID: 37629161

Salerno F, Howden AJM, Matheson LS, Gizlenci Ö, Screen M, Lingel H, Brunner-Weinzierl MC, Turner M Immunology

During B cell maturation, transitional and mature B cells acquire cell-intrinsic features that determine their ability to exit quiescence and mount effective immune responses. Here we use label-free proteomics to quantify the proteome of B cell subsets from the mouse spleen and map the differential expression of environmental sensing, transcription, and translation initiation factors that define cellular identity and function. Cross-examination of the full-length transcriptome and proteome identifies mRNAs related to B cell activation and antibody secretion that are not accompanied by detection of the encoded proteins. In addition, proteomic data further suggests that the translational repressor PDCD4 restrains B cell responses, in particular those from marginal zone B cells, to a T-cell independent antigen. In summary, our molecular characterization of B cell maturation presents a valuable resource to further explore the mechanisms underpinning the specialized functions of B cell subsets, and suggest the presence of 'poised' mRNAs that enable expedited B cell responses.

+view abstract Nature communications, PMID: 37612319

Giuliani A, Licursi V, Nisi PS, Fiore M, D'Angelo S, Biagioni S, Negri R, Rugg-Gunn PJ, Cacci E, Lupo G Epigenetics

In the adult mouse brain, the subventricular zone (SVZ) underlying the lateral ventricles harbours a population of quiescent neural stem cells, which can be activated (aNSCs) to initiate proliferation and generate a neurogenic lineage consisting of transit amplifying progenitors (TAPs), neuroblasts (NBs) and newborn neurons. This process is markedly reduced during aging. Recent studies suggest that the aged SVZ niche decreases the pool of proliferating neural/stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), and hence adult neurogenesis, by causing transcriptomic changes that promote NSC quiescence. The transcription factors that mediate these changes, however, remain unclear. We previously found that the homeobox gene Dbx2 is upregulated in NSPCs of the aged mouse SVZ and can inhibit the growth of NSPC cultures. Here, we further investigate its role as a candidate transcriptional regulator of neurogenic decline. We show that Dbx2 expression is downregulated by Epidermal Growth Factor receptor signaling, which promotes NSPC proliferation and decreases in the aged SVZ. By means of transgenic NSPC lines overexpressing Dbx2, we also show that this gene inhibits NSPC proliferation by hindering the G2/M transition. Furthermore, we exploit RNA sequencing of transgenic NSPCs to elucidate the transcriptomic networks modulated by Dbx2. Among the top hits, we report the downregulation of the molecular pathways implicated in cell cycle progression. Accordingly, we find that Dbx2 function is negatively correlated with the transcriptional signatures of proliferative NSPCs (aNSCs, TAPs and early NBs). These results point to Dbx2 as a transcription factor relaying the anti-neurogenic input of the aged niche to the NSPC transcriptome.

+view abstract Stem cell reviews and reports, PMID: 37605090

Ferreira IATM, Lee CYC, Foster WS, Abdullahi A, Dratva LM, Tuong ZK, Stewart BJ, Ferdinand JR, Guillaume SM, Potts MOP, Perera M, Krishna BA, Peñalver A, Cabantous M, Kemp SA, Ceron-Gutierrez L, Ebrahimi S, , Lyons P, Smith KGC, Bradley J, Collier DA, McCoy LE, van der Klaauw A, Thaventhiran JED, Farooqi IS, Teichmann SA, MacAry PA, Doffinger R, Wills MR, Linterman MA, Clatworthy MR, Gupta RK Immunology

Suboptimal responses to a primary vaccination course have been reported in the elderly, but there is little information regarding the impact of age on responses to booster third doses. Here, we show that individuals 70 years or older (median age 73, range 70-75) who received a primary two-dose schedule with AZD1222 and booster third dose with mRNA vaccine achieve significantly lower neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus compared with those younger than 70 (median age 66, range 54-69) at 1 month post booster. Impaired neutralization potency and breadth post third dose in the elderly is associated with circulating "atypical" spike-specific B cells expressing CD11c and FCRL5. However, when considering individuals who received three doses of mRNA vaccine, we did not observe differences in neutralization or enrichment in atypical B cells. This work highlights the finding that AdV and mRNA COVID-19 vaccine formats differentially instruct the memory B cell response.

+view abstract Cell reports, PMID: 37590132

Chessa TAM, Jung P, Anwar A, Suire S, Anderson KE, Barneda D, Kielkowska A, Sadiq BA, Lai IW, Felisbino S, Turnham DJ, Pearson HB, Phillips WA, Sasaki J, Sasaki T, Oxley D, Spensberger D, Segonds-Pichon A, Wilson M, Walker S, Okkenhaug H, Cosulich S, Hawkins PT, Stephens LR Signalling,Imaging, Mass Spectrometry, Bioinformatics, Gene Targeting

The PIP/PI3K network is a central regulator of metabolism and is frequently activated in cancer, commonly by loss of the PIP/PI(3,4)P phosphatase, PTEN. Despite huge research investment, the drivers of the PI3K network in normal tissues and how they adapt to overactivation are unclear. We find that in healthy mouse prostate PI3K activity is driven by RTK/IRS signaling and constrained by pathway feedback. In the absence of PTEN, the network is dramatically remodeled. A poorly understood YXXM- and PIP/PI(3,4)P-binding PH domain-containing adaptor, PLEKHS1, became the dominant activator and was required to sustain PIP, AKT phosphorylation, and growth in PTEN-null prostate. This was because PLEKHS1 evaded pathway-feedback and experienced enhanced PI3K- and Src-family kinase-dependent phosphorylation of YXXM, eliciting PI3K activation. hPLEKHS1 mRNA and activating Y phosphorylation of hSrc correlated with PI3K pathway activity in human prostate cancers. We propose that in PTEN-null cells receptor-independent, Src-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation of PLEKHS1 creates positive feedback that escapes homeostasis, drives PIP signaling, and supports tumor progression.

+view abstract Molecular cell, PMID: 37567175

Osma-Garcia IC, Mouysset M, Capitan-Sobrino D, Aubert Y, Turner M, Diaz-Muñoz MD Immunology

Germinal centers (GCs) are essential for the establishment of long-lasting antibody responses. GC B cells rely on post-transcriptional RNA mechanisms to translate activation-associated transcriptional programs into functional changes in the cell proteome. However, the critical proteins driving these key mechanisms are still unknown. Here, we show that the RNA binding proteins TIA1 and TIAL1 are required for the generation of long-lasting GC responses. TIA1- and TIAL1-deficient GC B cells fail to undergo antigen-mediated positive selection, expansion and differentiation into B-cell clones producing high-affinity antibodies. Mechanistically, TIA1 and TIAL1 control the transcriptional identity of dark- and light-zone GC B cells and enable timely expression of the prosurvival molecule MCL1. Thus, we demonstrate here that TIA1 and TIAL1 are key players in the post-transcriptional program that selects high-affinity antigen-specific GC B cells.

+view abstract Cellular & molecular immunology, PMID: 37474714