Publications by authors named "Elli Marinopoulou"

8 Publications

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OscoNet: inferring oscillatory gene networks.

BMC Bioinformatics 2020 Aug 21;21(Suppl 10):351. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Michael Smith Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK.

Background: Oscillatory genes, with periodic expression at the mRNA and/or protein level, have been shown to play a pivotal role in many biological contexts. However, with the exception of the circadian clock and cell cycle, only a few such genes are known. Detecting oscillatory genes from snapshot single-cell experiments is a challenging task due to the lack of time information. Oscope is a recently proposed method to identify co-oscillatory gene pairs using single-cell RNA-seq data. Although promising, the current implementation of Oscope does not provide a principled statistical criterion for selecting oscillatory genes.

Results: We improve the optimisation scheme underlying Oscope and provide a well-calibrated non-parametric hypothesis test to select oscillatory genes at a given FDR threshold. We evaluate performance on synthetic data and three real datasets and show that our approach is more sensitive than the original Oscope formulation, discovering larger sets of known oscillators while avoiding the need for less interpretable thresholds. We also describe how our proposed pseudo-time estimation method is more accurate in recovering the true cell order for each gene cluster while requiring substantially less computation time than the extended nearest insertion approach.

Conclusions: OscoNet is a robust and versatile approach to detect oscillatory gene networks from snapshot single-cell data addressing many of the limitations of the original Oscope method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12859-020-03561-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445923PMC
August 2020

Regulation of RUNX1 dosage is crucial for efficient blood formation from hemogenic endothelium.

Development 2018 03 12;145(5). Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Stem Cell Biology Group, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK

During ontogeny, hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells arise from hemogenic endothelium through an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition that is strictly dependent on the transcription factor RUNX1. Although it is well established that RUNX1 is essential for the onset of hematopoiesis, little is known about the role of RUNX1 dosage specifically in hemogenic endothelium and during the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition. Here, we used the mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation system to determine if and how RUNX1 dosage affects hemogenic endothelium differentiation. The use of inducible expression combined with alterations in the expression of the RUNX1 co-factor CBFβ allowed us to evaluate a wide range of RUNX1 levels. We demonstrate that low RUNX1 levels are sufficient and necessary to initiate an effective endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition. Subsequently, RUNX1 is also required to complete the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition and to generate functional hematopoietic precursors. In contrast, elevated levels of RUNX1 are able to drive an accelerated endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition, but the resulting cells are unable to generate mature hematopoietic cells. Together, our results suggest that RUNX1 dosage plays a pivotal role in hemogenic endothelium maturation and the establishment of the hematopoietic system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.149419DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868988PMC
March 2018

Stochasticity in the miR-9/Hes1 oscillatory network can account for clonal heterogeneity in the timing of differentiation.

Elife 2016 10 4;5. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Recent studies suggest that cells make stochastic choices with respect to differentiation or division. However, the molecular mechanism underlying such stochasticity is unknown. We previously proposed that the timing of vertebrate neuronal differentiation is regulated by molecular oscillations of a transcriptional repressor, HES1, tuned by a post-transcriptional repressor, miR-9. Here, we computationally model the effects of intrinsic noise on the /miR-9 oscillator as a consequence of low molecular numbers of interacting species, determined experimentally. We report that increased stochasticity spreads the timing of differentiation in a population, such that initially equivalent cells differentiate over a period of time. Surprisingly, inherent stochasticity also increases the robustness of the progenitor state and lessens the impact of unequal, random distribution of molecules at cell division on the temporal spread of differentiation at the population level. This advantageous use of biological noise contrasts with the view that noise needs to be counteracted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5050025PMC
October 2016

The Hemogenic Competence of Endothelial Progenitors Is Restricted by Runx1 Silencing during Embryonic Development.

Cell Rep 2016 06 26;15(10):2185-2199. Epub 2016 May 26.

Cancer Research UK Stem Cell Hematopoiesis Group, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. Electronic address:

It is now well-established that hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progenitor cells originate from a specialized subset of endothelium, termed hemogenic endothelium (HE), via an endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition. However, the molecular mechanisms determining which endothelial progenitors possess this hemogenic potential are currently unknown. Here, we investigated the changes in hemogenic potential in endothelial progenitors at the early stages of embryonic development. Using an ETV2::GFP reporter mouse to isolate emerging endothelial progenitors, we observed a dramatic decrease in hemogenic potential between embryonic day (E)7.5 and E8.5. At the molecular level, Runx1 is expressed at much lower levels in E8.5 intra-embryonic progenitors, while Bmi1 expression is increased. Remarkably, the ectopic expression of Runx1 in these progenitors fully restores their hemogenic potential, as does the suppression of BMI1 function. Altogether, our data demonstrate that hemogenic competency in recently specified endothelial progenitors is restrained through the active silencing of Runx1 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.05.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4906370PMC
June 2016

Expression of the MOZ-TIF2 oncoprotein in mice represses senescence.

Exp Hematol 2016 Apr 5;44(4):231-7.e4. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Cancer Research UK Stem Cell Biology Group, CR-UK Manchester Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. Electronic address:

The MOZ-TIF2 translocation, which fuses monocytic leukemia zinc finger protein (MOZ) histone acetyltransferase (HAT) with the nuclear co-activator TIF2, is associated with the development of acute myeloid leukemia. We recently found that in the absence of MOZ HAT activity, p16(INK4a) transcriptional levels are significantly increased, triggering an early entrance into replicative senescence. Because oncogenic fusion proteins must bypass cellular safeguard mechanisms, such as senescence and apoptosis, to induce leukemia, we hypothesized that this repressive activity of MOZ over p16(INK4a) transcription could be preserved, or even reinforced, in MOZ leukemogenic fusion proteins, such as MOZ-TIF2. We describe here that, indeed, MOZ-TIF2 silences expression of the CDKN2A locus (p16(INK4a) and p19(ARF)), inhibits the triggering of senescence and enhances proliferation, providing conditions favorable to the development of leukemia. Furthermore, we describe that abolishing the MOZ HAT activity of the fusion protein leads to a significant increase in expression of the CDKN2A locus and the number of hematopoietic progenitors undergoing senescence. Finally, we report that inhibition of senescence by MOZ-TIF2 is associated with increased apoptosis, suggesting a role for the fusion protein in p53 apoptosis-versus-senescence balance. Our results underscore the importance of the HAT activity of MOZ, preserved in the fusion protein, for repression of the CDKN2A locus transcription and the subsequent block of senescence, a necessary step for the survival of leukemic cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2015.12.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819447PMC
April 2016

GFI1 proteins orchestrate the emergence of haematopoietic stem cells through recruitment of LSD1.

Nat Cell Biol 2016 Jan 30;18(1):21-32. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

CRUK Stem Cell Biology Group, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK.

In vertebrates, the first haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) with multi-lineage and long-term repopulating potential arise in the AGM (aorta-gonad-mesonephros) region. These HSCs are generated from a rare and transient subset of endothelial cells, called haemogenic endothelium (HE), through an endothelial-to-haematopoietic transition (EHT). Here, we establish the absolute requirement of the transcriptional repressors GFI1 and GFI1B (growth factor independence 1 and 1B) in this unique trans-differentiation process. We first demonstrate that Gfi1 expression specifically defines the rare population of HE that generates emerging HSCs. We further establish that in the absence of GFI1 proteins, HSCs and haematopoietic progenitor cells are not produced in the AGM, revealing the critical requirement for GFI1 proteins in intra-embryonic EHT. Finally, we demonstrate that GFI1 proteins recruit the chromatin-modifying protein LSD1, a member of the CoREST repressive complex, to epigenetically silence the endothelial program in HE and allow the emergence of blood cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncb3276DOI Listing
January 2016

RUNX1 positively regulates a cell adhesion and migration program in murine hemogenic endothelium prior to blood emergence.

Blood 2014 Sep 31;124(11):e11-20. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

Cancer Research UK Stem Cell Biology Group, and.

During ontogeny, the transcription factor RUNX1 governs the emergence of definitive hematopoietic cells from specialized endothelial cells called hemogenic endothelium (HE). The ultimate consequence of this endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition is the concomitant activation of the hematopoietic program and downregulation of the endothelial program. However, due to the rare and transient nature of the HE, little is known about the initial role of RUNX1 within this population. We, therefore, developed and implemented a highly sensitive DNA adenine methyltransferase identification-based methodology, including a novel data analysis pipeline, to map early RUNX1 transcriptional targets in HE cells. This novel transcription factor binding site identification protocol should be widely applicable to other low abundance cell types and factors. Integration of the RUNX1 binding profile with gene expression data revealed an unexpected early role for RUNX1 as a positive regulator of cell adhesion- and migration-associated genes within the HE. This suggests that RUNX1 orchestrates HE cell positioning and integration prior to the release of hematopoietic cells. Overall, our genome-wide analysis of the RUNX1 binding and transcriptional profile in the HE provides a novel comprehensive resource of target genes that will facilitate the precise dissection of the role of RUNX1 in early blood development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2014-04-572958DOI Listing
September 2014

Mutational analysis of TRAF6 reveals a conserved functional role of the RING dimerization interface and a potentially necessary but insufficient role of RING-dependent TRAF6 polyubiquitination towards NF-κB activation.

Cell Signal 2011 May 23;23(5):772-7. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece.

TRAF6 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that plays a pivotal role in the activation of NF-κB by innate and adaptive immunity stimuli. TRAF6 consists of a highly conserved carboxyl terminal TRAF-C domain which is preceded by a coiled coil domain and an amino terminal region that contains a RING domain and a series of putative zinc-finger motifs. The TRAF-C domain contributes to TRAF6 oligomerization and mediates the interaction of TRAF6 with upstream signaling molecules whereas the RING domain comprises the core of the ubiquitin ligase catalytic domain. In order to identify structural elements that are important for TRAF6-induced NF-κB activation, mutational analysis of the TRAF-C and RING domains was performed. Alterations of highly conserved residues of the TRAF-C domain of TRAF6 did not affect significantly the ability of the protein to activate NF-κB. On the other hand a number of functionally important residues (L77, Q82, R88, F118, N121 and E126) for the activation of NF-κB were identified within the RING domain of TRAF6. Interestingly, several homologues of these residues in TRAF2 were shown to have a conserved functional role in TRAF2-induced NF-κB activation and lie at the dimerization interface of the RING domain. Finally, whereas alteration of Q82, R88 and F118 compromised both the K63-linked polyubiquitination of TRAF6 and its ability to activate NF-κB, alteration of L77, N121 and E126 diminished the NF-κB activating function of TRAF6 without affecting TRAF6 K63-linked polyubiquitination. Our results support a conserved functional role of the TRAF RING domain dimerization interface and a potentially necessary but insufficient role for RING-dependent TRAF6 K63-linked polyubiquitination towards NF-κB activation in cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cellsig.2010.12.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3061821PMC
May 2011