Publications by authors named "Sopheak Sim"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

LEFTY1 Is a Dual-SMAD Inhibitor that Promotes Mammary Progenitor Growth and Tumorigenesis.

Cell Stem Cell 2020 08 20;27(2):284-299.e8. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; Chan Zuckerburg Biohub, San Francisco, CA, USA. Electronic address:

SMAD pathways govern epithelial proliferation, and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β and BMP signaling through SMAD members has distinct effects on mammary development and homeostasis. Here, we show that LEFTY1, a secreted inhibitor of NODAL/SMAD2 signaling, is produced by mammary progenitor cells and, concomitantly, suppresses SMAD2 and SMAD5 signaling to promote long-term proliferation of normal and malignant mammary epithelial cells. In contrast, BMP7, a NODAL antagonist with context-dependent functions, is produced by basal cells and restrains progenitor cell proliferation. In normal mouse epithelium, LEFTY1 expression in a subset of luminal cells and rare basal cells opposes BMP7 to promote ductal branching. LEFTY1 binds BMPR2 to suppress BMP7-induced activation of SMAD5, and this LEFTY1-BMPR2 interaction is specific to tumor-initiating cells in triple-negative breast cancer xenografts that rely on LEFTY1 for growth. These results suggest that LEFTY1 is an endogenous dual-SMAD inhibitor and that suppressing its function may represent a therapeutic vulnerability in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.06.017DOI Listing
August 2020

Role of epithelial to mesenchymal transition associated genes in mammary gland regeneration and breast tumorigenesis.

Nat Commun 2017 11 21;8(1):1669. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, 265 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

Previous studies have proposed that epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in breast cancer cells regulates metastasis, stem cell properties and chemo-resistance; most studies were based on in vitro culture of cell lines and mouse transgenic cancer models. However, the identity and function of cells expressing EMT-associated genes in normal murine mammary gland homeostasis and human breast cancer still remains under debate. Using in vivo lineage tracing and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patient derived xenografts we demonstrate that the repopulating capacity in normal mammary epithelial cells and tumorigenic capacity in TNBC is independent of expression of EMT-associated genes. In breast cancer, while a subset of cells with epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes have stem cell activity, in many cells that have lost epithelial characteristics with increased expression of mesenchymal genes, have decreased tumor-initiating capacity and plasticity. These findings have implications for the development of effective therapeutic agents targeting tumor-initiating cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-01666-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5698470PMC
November 2017

Rapid Chromatin Switch in the Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts to Neurons.

Cell Rep 2017 Sep;20(13):3236-3247

Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes and Program in Epithelial Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

How transcription factors (TFs) reprogram one cell lineage to another remains unclear. Here, we define chromatin accessibility changes induced by the proneural TF Ascl1 throughout conversion of fibroblasts into induced neuronal (iN) cells. Thousands of genomic loci are affected as early as 12 hr after Ascl1 induction. Surprisingly, over 80% of the accessibility changes occur between days 2 and 5 of the 3-week reprogramming process. This chromatin switch coincides with robust activation of endogenous neuronal TFs and nucleosome phasing of neuronal promoters and enhancers. Subsequent morphological and functional maturation of iN cells is accomplished with relatively little chromatin reconfiguration. By integrating chromatin accessibility and transcriptome changes, we built a network model of dynamic TF regulation during iN cell reprogramming and identified Zfp238, Sox8, and Dlx3 as key TFs downstream of Ascl1. These results reveal a singular, coordinated epigenomic switch during direct reprogramming, in contrast to stepwise cell fate transitions in development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.09.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5646379PMC
September 2017

A Quiescent Bcl11b High Stem Cell Population Is Required for Maintenance of the Mammary Gland.

Cell Stem Cell 2017 02 29;20(2):247-260.e5. Epub 2016 Dec 29.

Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Stem cells in many tissues sustain themselves by entering a quiescent state to avoid genomic insults and to prevent exhaustion caused by excessive proliferation. In the mammary gland, the identity and characteristics of quiescent epithelial stem cells are not clear. Here, we identify a quiescent mammary epithelial cell population expressing high levels of Bcl11b and located at the interface between luminal and basal cells. Bcl11b cells are enriched for cells that can regenerate mammary glands in secondary transplants. Loss of Bcl11b leads to a Cdkn2a-dependent exhaustion of ductal epithelium and loss of epithelial cell regenerative capacity. Gain- and loss-of-function studies show that Bcl11b induces cells to enter the G phase of the cell cycle and become quiescent. Taken together, these results suggest that Bcl11b acts as a central intrinsic regulator of mammary epithelial stem cell quiescence and exhaustion and is necessary for long-term maintenance of the mammary gland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2016.11.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5341693PMC
February 2017

Transcriptomic Profiling Maps Anatomically Patterned Subpopulations among Single Embryonic Cardiac Cells.

Dev Cell 2016 11 10;39(4):491-507. Epub 2016 Nov 10.

Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:

Embryonic gene expression intricately reflects anatomical context, developmental stage, and cell type. To address whether the precise spatial origins of cardiac cells can be deduced solely from their transcriptional profiles, we established a genome-wide expression database from 118, 949, and 1,166 single murine heart cells at embryonic day 8.5 (e8.5), e9.5, and e10.5, respectively. We segregated these cells by type using unsupervised bioinformatics analysis and identified chamber-specific genes. Using a random forest algorithm, we reconstructed the spatial origin of single e9.5 and e10.5 cardiomyocytes with 92.0% ± 3.2% and 91.2% ± 2.8% accuracy, respectively (99.4% ± 1.0% and 99.1% ± 1.1% if a ±1 zone margin is permitted) and predicted the second heart field distribution of Isl-1-lineage descendants. When applied to Nkx2-5 cardiomyocytes from murine e9.5 hearts, we showed their transcriptional alteration and lack of ventricular phenotype. Our database and zone classification algorithm will enable the discovery of novel mechanisms in early cardiac development and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2016.10.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5130110PMC
November 2016

Dissecting direct reprogramming from fibroblast to neuron using single-cell RNA-seq.

Nature 2016 06 8;534(7607):391-5. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Direct lineage reprogramming represents a remarkable conversion of cellular and transcriptome states. However, the intermediate stages through which individual cells progress during reprogramming are largely undefined. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing at multiple time points to dissect direct reprogramming from mouse embryonic fibroblasts to induced neuronal cells. By deconstructing heterogeneity at each time point and ordering cells by transcriptome similarity, we find that the molecular reprogramming path is remarkably continuous. Overexpression of the proneural pioneer factor Ascl1 results in a well-defined initialization, causing cells to exit the cell cycle and re-focus gene expression through distinct neural transcription factors. The initial transcriptional response is relatively homogeneous among fibroblasts, suggesting that the early steps are not limiting for productive reprogramming. Instead, the later emergence of a competing myogenic program and variable transgene dynamics over time appear to be the major efficiency limits of direct reprogramming. Moreover, a transcriptional state, distinct from donor and target cell programs, is transiently induced in cells undergoing productive reprogramming. Our data provide a high-resolution approach for understanding transcriptome states during lineage differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928860PMC
June 2016

Quantitative assessment of single-cell RNA-sequencing methods.

Nat Methods 2014 Jan 20;11(1):41-6. Epub 2013 Oct 20.

1] Department of Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA. [2] Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford, California, USA. [3] Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

Interest in single-cell whole-transcriptome analysis is growing rapidly, especially for profiling rare or heterogeneous populations of cells. We compared commercially available single-cell RNA amplification methods with both microliter and nanoliter volumes, using sequence from bulk total RNA and multiplexed quantitative PCR as benchmarks to systematically evaluate the sensitivity and accuracy of various single-cell RNA-seq approaches. We show that single-cell RNA-seq can be used to perform accurate quantitative transcriptome measurement in individual cells with a relatively small number of sequencing reads and that sequencing large numbers of single cells can recapitulate bulk transcriptome complexity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2694DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022966PMC
January 2014

Identification of a cKit(+) colonic crypt base secretory cell that supports Lgr5(+) stem cells in mice.

Gastroenterology 2012 May 11;142(5):1195-1205.e6. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Background & Aims: Paneth cells contribute to the small intestinal niche of Lgr5(+) stem cells. Although the colon also contains Lgr5(+) stem cells, it does not contain Paneth cells. We investigated the existence of colonic Paneth-like cells that have a distinct transcriptional signature and support Lgr5(+) stem cells.

Methods: We used multicolor fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate different subregions of colon crypts, based on known markers, from dissociated colonic epithelium of mice. We performed multiplexed single-cell gene expression analysis with quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction followed by hierarchical clustering analysis to characterize distinct cell types. We used immunostaining and fluorescence-activated cell sorting analyses with in vivo administration of a Notch inhibitor and in vitro organoid cultures to characterize different cell types.

Results: Multicolor fluorescence-activated cell sorting could isolate distinct regions of colonic crypts. Four major epithelial subtypes or transcriptional states were revealed by gene expression analysis of selected populations of single cells. One of these, the goblet cells, contained a distinct cKit/CD117(+) crypt base subpopulation that expressed Dll1, Dll4, and epidermal growth factor, similar to Paneth cells, which were also marked by cKit. In the colon, cKit(+) goblet cells were interdigitated with Lgr5(+) stem cells. In vivo, this colonic cKit(+) population was regulated by Notch signaling; administration of a γ-secretase inhibitor to mice increased the number of cKit(+) cells. When isolated from mouse colon, cKit(+) cells promoted formation of organoids from Lgr5(+) stem cells, which expressed Kitl/stem cell factor, the ligand for cKit. When organoids were depleted of cKit(+) cells using a toxin-conjugated antibody, organoid formation decreased.

Conclusions: cKit marks small intestinal Paneth cells and a subset of colonic goblet cells that are regulated by Notch signaling and support Lgr5(+) stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2012.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3911891PMC
May 2012

Single-cell dissection of transcriptional heterogeneity in human colon tumors.

Nat Biotechnol 2011 Nov 13;29(12):1120-7. Epub 2011 Nov 13.

Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

Cancer is often viewed as a caricature of normal developmental processes, but the extent to which its cellular heterogeneity truly recapitulates multilineage differentiation processes of normal tissues remains unknown. Here we implement single-cell PCR gene-expression analysis to dissect the cellular composition of primary human normal colon and colon cancer epithelia. We show that human colon cancer tissues contain distinct cell populations whose transcriptional identities mirror those of the different cellular lineages of normal colon. By creating monoclonal tumor xenografts from injection of a single (n = 1) cell, we demonstrate that the transcriptional diversity of cancer tissues is largely explained by in vivo multilineage differentiation and not only by clonal genetic heterogeneity. Finally, we show that the different gene-expression programs linked to multilineage differentiation are strongly associated with patient survival. We develop two-gene classifier systems (KRT20 versus CA1, MS4A12, CD177, SLC26A3) that predict clinical outcomes with hazard ratios superior to those of pathological grade and comparable to those of microarray-derived multigene expression signatures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.2038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237928PMC
November 2011
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