Small cell clusters exhibit numerous phenomena typically associated with complex systems, such as division of labour and programmed cell death. A conserved class of such clusters occurs during oogenesis in the form of germline cysts that give rise to oocytes. Germline cysts form through cell divisions with incomplete cytokinesis, leaving cells intimately connected through intercellular bridges that facilitate cyst generation, cell fate determination and collective growth dynamics. Using the well-characterized Drosophila melanogaster female germline cyst as a foundation, we present mathematical models rooted in the dynamics of cell cycle proteins and their interactions to explain the generation of germline cell lineage trees (CLTs) and highlight the diversity of observed CLT sizes and topologies across species. We analyse competing models of symmetry breaking in CLTs to rationalize the observed dynamics and robustness of oocyte fate specification, and highlight remaining gaps in knowledge. We also explore how CLT topology affects cell cycle dynamics and synchronization and highlight mechanisms of intercellular coupling that underlie the observed collective growth patterns during oogenesis. Throughout, we point to similarities across organisms that warrant further investigation and comment on the extent to which experimental and theoretical findings made in model systems extend to other species.
Canary in the cardiac-valve coal mine: Flow velocity and inferred shear during prosthetic valve closure –predictors of blood damage and clotting
To demonstrate a clear link between predicted blood shear forces during valve closure and thrombogenicity that explains the thrombogenic difference between tissue and mechanical valves and provides a practical metric to develop and refine prosthetic valve designs for reduced thrombogenicity.
Independently paced Ca2+ oscillations in progenitor and differentiated cells in an ex vivo epithelial organ
Cytosolic Ca2+ is a highly dynamic, tightly regulated and broadly conserved cellular signal. Ca2+ dynamics have been studied widely in cellular monocultures, yet organs in vivo comprise heterogeneous populations of stem and differentiated cells. Here, we examine Ca2+ dynamics in the adult Drosophila intestine, a self-renewing epithelial organ in which stem cells continuously produce daughters that differentiate into either enteroendocrine cells or enterocytes. Live imaging of whole organs ex vivo reveals that stem-cell daughters adopt strikingly distinct patterns of Ca2+ oscillations after differentiation: enteroendocrine cells exhibit single-cell Ca2+ oscillations, whereas enterocytes exhibit rhythmic, long-range Ca2+ waves. These multicellular waves do not propagate through immature progenitors (stem cells and enteroblasts), of which the oscillation frequency is approximately half that of enteroendocrine cells. Organ-scale inhibition of gap junctions eliminates Ca2+ oscillations in all cell types – even, intriguingly, in progenitor and enteroendocrine cells that are surrounded only by enterocytes. Our findings establish that cells adopt fate-specific modes of Ca2+ dynamics as they terminally differentiate and reveal that the oscillatory dynamics of different cell types in a single, coherent epithelium are paced independently.
Mixtures of filaments and molecular motors form active materials with diverse dynamical behaviors that vary based on their constituents’ molecular properties. To develop a multiscale of these materials, we map the nonequilibrium phase diagram of microtubules and tip-accumulating kinesin-4 molecular motors. We find that kinesin-4 can drive either global contractions or turbulent like extensile dynamics, depending on the concentrations of both microtubules and a bundling agent. We also observe a range of spatially heterogeneous nonequilibrium phases, including finite-sized radial asters, 1D wormlike chains, extended 2D bilayers, and system-spanning 3D active foams. Finally, we describe intricate kinetic pathways that yield microphase-separated structures and arise from the inherent frustration between the orientational order of filamentous microtubules and the positional order of tip-accumulating molecular motors. Our work reveals a range of novel active states. It also shows that the form of active stresses is not solely dictated by the properties of individual motors and filaments, but is also contingent on the constituent concentrations and spatial arrangement of motors on the filaments.
Epigenomic profiling has enabled large-scale identification of regulatory elements, yet we still lack a systematic mapping from any sequence or variant to regulatory activities. We address this challenge with Sei, a framework for integrating human genetics data with sequence information to discover the regulatory basis of traits and diseases. Sei learns a vocabulary of regulatory activities, called sequence classes, using a deep learning model that predicts 21,907 chromatin profiles across >1,300 cell lines and tissues. Sequence classes provide a global classification and quantification of sequence and variant effects based on diverse regulatory activities, such as cell type-specific enhancer functions. These predictions are supported by tissue-specific expression, expression quantitative trait loci and evolutionary constraint data. Furthermore, sequence classes enable characterization of the tissue-specific, regulatory architecture of complex traits and generate mechanistic hypotheses for individual regulatory pathogenic mutations. We provide Sei as a resource to elucidate the regulatory basis of human health and disease.
We consider the Saintillan--Shelley kinetic model of active rodlike particles in Stokes flow (Saintillan & Shelley 2008a,b), for which the uniform, isotropic suspension of pusher particles is known to be unstable in certain settings. Through weakly nonlinear analysis accompanied by numerical simulations, we determine exactly how the isotropic steady state loses stability in different parameter regimes. We study each of the various types of bifurcations admitted by the system, including both subcritical and supercritical Hopf and pitchfork bifurcations. Elucidating this system's behavior near these bifurcations provides a theoretical means of comparing this model with other physical systems which transition to turbulence, and makes predictions about the nature of bifurcations in active suspensions that can be explored experimentally.
Many active biological particles, such as swimming microorganisms or motor-proteins, do work on their environment by going though a periodic sequence of shapes. Interactions between particles can lead to the phase-synchronization of their duty cycles. Here we consider collective dynamics in a suspension of such active particles coupled through hydrodynamics. We demonstrate that the emergent non-equilibrium states feature stationary patterned flows and robust unidirectional pumping states under confinement. Moreover the phase-synchronized state of the suspension exhibits spatially robust chimera patterns in which synchronized and phase-isotropic regions coexist within the same system. These findings demonstrate a new route to pattern formation and could guide the design of new active materials.
We present a statistical learning framework for robust identification of differential equations from noisy spatio-temporal data. We address two issues that have so far limited the application of such methods, namely their robustness against noise and the need for manual parameter tuning, by proposing stability-based model selection to determine the level of regularization required for reproducible inference. This avoids manual parameter tuning and improves robustness against noise in the data. Our stability selection approach, termed PDE-STRIDE, can be combined with any sparsity-promoting regression method and provides an interpretable criterion for model component importance. We show that the particular combination of stability selection with the iterative hard-thresholding algorithm from compressed sensing provides a fast and robust framework for equation inference that outperforms previous approaches with respect to accuracy, amount of data required, and robustness. We illustrate the performance of PDE-STRIDE on a range of simulated benchmark problems, and we demonstrate the applicability of PDE-STRIDE on real-world data by considering purely data-driven inference of the protein interaction network for embryonic polarization in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using fluorescence microscopy images of C. elegans zygotes as input data, PDE-STRIDE is able to learn the molecular interactions of the proteins.
We present data structures and algorithms for native implementations of discrete convolution operators over Adaptive Particle Representations (APR) of images on parallel computer architectures. The APR is a content-adaptive image representation that locally adapts the sampling resolution to the image signal. It has been developed as an alternative to pixel representations for large, sparse images as they typically occur in fluorescence microscopy. It has been shown to reduce the memory and runtime costs of storing, visualizing, and processing such images. This, however, requires that image processing natively operates on APRs, without intermediately reverting to pixels. Designing efficient and scalable APR-native image processing primitives, however, is complicated by the APR’s irregular memory structure. Here, we provide the algorithmic building blocks required to efficiently and natively process APR images using a wide range of algorithms that can be formulated in terms of discrete convolutions. We show that APR convolution naturally leads to scale-adaptive algorithms that efficiently parallelize on multi-core CPU and GPU architectures. We quantify the speedups in comparison to pixel-based algorithms and convolutions on evenly sampled data. We achieve pixel-equivalent throughputs of up to 1TB/s on a single Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 gaming GPU, requiring up to two orders of magnitude less memory than a pixel-based implementation.
Kidney Precision Medicine Project (KPMP) is building a spatially specified human kidney tissue atlas in health and disease with single-cell resolution. Here, we describe the construction of an integrated reference map of cells, pathways, and genes using unaffected regions of nephrectomy tissues and undiseased human biopsies from 56 adult subjects. We use single-cell/nucleus transcriptomics, subsegmental laser microdissection transcriptomics and proteomics, near-single-cell proteomics, 3D and CODEX imaging, and spatial metabolomics to hierarchically identify genes, pathways, and cells. Integrated data from these different technologies coherently identify cell types/subtypes within different nephron segments and the interstitium. These profiles describe cell-level functional organization of the kidney following its physiological functions and link cell subtypes to genes, proteins, metabolites, and pathways. They further show that messenger RNA levels along the nephron are congruent with the subsegmental physiological activity. This reference atlas provides a framework for the classification of kidney disease when multiple molecular mechanisms underlie convergent clinical phenotypes.
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