Cell-type specific RNA-Seq reveals novel roles and regulatory programs for terminally differentiated Dictyostelium cells

Koryu Kin, Gillian Forbes, Andrew Cassidy, Pauline Schaap (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: A major hallmark of multicellular evolution is increasing complexity by the evolution of new specialized cell types. During Dictyostelid evolution novel specialization occurred within taxon group 4. We here aim to retrace the nature and ancestry of the novel “cup” cells by comparing their transcriptome to that of other cell types.

Results: RNA-Seq was performed on purified mature spore, stalk and cup cells and on vegetative amoebas. Clustering and phylogenetic analyses showed that cup cells were most similar to stalk cells, suggesting that they share a common ancestor. The affinity between cup and stalk cells was also evident from promoter-reporter studies of newly identified cell-type genes, which revealed late expression in cups of many stalk genes. However, GO enrichment analysis reveal the unexpected prominence of GTPase mediated signalling in cup cells, in contrast to enrichment of autophagy and cell wall synthesis related transcripts in stalk cells. Combining the cell type RNA-Seq data with developmental expression profiles revealed complex expression dynamics in each cell type as well as genes exclusively expressed during terminal differentiation. Most notable were nine related hssA-like genes that were highly and exclusively expressed in cup cells.

Conclusions: This study reveals the unique transcriptomes of the mature cup, stalk and spore cells of D. discoideum and provides insight into the ancestry of cup cells and roles in signalling that were not previously realized. The data presented in this study will serve as an important resource for future studies into the regulation and evolution of cell type specialization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number764
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Cell type specific transcriptomics - evolution of soma - cup cells
  • Dictyostelium discoideum
  • hssA like genes
  • Small GTPase mediated signalling

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