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Single-cell Gene Regulation in Differentiation and Pluripotency (Single-cell Genomics)
Date du début: 1 févr. 2010, Date de fin: 31 janv. 2015 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

We aim to study transcriptomes with single-cell resolution, a long-standing goal in biology, to answer fundamental questions about gene regulation. The main objective concerns gene regulation during in vivo differentiation and in pluripotent cells by studying single-cells from murine preimplantation embryos, a model system with natural single-cell resolution, important biology and medical potential. This would also allow us to explore general regulatory principles of gene expression programs of individual cells. This research program will be accomplished by novel deep sequencing technology of mRNAs (mRNA-Seq) to obtain quantitative, unbiased and genome-wide gene and isoform expression measurements. We are therefore developing new experimental and computational methods for genome-wide analyses of transcriptomes at single-cell resolution. The biological significances of the proposed research are unique insights into early embryonic development. Deep sequencing of transcriptomes will also reveal post-transcriptional gene regulation important for pluripotent cells and identified pluripotency-specific gene and isoform expressions will be important for future stem cell based therapies. The inherit single-cell nature of the model system together with its important biology makes it a model systems exceptionally well suited for a systems biology approach aiming to characterize gene regulation at single-cell resolution. The novel methodology has tremendous potential to enable complete mRNA characterization of individual cells. The deep sequencing approach with state-of-the-art computational analyses is both more quantitative than previous methods and it will give readouts on alternative isoforms generated by alternative promoters, splicing and polyadenylation.