Evolutionary conserved gene co-expression drives generation of self-antigen diversity in medullary thymic epithelial cells

Rattay, K., Meyer, H. V., Herrmann, C., Brors, B., Kyewski, B. (February 2016) Evolutionary conserved gene co-expression drives generation of self-antigen diversity in medullary thymic epithelial cells. J Autoimmun, 67. pp. 65-75. ISSN 0896-8411

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26481130
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaut.2015.10.001


Promiscuous expression of a plethora of tissue-restricted antigens (TRAs) in medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) is essential for central tolerance. This promiscuous gene expression (pGE) is characterized by inclusion of a broad range of TRAs and by its mosaic expression patterns, i.e. each antigen is only expressed in 1-3% of mTECs. It is currently unclear to which extent random and/or deterministic mechanisms are involved in the regulation of pGE. In order to address this issue, we deconstructed the transcriptional heterogeneity in mTEC to minor subsets expressing a particular TRA. We identified six delineable co-expression groups in mouse mTECs. These co-expression groups displayed a variable degree of mutual overlap and mapped to different stages of mTEC development. Co-expressed genes showed chromosomal preference and clustered within delimited genomic regions. Moreover, co-expression groups in mice and humans selected by a pair of orthologous genes preferentially co-expressed sets of orthologous genes attesting to the species conservation of pGE between mouse and human. Furthermore, co-expressed genes were enriched for specific transcription factor binding motifs concomitant with up-regulation of the corresponding transcription factors, implicating additional factors in the regulation of pGE besides the Autoimmune Regulator (Aire). Thus promiscuous transcription of self-antigens in mTECs entails a highly coordinated process, which is evolutionary strictly conserved between species.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > DNA, RNA structure, function, modification > genes, structure and function > gene expression
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Meyer Lab
Depositing User: Matthew Dunn
Date: February 2016
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 14:17
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 14:17
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/37739

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving