Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011 Apr 29;6(4):e18968. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018968.

Computational integration of homolog and pathway gene module expression reveals general stemness signatures.

Author information

  • 1Biomolecular Engineering, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States of America.

Abstract

The stemness hypothesis states that all stem cells use common mechanisms to regulate self-renewal and multi-lineage potential. However, gene expression meta-analyses at the single gene level have failed to identify a significant number of genes selectively expressed by a broad range of stem cell types. We hypothesized that stemness may be regulated by modules of homologs. While the expression of any single gene within a module may vary from one stem cell type to the next, it is possible that the expression of the module as a whole is required so that the expression of different, yet functionally-synonymous, homologs is needed in different stem cells. Thus, we developed a computational method to test for stem cell-specific gene expression patterns from a comprehensive collection of 49 murine datasets covering 12 different stem cell types. We identified 40 individual genes and 224 stemness modules with reproducible and specific up-regulation across multiple stem cell types. The stemness modules included families regulating chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and Wnt signaling. Strikingly, the majority of modules represent evolutionarily related homologs. Moreover, a score based on the discovered modules could accurately distinguish stem cell-like populations from other cell types in both normal and cancer tissues. This scoring system revealed that both mouse and human metastatic populations exhibit higher stemness indices than non-metastatic populations, providing further evidence for a stem cell-driven component underlying the transformation to metastatic disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk