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In JoVE (1)
- iCLIP - Transcriptome-wide Mapping of Protein-RNA Interactions with Individual Nucleotide Resolution
Other Publications (20)
- Artificial Intelligence in Medicine
- Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)
- Bioinformatics (Oxford, England)
- International Journal of Medical Informatics
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Nucleic Acids Research
- Current Biology : CB
- Methods of Information in Medicine
- BMC Bioinformatics
- BMC Genomics
- Genome Biology
- Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
- Omics : a Journal of Integrative Biology
- PLoS Biology
- Nature Neuroscience
- Nucleic Acids Research
- The Journal of Cell Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Genome Research
- PLoS Genetics
Articles by Tomaz Curk in JoVE
iCLIP - Transcriptome-wide Mapping of Protein-RNA Interactions with Individual Nucleotide Resolution
Julian Konig1, Kathi Zarnack2, Gregor Rot3, Tomaz Curk3, Melis Kayikci1, Blaz Zupan3, Daniel J. Turner4, Nicholas M. Luscombe2, Jernej Ule1
1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council - MRC, 2European Bioinformatics Institute, EMBL Heidelberg, 3Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, 4Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
The spatial arrangement of RNA-binding proteins on a transcript is a key determinant of post-transcriptional regulation. Therefore, we developed individual-nucleotide resolution UV crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) that allows precise genome-wide mapping of the binding sites of an RNA-binding protein.
Other articles by Tomaz Curk on PubMed
Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. Sep-Oct, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12957783
A genetic network is a formalism that is often used in biology to represent causalities and reason about biological phenomena related to genetic regulation. We present GenePath, a computer-based system that supports the inference of genetic networks from a set of genetic experiments. Implemented in Prolog, GenePath uses abductive inference to elucidate network constraints based on background knowledge and experimental results. Additionally, it can propose genetic experiments that may further refine the discovered network and establish relations between genes that could not be related based on the original experimental data. We illustrate GenePath's approach and utility on analysis of data on aggregation and sporulation of the soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.
Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15308546
Visual programming offers an intuitive means of combining known analysis and visualization methods into powerful applications. The system presented here enables users who are not programmers to manage microarray and genomic data flow and to customize their analyses by combining common data analysis tools to fit their needs. AVAILABILITY: http://www.ailab.si/supp/bi-visprog SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: http://www.ailab.si/supp/bi-visprog.
Bioinformatics (Oxford, England). Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15358614
VizRank is a tool that finds interesting two-dimensional projections of class-labeled data. When applied to multi-dimensional functional genomics datasets, VizRank can systematically find relevant biological patterns. AVAILABILITY: http://www.ailab.si/supp/bi-vizrank SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: http://www.ailab.si/supp/bi-vizrank.
International Journal of Medical Informatics. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15941669
This paper describes a new technique for clustering short time series of gene expression data. The technique is a generalization of the template-based clustering and is based on a qualitative representation of profiles which are labelled using trend Temporal Abstractions (TAs); clusters are then dynamically identified on the basis of this qualitative representation. Clustering is performed in an efficient way at three different levels of aggregation of qualitative labels, each level corresponding to a distinct degree of qualitative representation. The developed TA-clustering algorithm provides an innovative way to cluster gene profiles. We show the developed method to be robust, efficient and to perform better than the standard hierarchical agglomerative clustering approach when dealing with temporal dislocations of time series. Results of the TA-clustering algorithm can be visualized as a three-level hierarchical tree of qualitative representations and as such easy to interpret. We demonstrate the utility of the proposed algorithm on a set of two simulated data sets and on a study of gene expression data from S. cerevisiae.
Eukaryotic Cell. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16400165
Methylation of cytosine residues in DNA plays a critical role in the silencing of gene expression, organization of chromatin structure, and cellular differentiation of eukaryotes. Previous studies failed to detect 5-methylcytosine in Dictyostelium genomic DNA, but the recent sequencing of the Dictyostelium genome revealed a candidate DNA methyltransferase gene (dnmA). The genome sequence also uncovered an unusual distribution of potential methylation sites, CpG islands, throughout the genome. DnmA belongs to the Dnmt2 subfamily and contains all the catalytic motifs necessary for cytosine methyltransferases. Dnmt2 activity is typically weak in Drosophila melanogaster, mouse, and human cells and the gene function in these systems is unknown. We have investigated the methylation status of Dictyostelium genomic DNA with antibodies raised against 5-methylcytosine and detected low levels of the modified nucleotide. We also found that DNA methylation increased during development. We searched the genome for potential methylation sites and found them in retrotransposable elements and in several other genes. Using Southern blot analysis with methylation-sensitive and -insensitive restriction endonucleases, we found that the DIRS retrotransposon and the guaB gene were indeed methylated. We then mutated the dnmA gene and found that DNA methylation was reduced to about 50% of the wild-type level. The mutant cells exhibited morphological defects in late development, indicating that DNA methylation has a regulatory role in Dictyostelium development. Our findings establish a role for a Dnmt2 methyltransferase in eukaryotic development.
Nucleic Acids Research. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18974179
dictyBase (http://dictybase.org) is the model organism database for Dictyostelium discoideum. It houses the complete genome sequence, ESTs and the entire body of literature relevant to Dictyostelium. This information is curated to provide accurate gene models and functional annotations, with the goal of fully annotating the genome. This dictyBase update describes the annotations and features implemented since 2006, including improved strain and phenotype representation, integration of predicted transcriptional regulatory elements, protein domain information, biochemical pathways, improved searching and a wiki tool that allows members of the research community to provide annotations.
Current Biology : CB. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19285397
Self and kin discrimination are observed in most kingdoms of life and are mediated by highly polymorphic plasma membrane proteins. Sequence polymorphism, which is essential for effective recognition, is maintained by balancing selection. Dictyostelium discoideum are social amoebas that propagate as unicellular organisms but aggregate upon starvation and form fruiting bodies with viable spores and dead stalk cells. Aggregative development exposes Dictyostelium to the perils of chimerism, including cheating, which raises questions about how the victims survive in nature and how social cooperation persists. Dictyostelids can minimize the cost of chimerism by preferential cooperation with kin, but the mechanisms of kin discrimination are largely unknown. Dictyostelium lag genes encode transmembrane proteins with multiple immunoglobulin (Ig) repeats that participate in cell adhesion and signaling. Here, we describe their role in kin discrimination. We show that lagB1 and lagC1 are highly polymorphic in natural populations and that their sequence dissimilarity correlates well with wild-strain segregation. Deleting lagB1 and lagC1 results in strain segregation in chimeras with wild-type cells, whereas elimination of the nearly invariant homolog lagD1 has no such consequences. These findings reveal an early evolutionary origin of kin discrimination and provide insight into the mechanism of social recognition and immunity.
Methods of Information in Medicine. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19387502
The genetic cellular response to internal and external changes is determined by the sequence and structure of gene-regulatory promoter regions.
DictyExpress: a Dictyostelium Discoideum Gene Expression Database with an Explorative Data Analysis Web-based Interface
BMC Bioinformatics. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19706156
Bioinformatics often leverages on recent advancements in computer science to support biologists in their scientific discovery process. Such efforts include the development of easy-to-use web interfaces to biomedical databases. Recent advancements in interactive web technologies require us to rethink the standard submit-and-wait paradigm, and craft bioinformatics web applications that share analytical and interactive power with their desktop relatives, while retaining simplicity and availability.
BMC Genomics. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20092660
Computational methods that infer single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) interactions from phenotype data may uncover new biological mechanisms in non-Mendelian diseases. However, practical aspects of such analysis face many problems. Present experimental studies typically use SNP arrays with hundreds of thousands of SNPs but record only hundreds of samples. Candidate SNP pairs inferred by interaction analysis may include a high proportion of false positives. Recently, Gayan et al. (2008) proposed to reduce the number of false positives by combining results of interaction analysis performed on subsets of data (replication groups), rather than analyzing the entire data set directly. If performing as hypothesized, replication groups scoring could improve interaction analysis and also any type of feature ranking and selection procedure in systems biology. Because Gayan et al. do not compare their approach to the standard interaction analysis techniques, we here investigate if replication groups indeed reduce the number of reported false positive interactions.
Genome Biology. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20236529
Evolutionarily divergent organisms often share developmental anatomies despite vast differences between their genome sequences. The social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and Dictyostelium purpureum have similar developmental morphologies although their genomes are as divergent as those of man and jawed fish.
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Jul, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20601959
In the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, nascent transcripts are associated with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) particles that are nucleated by hnRNP C. Despite their abundance, however, it remained unclear whether these particles control pre-mRNA processing. Here, we developed individual-nucleotide resolution UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) to study the role of hnRNP C in splicing regulation. iCLIP data show that hnRNP C recognizes uridine tracts with a defined long-range spacing consistent with hnRNP particle organization. hnRNP particles assemble on both introns and exons but remain generally excluded from splice sites. Integration of transcriptome-wide iCLIP data and alternative splicing profiles into an 'RNA map' indicates how the positioning of hnRNP particles determines their effect on the inclusion of alternative exons. The ability of high-resolution iCLIP data to provide insights into the mechanism of this regulation holds promise for studies of other higher-order ribonucleoprotein complexes.
Omics : a Journal of Integrative Biology. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20726796
Inference of new and useful hypotheses from heterogeneous sources of genome-scale experimental data requires new computational methods that can integrate different types of data. Gene expression and genetic interaction data are two most informative data types, each allowing the identification of genes at different levels of cellular regulatory network hierarchy. We present an integrative data analysis approach, which, rather than correlating the findings from the two data sets, uses each type of data independently to identify the components of molecular pathways and combines them into a single directed network. Our computational genomics approach is based on a set of inference rules traditionally used for reasoning on genetic experiments, which we have formalized and implemented in a software tool. The approach uses chemogenetic interaction and expression data to infer the type of relation between the chemical substance (perturber) and a transcription factor by using previous knowledge on the set of genes whose expression the transcription factor in question regulates. We have used the proposed approach to successfully infer the models for the action of the drug rapamycin and of a DNA damaging agent on their molecular targets and pathways in yeast cells. The developed method is available as a web-based tool at http://www.ailab.si/perturbagen.
PLoS Biology. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21048981
The regulation of alternative splicing involves interactions between RNA-binding proteins and pre-mRNA positions close to the splice sites. T-cell intracellular antigen 1 (TIA1) and TIA1-like 1 (TIAL1) locally enhance exon inclusion by recruiting U1 snRNP to 5' splice sites. However, effects of TIA proteins on splicing of distal exons have not yet been explored. We used UV-crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP) to find that TIA1 and TIAL1 bind at the same positions on human RNAs. Binding downstream of 5' splice sites was used to predict the effects of TIA proteins in enhancing inclusion of proximal exons and silencing inclusion of distal exons. The predictions were validated in an unbiased manner using splice-junction microarrays, RT-PCR, and minigene constructs, which showed that TIA proteins maintain splicing fidelity and regulate alternative splicing by binding exclusively downstream of 5' splice sites. Surprisingly, TIA binding at 5' splice sites silenced distal cassette and variable-length exons without binding in proximity to the regulated alternative 3' splice sites. Using transcriptome-wide high-resolution mapping of TIA-RNA interactions we evaluated the distal splicing effects of TIA proteins. These data are consistent with a model where TIA proteins shorten the time available for definition of an alternative exon by enhancing recognition of the preceding 5' splice site. Thus, our findings indicate that changes in splicing kinetics could mediate the distal regulation of alternative splicing.
Nature Neuroscience. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21358640
TDP-43 is a predominantly nuclear RNA-binding protein that forms inclusion bodies in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The mRNA targets of TDP-43 in the human brain and its role in RNA processing are largely unknown. Using individual nucleotide-resolution ultraviolet cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP), we found that TDP-43 preferentially bound long clusters of UG-rich sequences in vivo. Analysis of RNA binding by TDP-43 in brains from subjects with FTLD revealed that the greatest increases in binding were to the MALAT1 and NEAT1 noncoding RNAs. We also found that binding of TDP-43 to pre-mRNAs influenced alternative splicing in a similar position-dependent manner to Nova proteins. In addition, we identified unusually long clusters of TDP-43 binding at deep intronic positions downstream of silenced exons. A substantial proportion of alternative mRNA isoforms regulated by TDP-43 encode proteins that regulate neuronal development or have been implicated in neurological diseases, highlighting the importance of TDP-43 for the regulation of splicing in the brain.
Nucleic Acids Research. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21576219
SNPsyn (http://snpsyn.biolab.si) is an interactive software tool for the discovery of synergistic pairs of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from large genome-wide case-control association studies (GWAS) data on complex diseases. Synergy among SNPs is estimated using an information-theoretic approach called interaction analysis. SNPsyn is both a stand-alone C++/Flash application and a web server. The computationally intensive part is implemented in C++ and can run in parallel on a dedicated cluster or grid. The graphical user interface is written in Adobe Flash Builder 4 and can run in most web browsers or as a stand-alone application. The SNPsyn web server hosts the Flash application, receives GWAS data submissions, invokes the interaction analysis and serves result files. The user can explore details on identified synergistic pairs of SNPs, perform gene set enrichment analysis and interact with the constructed SNP synergy network.
The Journal of Cell Biology. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21708977
Postnatal heart stem and progenitor cells are a potential therapeutic tool for cardiomyopathies, but little is known about the mechanisms that control cardiac differentiation. Recent work has highlighted an important role for microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) as regulators of cardiac and skeletal myogenesis. In this paper, we isolated cardiac progenitors from neonatal β-sarcoglycan (Sgcb)-null mouse hearts affected by dilated cardiomyopathy. Unexpectedly, Sgcb-null cardiac progenitors spontaneously differentiated into skeletal muscle fibers both in vitro and when transplanted into regenerating muscles or infarcted hearts. Differentiation potential correlated with the absence of expression of a novel miRNA, miR669q, and with down-regulation of miR669a. Other miRNAs are known to promote myogenesis, but only miR669a and miR669q act upstream of myogenic regulatory factors to prevent myogenesis by directly targeting the MyoD 3' untranslated region. This finding reveals an added level of complexity in the mechanism of the fate choice of mesoderm progenitors and suggests that using endogenous cardiac stem cells therapeutically will require specially tailored procedures for certain genetic diseases.
BzpF is a CREB-like Transcription Factor That Regulates Spore Maturation and Stability in Dictyostelium
Developmental Biology. Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21810415
The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a highly conserved transcription factor that integrates signaling through the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) in many eukaryotes. PKA plays a critical role in Dictyostelium development but no CREB homologue has been identified in this system. Here we show that Dictyostelium utilizes a CREB-like protein, BzpF, to integrate PKA signaling during late development. bzpF(-) mutants produce compromised spores, which are extremely unstable and germination defective. Previously, we have found that BzpF binds the canonical CRE motif in vitro. In this paper, we determined the DNA binding specificity of BzpF using protein binding microarray (PBM) and showed that the motif with the highest specificity is a CRE-like sequence. BzpF is necessary to activate the transcription of at least 15 PKA-regulated, late-developmental target genes whose promoters contain BzpF binding motifs. BzpF is sufficient to activate two of these genes. The comparison of RNA sequencing data between wild type and bzpF(-) mutant revealed that the mutant fails to express 205 genes, many of which encode cellulose-binding and sugar-binding proteins. We propose that BzpF is a CREB-like transcription factor that regulates spore maturation and stability in a PKA-related manner.
Genome Research. Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21846794
Age is the most important risk factor for neurodegeneration; however, the effects of aging and neurodegeneration on gene expression in the human brain have most often been studied separately. Here, we analyzed changes in transcript levels and alternative splicing in the temporal cortex of individuals of different ages who were cognitively normal, affected by frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), or affected by Alzheimer's disease (AD). We identified age-related splicing changes in cognitively normal individuals and found that these were present also in 95% of individuals with FTLD or AD, independent of their age. These changes were consistent with increased polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB)-dependent splicing activity. We also identified disease-specific splicing changes that were present in individuals with FTLD or AD, but not in cognitively normal individuals. These changes were consistent with the decreased neuro-oncological ventral antigen (NOVA)-dependent splicing regulation, and the decreased nuclear abundance of NOVA proteins. As expected, a dramatic down-regulation of neuronal genes was associated with disease, whereas a modest down-regulation of glial and neuronal genes was associated with aging. Whereas our data indicated that the age-related splicing changes are regulated independently of transcript-level changes, these two regulatory mechanisms affected expression of genes with similar functions, including metabolism and DNA repair. In conclusion, the alternative splicing changes identified in this study provide a new link between aging and neurodegeneration.
Identification of Evolutionarily Conserved Exons As Regulated Targets for the Splicing Activator Tra2β in Development
PLoS Genetics. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22194695
Alternative splicing amplifies the information content of the genome, creating multiple mRNA isoforms from single genes. The evolutionarily conserved splicing activator Tra2β (Sfrs10) is essential for mouse embryogenesis and implicated in spermatogenesis. Here we find that Tra2β is up-regulated as the mitotic stem cell containing population of male germ cells differentiate into meiotic and post-meiotic cells. Using CLIP coupled to deep sequencing, we found that Tra2β binds a high frequency of exons and identified specific G/A rich motifs as frequent targets. Significantly, for the first time we have analysed the splicing effect of Sfrs10 depletion in vivo by generating a conditional neuronal-specific Sfrs10 knock-out mouse (Sfrs10(fl/fl); Nestin-Cre(tg/+)). This mouse has defects in brain development and allowed correlation of genuine physiologically Tra2β regulated exons. These belonged to a novel class which were longer than average size and importantly needed multiple cooperative Tra2β binding sites for efficient splicing activation, thus explaining the observed splicing defects in the knockout mice. Regulated exons included a cassette exon which produces a meiotic isoform of the Nasp histone chaperone that helps monitor DNA double-strand breaks. We also found a previously uncharacterised poison exon identifying a new pathway of feedback control between vertebrate Tra2 proteins. Both Nasp-T and the Tra2a poison exon are evolutionarily conserved, suggesting they might control fundamental developmental processes. Tra2β protein isoforms lacking the RRM were able to activate specific target exons indicating an additional functional role as a splicing co-activator. Significantly the N-terminal RS1 domain conserved between flies and humans was essential for the splicing activator function of Tra2β. Versions of Tra2β lacking this N-terminal RS1 domain potently repressed the same target exons activated by full-length Tra2β protein.