A versatile genome-scale PCR-based pipeline for high-definition DNA FISH.
ABSTRACT We developed a cost-effective genome-scale PCR-based method for high-definition DNA FISH (HD-FISH). We visualized gene loci with diffraction-limited resolution, chromosomes as spot clusters and single genes together with transcripts by combining HD-FISH with single-molecule RNA FISH. We provide a database of over 4.3 million primer pairs targeting the human and mouse genomes that is readily usable for rapid and flexible generation of probes.
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ABSTRACT: Knowledge on cellular signal transduction pathways as drivers of cancer growth and metastasis has fuelled development of "targeted therapy" which "targets" aberrant oncogenic signal transduction pathways. These drugs require nearly invariably companion diagnostic tests to identify the tumor-driving pathway and the cause of the abnormal pathway activity in a tumor sample, both for therapy response prediction as well as for monitoring of therapy response and emerging secondary drug resistance. Obtaining sufficient tumor material for this analysis in the metastatic setting is a challenge, and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may provide an attractive alternative to biopsy on the premise that they can be captured from blood and the companion diagnostic test results are correctly interpreted. We discuss novel companion diagnostic directions, including the challenges, to identify the tumor driving pathway in CTCs, which in combination with a digital pathology platform and algorithms to quantitatively interpret complex CTC diagnostic results may enable optimized therapy response prediction and monitoring. In contrast to CTC-based companion diagnostics, CTC enumeration is envisioned to be largely replaced by cell free tumor DNA measurements in blood for therapy response and recurrence monitoring. The recent emergence of novel in vitro human model systems in the form of cancer-on-a-chip may enable elucidation of some of the so far elusive characteristics of CTCs, and is expected to contribute to more efficient CTC capture and CTC-based diagnostics.06/2014; 6(2):1195-1207. DOI:10.3390/cancers6021195
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ABSTRACT: Somatic mutations occur during brain development and are increasingly implicated as a cause of neurogenetic disease. However, the patterns in which somatic mutations distribute in the human brain are unknown. We used high-coverage whole-genome sequencing of single neurons from a normal individual to identify spontaneous somatic mutations as clonal marks to track cell lineages in human brain. Somatic mutation analyses in >30 locations throughout the nervous system identified multiple lineages and sublineages of cells marked by different LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposition events and subsequent mutation of poly-A microsatellites within L1. One clone contained thousands of cells limited to the left middle frontal gyrus, whereas a second distinct clone contained millions of cells distributed over the entire left hemisphere. These patterns mirror known somatic mutation disorders of brain development and suggest that focally distributed mutations are also prevalent in normal brains. Single-cell analysis of somatic mutation enables tracing of cell lineage clones in human brain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Neuron 01/2015; 85(1). DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.12.028 · 15.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chromatin loops are pervasive and permit the tight compaction of DNA within the confined space of the nucleus. Looping enables distal genes and DNA elements to engage in chromosomal contact, to form multigene complexes. Advances in biochemical and imaging techniques reveal that loop-mediated contact is strongly correlated with transcription of interacting DNA. However, these approaches only provide a snapshot of events and therefore are unable to reveal the dynamics of multigene complex assembly. This highlights the necessity to develop single cell-based assays that provide single molecule resolution, and are able to functionally interrogate the role of chromosomal contact on gene regulation. To this end, high-resolution single cell imaging regimes, combined with genome editing approaches, are proving to be pivotal to advancing our understanding of loop-mediated dynamics.Nucleus (Austin, Texas) 02/2014; 5(2). DOI:10.4161/nucl.28352 · 3.15 Impact Factor