MDCK cystogenesis driven by cell stabilization within computational analogues.

UCSF/UC Berkeley Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.
PLoS Computational Biology (Impact Factor: 4.83). 04/2011; 7(4):e1002030. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The study of epithelial morphogenesis is fundamental to increasing our understanding of organ function and disease. Great progress has been made through study of culture systems such as Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, but many aspects of even simple morphogenesis remain unclear. For example, are specific cell actions tightly coupled to the characteristics of the cell's environment or are they more often cell state dependent? How does the single lumen, single cell layer cyst consistently emerge from a variety of cell actions? To improve insight, we instantiated in silico analogues that used hypothesized cell behavior mechanisms to mimic MDCK cystogenesis. We tested them through in vitro experimentation and quantitative validation. We observed novel growth patterns, including a cell behavior shift that began around day five of growth. We created agent-oriented analogues that used the cellular Potts model along with an Iterative Refinement protocol. Following several refinements, we achieved a degree of validation for two separate mechanisms. Both survived falsification and achieved prespecified measures of similarity to cell culture properties. In silico components and mechanisms mapped to in vitro counterparts. In silico, the axis of cell division significantly affects lumen number without changing cell number or cyst size. Reducing the amount of in silico luminal cell death had limited effect on cystogenesis. Simulations provide an observable theory for cystogenesis based on hypothesized, cell-level operating principles.


Available from: Jesse A Engelberg, May 30, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) tumor suppressor has been previously implicated in the control of apical-basal polarity; yet, the consequence of APC loss-of-function in epithelial polarization and morphogenesis has not been characterized. To test the hypothesis that APC is required for the establishment of normal epithelial polarity and morphogenesis programs, we generated APC-knockdown epithelial cell lines. APC depletion resulted in loss of polarity and multi-layering on permeable supports, and enlarged, filled spheroids with disrupted polarity in 3D culture. Importantly, these effects of APC knockdown were independent of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, but were rescued with either full-length or a carboxy (c)-terminal segment of APC. Moreover, we identified a gene expression signature associated with APC knockdown that points to several candidates known to regulate cell-cell and cell-matrix communication. Analysis of epithelial tissues from mice and humans carrying heterozygous APC mutations further support the importance of APC as a regulator of epithelial behavior and tissue architecture. These data also suggest that the initiation of epithelial-derived tumors as a result of APC mutation or gene silencing may be driven by loss of polarity and dysmorphogenesis. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research 01/2015; 1853(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.12.036 · 5.30 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Living matter equals water, to a first approximation, and water transport across barriers such as membranes and epithelia is vital. Water serves two competing functions. On the one hand, it is the fundamental solvent enabling random mobility of solutes and therefore biochemical reactions and intracellular signal propagation. Homeostasis of the intracellular water volume is required such that messenger concentration encodes the stimulus and not inverse volume fluctuations. On the other hand, water flow is needed for transport of solutes to and away from cells in a directed manner, threatening volume homeostasis and signal transduction fidelity of cells. Feedback regulation of fluid transport reconciles these competing objectives. The regulatory mechanisms often span across multiple spatial scales from cellular interactions up to the architecture of organs. Open questions relate to the dependency of water fluxes and steady state volumes on control parameters and stimuli. We here review selected mathematical models of feedback regulation of fluid transport at the cell scale and identify a general "core-shell" structure of such models. We propose that fluid transport models at other spatial scales can be constructed in a generalised core-shell framework, in which the core accounts for the biophysical effects of fluid transport whilst the shell reflects the regulatory mechanisms. We demonstrate the applicability of this framework for tissue lumen growth and suggest future experiments in zebrafish to test lumen size regulation mechanisms. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Bio Systems 02/2015; 130. DOI:10.1016/j.biosystems.2015.02.004 · 1.47 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Perhaps the greatest challenge currently facing the biomedical research community is the ability to integrate highly detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms to represent clinical disease states as a pathway to engineer effective therapeutics. This is particularly evident in the representation of organ-level pathophysiology in terms of abnormal tissue structure, which, through histology, remains a mainstay in disease diagnosis and staging. As such, being able to generate anatomic scale simulations is a highly desirable goal. While computational limitations have previously constrained the size and scope of multi-scale computational models, advances in the capacity and availability of high-performance computing (HPC) resources have greatly expanded the ability of computational models of biological systems to achieve anatomic, clinically relevant scale. Diseases of the intestinal tract are exemplary examples of pathophysiological processes that manifest at multiple scales of spatial resolution, with structural abnormalities present at the microscopic, macroscopic and organ-levels. In this paper, we describe a novel, massively parallel computational model of the gut, the Spatially Explicitly General-purpose Model of Enteric Tissue_HPC (SEGMEnT_HPC), which extends an existing model of the gut epithelium, SEGMEnT, in order to create cell-for-cell anatomic scale simulations. We present an example implementation of SEGMEnT_HPC that simulates the pathogenesis of ileal pouchitis, and important clinical entity that affects patients following remedial surgery for ulcerative colitis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2015; 10(3):e0122192. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0122192 · 3.53 Impact Factor