An enriched network motif family regulates multistep cell fate transitions with restricted reversibility

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yujie YeTian Hong


Multistep cell fate transitions with stepwise changes of transcriptional profiles are common to many developmental, regenerative and pathological processes. The multiple intermediate cell lineage states can serve as differentiation checkpoints or branching points for channeling cells to more than one lineages. However, mechanisms underlying these transitions remain elusive. Here, we explored gene regulatory circuits that can generate multiple intermediate cellular states with stepwise modulations of transcription factors. With unbiased searching in the network topology space, we found a motif family containing a large set of networks can give rise to four attractors with the stepwise regulations of transcription factors, which limit the reversibility of three consecutive steps of the lineage transition. We found that there is an enrichment of these motifs in a transcriptional network controlling the early T cell development, and a mathematical model based on this network recapitulates multistep transitions in the early T cell lineage commitment. By calculating the energy landscape and minimum action paths for the T cell model, we quantified the stochastic dynamics of the critical factors in response to the differentiation signa...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Anatomy, Regional
Cell Differentiation Process
Connective Tissue Cells
Nerve Regeneration
Pathologic Processes
Transcription, Genetic
Branching (Qualifier Value)
Anatomical Space Structure

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