The Francis Crick Institute
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Analyzing Th17 cell differentiation dynamics using a novel integrative modeling framework for time-course RNA sequencing data

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-20, 13:10 authored by Jukka Intosalmi, Helena Ahlfors, Sini Rautio, Henrik Mannerstöm, Zhi Jane Chen, Riitta Lahesmaa, Brigitta Stockinger, Harri Lähdesmäki
BACKGROUND: The differentiation of naive CD 4(+) helper T (Th) cells into effector Th17 cells is steered by extracellular cytokines that activate and control the lineage specific transcriptional program. While the inducing cytokine signals and core transcription factors driving the differentiation towards Th17 lineage are well known, detailed mechanistic interactions between the key components are poorly understood. RESULTS: We develop an integrative modeling framework which combines RNA sequencing data with mathematical modeling and enables us to construct a mechanistic model for the core Th17 regulatory network in a data-driven manner. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show significant evidence, for instance, for inhibitory mechanisms between the transcription factors and reveal a previously unknown dependency between the dosage of the inducing cytokine TGF β and the expression of the master regulator of competing (induced) regulatory T cell lineage. Further, our experimental validation approves this dependency in Th17 polarizing conditions.