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29.07.20 Simons lab map out the mechanisms controlling stretch-mediated expansion of skin

last modified Jul 29, 2020 04:14 PM
Combining single-cell RNA-seq with clonal analysis in mouse epidermis, Ben Simons and colleagues define the step-by-step mechanisms that control stretch-mediated tissue expansion at single-cell resolution in vivo
29.07.20 Simons lab map out the mechanisms controlling stretch-mediated expansion of skin

Basal layer of mouse skin epidermis stained for keratin 14 (red) and keratin 10 (green) following stretch.

Mechanisms of stretch-mediated skin expansion at single-cell resolution

Aragona M et al. (2020) Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2555-7.

 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2555-7

 

Abstract from the paper

The ability of the skin to grow in response to stretching has been exploited in reconstructive surgery. Although the response of epidermal cells to stretching has been studied in vitro it remains unclear how mechanical forces affect their behaviour in vivo.

Here, we develop a mouse model in which the consequences of stretching on skin epidermis can be studied at single-cell resolution. Using a multidisciplinary approach that combines clonal analysis with quantitative modelling and single-cell RNA-seq, we show that stretching induces skin expansion by creating a transient bias in the renewal activity of epidermal stem cells, while a second subpopulation of basal progenitors remains committed to differentiation.

Transcriptional and chromatin profiling identifies how cell states and gene regulatory networks are modulated by stretching. Using pharmacological inhibitors and mouse mutants, we define the step-by-step mechanisms that control stretch-mediated tissue expansion at single-cell resolution in vivo.

  

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Read more about research in the Simons lab.

Watch Ben Simons describe his research in this short YouTube video.

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The Gurdon Institute reopened on Monday 15th June. Many staff will continue to work from home, and all staff may be contacted by email.

Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by Wellcome and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.

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