Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Method of the future uses single-cell imaging to identify gene interactions

Date:
February 9, 2010
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
Cellular imaging offers a wealth of data about how cells respond to stimuli, but harnessing this technique to study biological systems is a daunting challenge. Researchers have now developed a novel method of interpreting data from single-cell images to identify genetic interactions within biological networks, offering a glimpse into the future of high-throughput cell imaging analysis.

Cellular imaging offers a wealth of data about how cells respond to stimuli, but harnessing this technique to study biological systems is a daunting challenge. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have developed a novel method of interpreting data from single-cell images to identify genetic interactions within biological networks, offering a glimpse into the future of high-throughput cell imaging analysis.

For years, scientists have been peering through a microscope at cells as they change appearance in response to different treatments, yet data collection is arduous, largely conducted qualitatively by eye. However, recent technological advances have led to the development of high-throughput image screening methods that can produce extensive datasets of hundreds of different morphological features.

With the ability to collect large imaging datasets, researchers from MIT and Harvard Medical School recognized an opportunity to explore the cellular networks that regulate cell morphology. "These images are an enormous source of data that is only beginning to be tapped," said MIT researcher Bonnie Berger, senior author of the work. "We realized we had enough data to go beyond classification and start to understand the mechanism behind the differences in shape."

To meet the challenge of interpreting cell image data, Berger and MIT graduate student Oaz Nir developed a novel computational model to identify genetic interactions using high-dimensional morphological data. Integrating prerequisite knowledge of a pathway, their model maps potential interactions within a network by looking for similar morphological features upon genetic perturbation.

The group demonstrated the method by analyzing the Rho-signaling network in fruit flies, a network that regulates cell adhesion and motility in eukaryotic organisms. In collaboration with Chris Bakal and Norbert Perrimon at Harvard Medical School, they "knocked-down" components of the Rho-signaling network using RNA interference and then imaged thousands of fly cells, gathering measurements of cell perimeter, nuclear area, and more than 150 other morphological features for each cell. The data was then passed through the computational framework to produce a set of high-confidence interactions, supported by confirmation of previously known interactions.

The group found that by making combinatorial knockdowns of Rho network components, their computational method was able to accurately infer Rho-signaling network interactions more precisely than when using only data from single knockdowns. Berger noted that this finding highlights the importance of combinatorial experiments for inferring complex networks, necessary to overcome natural redundancy in signaling pathways. As perturbation of the Rho pathway in humans has been implicated in cancer and other diseases, the authors believe that these predicted interactions will be excellent candidates for future study.

Berger expects that in combination with other sources of data, imaging as a new source of high-throughput data should appreciably increase the accuracy of known signaling networks. "This work provides a glimpse into the future," added Berger, "where looking under the microscope manually at cells one-by-one is replaced with automated high-throughput processing of many cellular images."

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA) contributed to this study.

This work was supported by the Department of Energy, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nir O, Bakal C, Perrimon N, Berger B. Inference of RhoGAP/GTPase regulation using single-cell morphological data from a combinatorial RNAi screen. Genome Res, 2010; DOI: 10.1101/gr.100248.109

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Method of the future uses single-cell imaging to identify gene interactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208185200.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2010, February 9). Method of the future uses single-cell imaging to identify gene interactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208185200.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Method of the future uses single-cell imaging to identify gene interactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208185200.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins