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      Spatiotemporal mosaic patterning of pluripotent stem cells using CRISPR interference

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          Abstract

          Morphogenesis results from the interactions of asymmetric cell populations to form complex multicellular patterns and structures comprised of distinct cell types. However, current methods to model morphogenic events offer little control over parallel cell type co-emergence and do not offer the capability to selectively perturb gene expression in specific subpopulations of cells. We have developed an in vitro system that can spatiotemporally interrogate cell-cell interactions and multicellular organization within human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) colonies. We examined the effects of independently knocking down molecular regulators of cortical tension and cell-cell adhesion using inducible CRISPRi: Rho-associated kinase-1 (ROCK1) and E-cadherin (CDH1), respectively. Induced mosaic knockdown of ROCK1 or CDH1 in hiPSC populations resulted in differential patterning events within hiPSC colonies indicative of cell-driven population organization. Patterned colonies retained an epithelial phenotype and nuclear expression of pluripotency markers. Gene expression within each of the mixed populations displayed a transient wave of differential expression with induction of knockdown that stabilized in coordination with intrinsic pattern formation. Mosaic patterning of hiPSCs enables the genetic interrogation of emergent multicellular properties of pluripotent cells, leading to a greater mechanistic understanding of the specific molecular pathways regulating the dynamics of symmetry breaking events that transpire during developmental morphogenesis.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          bioRxiv
          January 23 2018
          Article
          10.1101/252189
          © 2018
          Product

          Biochemistry, Biotechnology

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