2021 journal article
Multiomic analysis defines the first microRNA atlas across all small intestinal epithelial lineages and reveals novel markers of almost all major cell types
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-GASTROINTESTINAL AND LIVER PHYSIOLOGY, 321(6), G668–G681.
MicroRNA-mediated regulation is critical for the proper development and function of the small intestinal (SI) epithelium. However, it is not known which microRNAs are expressed in each of the cell types of the SI epithelium. To bridge this important knowledge gap, we performed comprehensive microRNA profiling in all major cell types of the mouse SI epithelium. We used flow cytometry and fluorescence-activated cell sorting with multiple reporter mouse models to isolate intestinal stem cells, enterocytes, goblet cells, Paneth cells, enteroendocrine cells, tuft cells, and secretory progenitors. We then subjected these cell populations to small RNA-sequencing. The resulting atlas revealed highly enriched microRNA markers for almost every major cell type (https://sethupathy-lab.shinyapps.io/SI_miRNA/). Several of these lineage-enriched microRNAs (LEMs) were observed to be embedded in annotated host genes. We used chromatin-run-on sequencing to determine which of these LEMs are likely cotranscribed with their host genes. We then performed single-cell RNA-sequencing to define the cell type specificity of the host genes and embedded LEMs. We observed that the two most enriched microRNAs in secretory progenitors are miR-1224 and miR-672, the latter of which we found is deleted in hominin species. Finally, using several in vivo models, we established that miR-152 is a Paneth cell-specific microRNA.NEW & NOTEWORTHY In this study, first, microRNA atlas (and searchable web server) across all major small intestinal epithelial cell types is presented. We have demonstrated microRNAs that uniquely mark several lineages, including enteroendocrine and tuft. Identification of a key marker of mouse secretory progenitor cells, miR-672, which we show is deleted in humans. We have used several in vivo models to establish miR-152 as a specific marker of Paneth cells, which are highly understudied in terms of microRNAs.