February 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Quantitative Biology Seminar | Cellular Reprogramming Dynamics Follow Simple 1D Reaction Path, Feb. 18

Horacio Castillo, portrait in office

Dr. Horacio Castillo

The Quantitative Biology Seminar presents Dr. Horacio Castillo discussing “Cellular reprogramming dynamics follow a simple 1D reaction path” on Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. in Morton 115.

Castillo is Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Ohio University.

Abstract: Cellular reprogramming, the conversion of one cell type to another, induces global changes in gene expression involving hundreds of genes, and understanding how cells globally alter their gene expression profile during reprogramming is an ongoing problem. We reanalyze time-dependent data on cellular reprogramming from differentiated cell types to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). We compare those results with Monte-Carlo simulations in a model based on the idea of the Waddington epigenetic landscape. We find that both in the experiments and in the simulations the gene expression dynamics follow a simple 1D path, which is very similar in both cases, and that this path can be seen as representing a barrier-crossing process. In the experiments, the reaction path is independent of the time it takes to reach the iPSC state and of the details of the experimental protocol used. Our results and analysis are consistent with the presence of an ‘optimal path’ in gene expression space for reprogramming.

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