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Dev Biol 2022 Nov 01;491:13-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2022.08.007.
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Cellular and molecular profiles of larval and adult Xenopus corneal epithelia resolved at the single-cell level.

Sonam S , Bangru S , Perry KJ , Chembazhi UV , Kalsotra A , Henry JJ .

Corneal Epithelial Stem Cells (CESCs) and their proliferative progeny, the Transit Amplifying Cells (TACs), are responsible for homeostasis and maintaining corneal transparency. Owing to our limited knowledge of cell fates and gene activity within the cornea, the search for unique markers to identify and isolate these cells remains crucial for ocular surface reconstruction. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing of corneal cells from larval and adult stages of Xenopus. Our results indicate that as the cornea develops and matures, there is an increase in cellular diversity, which is accompanied by a substantial shift in transcriptional profile, gene regulatory network and cell-cell communication dynamics. Our data also reveals several novel genes expressed in corneal cells and changes in gene expression during corneal differentiation at both developmental time-points. Importantly, we identify specific basal cell clusters in both the larval and adult cornea that comprise a relatively undifferentiated cell type and express distinct stem cell markers, which we propose are the putative larval and adult CESCs, respectively. This study offers a detailed atlas of single-cell transcriptomes in the frog cornea. In the future, this work will be useful to elucidate the function of novel genes in corneal epithelial homeostasis, wound healing and regeneration.

PubMed ID: 36049533
PMC ID: PMC10241109
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: arhgdib atoh1 cnfn.1 col11a1 col14a1 col1a2 crp.4 dan4l itgb4 kit krt12.2 ly6e mitf mki67 mmp7 msmb.3 pcna synm tgm2 tspan1 vim znf750
GO keywords: epithelial cell development [+]

GEO Series: GSE154896: NCBI

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Adachi, Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) in the rat limbal and central corneal epithelium. 2006, Pubmed