Early Transcriptional Landscapes of Chlamydia trachomatis-Infected Epithelial Cells at Single Cell Resolution
JournalFrontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
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AbstractChlamydia are Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens responsible for a variety of disease in humans and animals worldwide. Chlamydia trachomatis causes trachoma in disadvantaged populations, and is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in humans, causing reproductive tract disease. Antibiotic therapy successfully treats diagnosed chlamydial infections, however asymptomatic infections are common. High-throughput transcriptomic approaches have explored chlamydial gene expression and infected host cell gene expression. However, these were performed on large cell populations, averaging gene expression profiles across all cells sampled and potentially obscuring biologically relevant subsets of cells. We generated a pilot dataset, applying single cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) to C. trachomatis infected and mock-infected epithelial cells to assess the utility, pitfalls and challenges of single cell approaches applied to chlamydial biology, and to potentially identify early host cell biomarkers of chlamydial infection. Two hundred sixty-four time-matched C. trachomatis-infected and mock-infected HEp-2 cells were collected and subjected to scRNA-Seq. After quality control, 200 cells were retained for analysis. Two distinct clusters distinguished 3-h cells from 6- and 12-h. Pseudotime analysis identified a possible infection-specific cellular trajectory for Chlamydia-infected cells, while differential expression analyses found temporal expression of metallothioneins and genes involved with cell cycle regulation, innate immune responses, cytoskeletal components, lipid biosynthesis and cellular stress. We find that changes to the host cell transcriptome at early times of C. trachomatis infection are readily discernible by scRNA-Seq, supporting the utility of single cell approaches to identify host cell biomarkers of chlamydial infection, and to further deconvolute the complex host response to infection. Copyright 2019 Hayward, Marsh, Humphrys, Huston and Myers.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85076030265&doi=10.3389%2ffcimb.2019.00392&partnerID=40&md5=7eb8161b018b0a8659dadbec280c2414; http://hdl.handle.net/10713/11524
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