Gene-regulatory interactions in embryonic stem cells represent cell-type specific gene regulatory programs
Authors and Affiliations
Pluripotency, the ability of embryonic stem cells to differentiate into specialized cell types, is determined by ESC-specific gene regulators such as transcription factors and chromatin modification factors. It is not well understood how ESCs are poised for differentiation, however, and methods are needed for prognosis of the molecular changes in the differentiation of ESCs into specific organs. We describe a new approach to infer cell-type specific gene regulatory programs based on gene regulatory interactions in ESCs. Our method infers the molecular logic of gene regulatory mechanisms by mapping the position-specific combinatory patterns of numerous regulators in ESCs into cell-type specific gene regulations. We validate the proposed approach by recapitulating the RNA-seq and microarray data of neuronal progenitor cells, adult liver cells, and ESCs from the integrated patterns of diverse gene regulators in ESCs. We find that the collective functions of diverse gene regulators in ESCs represent distinct gene regulatory programs in specialized cell types. Our new approach expands our understanding of the differential gene regulatory information in developments encoded in regulatory networks of ESCs.