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Cell type that expresses 90% of the genome

Cell type that expresses 90% of the genome


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Cells that are differentiated express the genes that are necessary for their own usage. I've heard that some cell type expresses about 90% of 30,000 proteins that are encoded in the genome. Can anybody tell me what this cell type is?


Well, I found this paper:

Danan-Gotthold M, Guyon C, Giraud M, Levanin EY, Abramson J. 2016. Extensive RNA editing and splicing increase immune self-representation diversity in medullary thymic epithelial cells. Genome Biol 17:219.

Medullary thymic epithelial cells [mTECs] express ~85 % of the entire coding genome

… to better determine the fraction of genes expressed in mTECs and other mouse tissues, we took advantage of RNA-seq technology… The analysis… revealed that most of the tissues [see below for those tested] express 12,000-14,000 genes (i.e. 60-65 % of the coding genome). The lung and two immunologically privileged sites, brain and testis, were the only tissues that expressed a larger fraction of the genome, in the range of 70-75 %… In line with other recently published studies, the mTEChi population expressed nearly 18,000 genes, which represents ~85 % of the coding genome, while Aire-deficient mTECs (AireKO) expressed approximately 15,000 genes, suggesting that Aire is responsible for the induction of ~3000 genes in mTECs. Interestingly, even in the absence of Aire, the mTECs expressed a relatively large fraction of the genome (~75 %), considerably exceeding the overall genome expression in other peripheral tissues. Interestingly, neither [cortical thymic epithelial cells] nor [skin epithelial cells] demonstrated higher overall genome expression than other tissues, suggesting that promiscuous gene expression is indeed unique to the mTECs population.

These cells express such a wide complement of proteins because they are involved in T-cell maturation, specifically negative selection.


List of tissues tested in the study:

brain, testes, liver, kidney, lung, colon, skeletal muscle, spleen, cortical thymic epithelial cells, skin epithelial cells


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