This collection showcases journal articles and other publications produced by researchers in the Garber Lab. The Garber Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School was established in 2012, in the Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology.

Recently Published

  • Higher-Order Inter-chromosomal Hubs Shape 3D Genome Organization in the Nucleus

    Quinodoz, Sofia A.; Tabak, Barbara; McDonel, Patrick; Garber, Manuel; Guttman, Mitchell (2018-06-04)
    Eukaryotic genomes are packaged into a 3-dimensional structure in the nucleus. Current methods for studying genome-wide structure are based on proximity ligation. However, this approach can fail to detect known structures, such as interactions with nuclear bodies, because these DNA regions can be too far apart to directly ligate. Accordingly, our overall understanding of genome organization remains incomplete. Here, we develop split-pool recognition of interactions by tag extension (SPRITE), a method that enables genome-wide detection of higher-order interactions within the nucleus. Using SPRITE, we recapitulate known structures identified by proximity ligation and identify additional interactions occurring across larger distances, including two hubs of inter-chromosomal interactions that are arranged around the nucleolus and nuclear speckles. We show that a substantial fraction of the genome exhibits preferential organization relative to these nuclear bodies. Our results generate a global model whereby nuclear bodies act as inter-chromosomal hubs that shape the overall packaging of DNA in the nucleus.
  • Early Epstein-Barr Virus Genomic Diversity and Convergence toward the B95.8 Genome in Primary Infection

    Weiss, Eric R.; Lamers, Susanna L.; Henderson, Jennifer L.; Melnikov, Alexandre; Somasundaran, Mohan; Garber, Manuel; Selin, Liisa K.; Nusbaum, Chad; Luzuriaga, Katherine (2018-01-02)
    Over 90% of the world's population is persistently infected with Epstein-Barr virus. While EBV does not cause disease in most individuals, it is the common cause of acute infectious mononucleosis (AIM) and has been associated with several cancers and autoimmune diseases, highlighting a need for a preventive vaccine. At present, very few primary, circulating EBV genomes have been sequenced directly from infected individuals. While low levels of diversity and low viral evolution rates have been predicted for double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, recent studies have demonstrated appreciable diversity in common dsDNA pathogens (e.g., cytomegalovirus). Here, we report 40 full-length EBV genome sequences obtained from matched oral wash and B cell fractions from a cohort of 10 AIM patients. Both intra- and interpatient diversity were observed across the length of the entire viral genome. Diversity was most pronounced in viral genes required for establishing latent infection and persistence, with appreciable levels of diversity also detected in structural genes, including envelope glycoproteins. Interestingly, intrapatient diversity declined significantly over time (P < 0.01), and this was particularly evident on comparison of viral genomes sequenced from B cell fractions in early primary infection and convalescence (P < 0.001). B cell-associated viral genomes were observed to converge, becoming nearly identical to the B95.8 reference genome over time (Spearman rank-order correlation test; r = -0.5589, P = 0.0264). The reduction in diversity was most marked in the EBV latency genes. In summary, our data suggest independent convergence of diverse viral genome sequences toward a reference-like strain within a relatively short period following primary EBV infection. IMPORTANCE Identification of viral proteins with low variability and high immunogenicity is important for the development of a protective vaccine. Knowledge of genome diversity within circulating viral populations is a key step in this process, as is the expansion of intrahost genomic variation during infection. We report full-length EBV genomes sequenced from the blood and oral wash of 10 individuals early in primary infection and during convalescence. Our data demonstrate considerable diversity within the pool of circulating EBV strains, as well as within individual patients. Overall viral diversity decreased from early to persistent infection, particularly in latently infected B cells, which serve as the viral reservoir. Reduction in B cell-associated viral genome diversity coincided with a convergence toward a reference-like EBV genotype. Greater convergence positively correlated with time after infection, suggesting that the reference-like genome is the result of selection.
  • Transcriptome-wide Analysis of Roles for tRNA Modifications in Translational Regulation

    Chou, Hsin-Jung; Donnard, Elisa; Gustafsson, H. Tobias; Garber, Manuel; Rando, Oliver J. (2017-12-07)
    Covalent nucleotide modifications in noncoding RNAs affect a plethora of biological processes, and new functions continue to be discovered even for well-known modifying enzymes. To systematically compare the functions of a large set of noncoding RNA modifications in gene regulation, we carried out ribosome profiling in budding yeast to characterize 57 nonessential genes involved in tRNA modification. Deletion mutants exhibited a range of translational phenotypes, with enzymes known to modify anticodons, or non-tRNA substrates such as rRNA, exhibiting the most dramatic translational perturbations. Our data build on prior reports documenting translational upregulation of the nutrient-responsive transcription factor Gcn4 in response to numerous tRNA perturbations, and identify many additional translationally regulated mRNAs throughout the yeast genome. Our data also uncover unexpected roles for tRNA-modifying enzymes in regulation of TY retroelements, and in rRNA 2'-O-methylation. This dataset should provide a rich resource for discovery of additional links between tRNA modifications and gene regulation.
  • High Epstein-Barr Virus Load and Genomic Diversity Are Associated with Generation of gp350-Specific Neutralizing Antibodies following Acute Infectious Mononucleosis

    Weiss, Eric R.; Alter, Galit; Ogembo, Javier Gordon; Henderson, Jennifer L.; Tabak, Barbara; Bakis, Yasin; Somasundaran, Mohan; Garber, Manuel; Selin, Liisa K.; Luzuriaga, Katherine (2016-12-16)
    The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gp350 glycoprotein interacts with the cellular receptor to mediate viral entry and is thought to be the major target for neutralizing antibodies. To better understand the role of EBV-specific antibodies in the control of viral replication and the evolution of sequence diversity, we measured EBV gp350-specific antibody responses and sequenced the gp350 gene in samples obtained from individuals experiencing primary EBV infection (acute infectious mononucleosis [AIM]) and again 6 months later (during convalescence [CONV]). EBV gp350-specific IgG was detected in the sera of 17 (71%) of 24 individuals at the time of AIM and all 24 (100%) individuals during CONV; binding antibody titers increased from AIM through CONV, reaching levels equivalent to those in age-matched, chronically infected individuals. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP) was rarely detected during AIM (4 of 24 individuals; 17%) but was commonly detected during CONV (19 of 24 individuals; 79%). The majority (83%) of samples taken during AIM neutralized infection of primary B cells; all samples obtained at 6 months postdiagnosis neutralized EBV infection of cultured and primary target cells. Deep sequencing revealed interpatient gp350 sequence variation but conservation of the CR2-binding site. The levels of gp350-specific neutralizing activity directly correlated with higher peripheral blood EBV DNA levels during AIM and a greater evolution of diversity in gp350 nucleotide sequences from AIM to CONV. In summary, we conclude that the viral load and EBV gp350 diversity during early infection are associated with the development of neutralizing antibody responses following AIM. IMPORTANCE: Antibodies against viral surface proteins can blunt the spread of viral infection by coating viral particles, mediating uptake by immune cells, or blocking interaction with host cell receptors, making them a desirable component of a sterilizing vaccine. The EBV surface protein gp350 is a major target for antibodies. We report the detection of EBV gp350-specific antibodies capable of neutralizing EBV infection in vitro The majority of gp350-directed vaccines focus on glycoproteins from lab-adapted strains, which may poorly reflect primary viral envelope diversity. We report some of the first primary gp350 sequences, noting that the gp350 host receptor binding site is remarkably stable across patients and time. However, changes in overall gene diversity were detectable during infection. Patients with higher peripheral blood viral loads in primary infection and greater changes in viral diversity generated more efficient antibodies. Our findings provide insight into the generation of functional antibodies, necessary for vaccine development.
  • A negative feedback loop of transcription factors specifies alternative dendritic cell chromatin States

    Bornstein, Chamutal; Winter, Deborah; Barnett-Itzhaki, Zohar; David, Eyal; Kadri, Sabah; Garber, Manuel; Amit, Ido (2014-12-18)
    During hematopoiesis, cells originating from the same stem cell reservoir differentiate into distinct cell types. The mechanisms enabling common progenitors to differentiate into alternative cell fates are not fully understood. Here, we identify cell-fate-determining transcription factors (TFs) governing dendritic cell (DC) development by annotating the enhancer landscapes of the DC lineage. Combining these analyses with detailed overexpression, knockdown, and ChIP-Seq studies, we show that Irf8 functions as a plasmacytoid DC epigenetic and fate-determining TF, regulating massive, cell-specific chromatin changes in thousands of pDC enhancers. Importantly, Irf8 forms a negative feedback loop with Cebpb, a monocyte-derived DC epigenetic fate-determining TF. We show that using this circuit logic, a pulse of TF expression can stably define epigenetic and transcriptional states, regardless of the microenvironment. More broadly, our study proposes a general paradigm that allows closely related cells with a similar set of signal-dependent factors to generate differential and persistent enhancer landscapes.
  • Semiconductor-based DNA sequencing of histone modification states

    Cheng, Christine S.; Garber, Manuel; Chin, Lynda; Regev, Aviv; Amit, Ido (2013-10-25)
    The recent development of a semiconductor-based, non-optical DNA sequencing technology promises scalable, low-cost and rapid sequence data production. The technology has previously been applied mainly to genomic sequencing and targeted re-sequencing. Here we demonstrate the utility of Ion Torrent semiconductor-based sequencing for sensitive, efficient and rapid chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) through the application of sample preparation methods that are optimized for ChIP-seq on the Ion Torrent platform. We leverage this method for epigenetic profiling of tumour tissues.
  • Gene expression is circular: factors for mRNA degradation also foster mRNA synthesis

    Haimovich, Gal; Medina, Daniel A.; Causse, Sebastien Z.; Garber, Manuel; Millan-Zambrano, Gonzalo; Barkai, Oren; Chavez, Sebastian; Perez-Ortin, Jose E.; Darzacq, Xavier; Choder, Mordechai (2013-05-23)
    Maintaining proper mRNA levels is a key aspect in the regulation of gene expression. The balance between mRNA synthesis and decay determines these levels. We demonstrate that most yeast mRNAs are degraded by the cytoplasmic 5'-to-3' pathway (the "decaysome"), as proposed previously. Unexpectedly, the level of these mRNAs is highly robust to perturbations in this major pathway because defects in various decaysome components lead to transcription downregulation. Moreover, these components shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus, in a manner dependent on proper mRNA degradation. In the nucleus, they associate with chromatin-preferentially approximately 30 bp upstream of transcription start-sites-and directly stimulate transcription initiation and elongation. The nuclear role of the decaysome in transcription is linked to its cytoplasmic role in mRNA decay; linkage, in turn, seems to depend on proper shuttling of its components. The gene expression process is therefore circular, whereby the hitherto first and last stages are interconnected.
  • A high-throughput chromatin immunoprecipitation approach reveals principles of dynamic gene regulation in mammals

    Garber, Manuel; Amit, Ido (2012-09-14)
    Understanding the principles governing mammalian gene regulation has been hampered by the difficulty in measuring in vivo binding dynamics of large numbers of transcription factors (TF) to DNA. Here, we develop a high-throughput Chromatin ImmunoPrecipitation (HT-ChIP) method to systematically map protein-DNA interactions. HT-ChIP was applied to define the dynamics of DNA binding by 25 TFs and 4 chromatin marks at 4 time-points following pathogen stimulus of dendritic cells. Analyzing over 180,000 TF-DNA interactions we find that TFs vary substantially in their temporal binding landscapes. This data suggests a model for transcription regulation whereby TF networks are hierarchically organized into cell differentiation factors, factors that bind targets prior to stimulus to prime them for induction, and factors that regulate specific gene programs. Overlaying HT-ChIP data on gene-expression dynamics shows that many TF-DNA interactions are established prior to the stimuli, predominantly at immediate-early genes, and identified specific TF ensembles that coordinately regulate gene-induction.