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This Week in PNAS: Apr 23, 2019

Researchers from China and the US explore and edit epigenetic patterns in individual mammalian egg cells from mouse models. Using single-cell bisulfite sequencing, the team demonstrated that cytosine methylation patterns in first polar body cells (PB1) can be used to assess methylation patterns in corresponding single cells, before going on to edit methylation marks related to mouse coat color or methylation marks related to familial Angelman syndrome in humans. "Our study provides a strategy for prevention and correction of maternally transmitted non-genetic diseases or disorders, and will also facilitate the investigation of maternally transmitted non-genetic information at the very beginning of life," the authors report.

An international team led by investigators in Spain profiles phosphoproteomic and genomic patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from individuals with multiple sclerosis. The researchers focused on 195 individuals with multiple sclerosis and 60 unaffected control individuals, using xMAP assays and SNP typing to look at blood levels of 17 kinase enzyme proteins and genetic variant patterns at more than 100 SNPs  — analyses that highlighted a rise in MP2K1 phosphorylation and other shifts associated with enhanced activation of MAP kinase signaling, immune cell inflammation, and increased B cell activation

Researchers from the US, South Africa, and Germany assess clonal expansion patterns in CD8+ T cells using SELECT-seq single-cell RNA sequencing for profiling transcriptome sequences and T cell receptor sequences. The team applied the approach to peripheral blood lymphocytes treated with lysate from the tuberculosis-causing pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. "Upon exposure to a specific pathogen, some T cells are activated and clonally expand," the investigators report, adding that approaches such as SELECT-seq that focus on rare, clonally-expanded T cell populations "may be the key to achieving a better understanding of pathogen-specific T cell clonality and functionality."