Congratulations to two WashU Nephrology researchers for having their work highlighted on the covers of recent publications. This is the second such cover for each in two years!
Meei-Hua Lin, PhD, a senior scientist in the Jeffrey Miner Laboratory, is first author of the article “Mammalian hemicentin 1 is assembled into tracks in the extracellular matrix of multiple tissues” recently published in Developmental Dynamics (249:6, 775‐788, 2020; Meei‐Hua Lin, Bill D. Pope, Takako Sasaki, Daniel P. Keeley, David R. Sherwood and Jeffrey H. Miner).
The cover photograph (shown below) illustrates the extracellular matrix protein hemicentin 1 (HMCN1; in green) deposited in a linear track pattern along the nidogen‐positive (red) basement membrane of the outer root sheath of a two‐day old mouse whisker follicle. HMCN1is also observed in a fine web‐like pattern in the connective tissue sheath of the follicle.
“When we started this project, we hypothesized that HMCN1 might be a matrix protein that forms a track pattern and adheres the epithelial and endothelial basement membrane (BM) into the thick glomerular BM during glomerulogenesis,” says Dr. Lin. “However, we did not find HMCN1 deposition in the glomerular BM but found HMCN1 assembled into tracks in various other non-renal tissues, along the BM or within collagen-rich tissues. Our data suggest roles for HMCN1 in structural support and in remodeling of tissues during development and in response to injury.”
Lin’s first journal cover, in 2018, was an eye-catching image from her manuscript “Laminin-521 Protein Therapy for Glomerular Basement Membrane and Podocyte Abnormalities in a Model of Pierson Syndrome“ chosen to grace the first issue of JASN’s new cover format.
Andrew Malone, MB, BCh, is first author of the article “Harnessing Expressed Single Nucleotide Variation and Single Cell RNA Sequencing To Define Immune Cell Chimerism in the Rejecting Kidney Transplant” published in this month’s issue of JASN (31: 9, 1977-1986; Andrew F. Malone, Haojia Wu, Catrina Fronick, Robert Fulton, Joseph P. Gaut and Benjamin D. Humphreys).
The cover art of the issue shows a UMAP plot (top) combining scRNA-seq results from five transplant biopsies. Exome sequencing was performed in parallel, and host versus donor cells were called based on expressed single nucleotide variants in order to define host versus donor chimerism during rejection (bottom).
The study concluded that analysis of single nucleotide variants and their expression in single cells provides a powerful novel approach to accurately define leukocyte chimerism in a complex organ such as a transplanted kidney, coupled with the ability to examine transcriptional profiles at single-cell resolution.
Malone was awarded an NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development grant (K08) in 2019 to study the use of genomic technologies to improve understanding antibody mediated rejection in kidney transplantation. K08 grants are awarded to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree to facilitate their transition in becoming an independent research investigator. Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, chief, Division of Nephrology, is Dr. Malone’s mentor.
In 2018, an article by Malone and co-first author Haojia Wu, PhD, “Single-Cell Transcriptomics of a Human Kidney Allograft Biopsy Specimen Defines a Diverse Inflammatory Response” was featured on the cover of the August issue of JASN.