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Identification of Novel Genes Selectively Expressed in the Follicle-Associated Epithelium from the Meta-Analysis of Transcriptomics Data from Multiple Mouse Cell and Tissue Populations

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    Rights statement: © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-422
Number of pages16
JournalDNA Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


The follicle-associated epithelium (FAE) overlying the Peyer's patches and the microfold cells (M cells) within it are important sites of antigen transcytosis across the intestinal epithelium. Using a meta-analysis approach, we identified a transcriptional signature that distinguished the FAE from a large collection of mouse cells and tissues. A co-expressed cluster of 21 FAE-specific genes was identified, and the analysis of the transcription factor binding site motifs in their promoter regions indicated that these genes shared an underlying transcriptional programme. This cluster contained known FAE- (Anxa10, Ccl20, Psg18 and Ubd) and M-cell-specific (Gp2) genes, suggesting that the others were novel FAE-specific genes. Some of these novel candidate genes were expressed highly by the FAE and M cells (Calcb, Ces3b, Clca2 and Gjb2), and others only by the FAE (Ascl2, Cftr, Fgf15, Gpr133, Kcna1, Kcnj15, Mycl1, Pgap1 and Rps6kl). We also identified a subset of novel FAE-related genes that were induced in the intestinal epithelium after receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-κB ligand stimulation. These included Mfge8 which was specific to FAE enterocytes. This study provides new insight into the FAE transcriptome. Further characterization of the candidate genes identified here will aid the identification of novel regulators of cell function in the FAE.

    Research areas

  • follicle-associated epithelium , M cells, intestine , meta-analysis, clustering

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