Host-Pathogen Transcriptomics by Dual RNA-Seq

Transcriptomics, i.e., the quantification of cellular RNA transcripts, is a powerful way to gauge the physiological state of either bacterial or eukaryotic cells under a given condition. However, traditional approaches were unsuitable to measure the abundance of transcripts across kingdoms, which is relevant for biological processes such as bacterial infections of mammalian host cells. This changed with the establishment of “Dual RNA-seq,” which profiles gene expression simultaneously in an infecting bacterium and its infected host.

University of Würzburg researchers describe a detailed Dual RNA-seq protocol optimized for-but not restricted to-the study of human cell culture models infected with the Gram-negative model pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium. Furthermore, they provide experimental data demonstrating the benefits of some of the key steps of this protocol, including transcriptome stabilization (RNA fixation), FACS-based enrichment of invaded cells, and double rRNA depletion. While their focus is on data generation, the researchers also include a section describing suitable computational methods to analyze the obtained datasets.

Experimental workflow for the Dual RNA-seq approach here described


(a) Data generation. (b) Data analysis.

Westermann AJ, Vogel J. (2018) Host-Pathogen Transcriptomics by Dual RNA-Seq. Methods Mol Biol 1737:59-75. [abstract]

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