Codes in paper

Identified specific ligands for each cDC subset

Introduction

 NicheNet, a method that predicts ligand–target links between interacting cells by combining their expression data with prior knowledge on signaling and gene regulatory networks.
 Authors applied NicheNet analysis to uncover the diverse external stimulus for LAMP3+ cDCs from different origins.

Code explanation

Load the required library.

## /data2/csj/tools/R-3.6.3/bin/R
.libPaths("/data2/csj/tools/Rlib3.6.3")

library(nichenetr)
library(tidyverse)

They first calculated two groups of differently expressed genes (DEGs): cDC1-derived LAMP3+ cDCs versus cDC1s (log2FC > 0.2 and adjusted Pvalue < 0.05) and cDC2-derived LAMP3+ cDCs versus cDC2s (log2FC > 0.15 and adjusted P-value < 0.05).

ligand_target_matrix.rds file contains a Ligand-target model, which denotes the prior potential that a particular ligand might regulate the expression of a specific target gene.

ligand_target_matrix = readRDS("ligand_target_matrix.rds")
ligand_target_matrix[1:5,1:5] # target genes in rows, ligands in columns

h5ad <- readRDS("/data2/csj/Pan_Myeloid/A20191105/NicheNet_analysis/cDC_for_NicheNet.rds")

DC1_sig <- readRDS("/data2/csj/Pan_Myeloid/A20191105/NicheNet_analysis/cDC1_maturation_sig.rds")
DC2_sig <- readRDS("/data2/csj/Pan_Myeloid/A20191105/NicheNet_analysis/cDC2_maturation_sig.rds")

DC1_tmp <- DC1_sig[which(DC1_sig$Adj_pval < 0.05 & DC1_sig$log2FC > 0.2 ),]
DC2_tmp <- DC2_sig[which(DC2_sig$Adj_pval < 0.05 & DC2_sig$log2FC > 0.15),]

Then, they compared the two lists of DEGs and generated three groups of maturation associated genes: cDC1-specific, cDC2-specific and shared maturation.

overlapped_genes <- intersect(DC1_tmp$gene,DC2_tmp$gene)
DC1_specific_vector <- DC1_tmp[!(DC1_tmp$gene %in% overlapped_genes),]
DC2_specific_vector <- DC2_tmp[!(DC2_tmp$gene %in% overlapped_genes),]
library(dplyr)

Finally, the top 100 genes ordered by log2FC from each maturation signature were used as gene sets of interest for NicheNet analysis.

DC1_specific_df <- DC1_specific_vector %>%  top_n(n = 100, wt = log2FC)
DC2_specific_df <- DC2_specific_vector %>%  top_n(n = 100, wt = log2FC)
common_sig_df <- DC1_tmp[DC1_tmp$gene %in% overlapped_genes, ] %>%  top_n(n = 100, wt = log2FC)

DC1_specific <- as.vector(DC1_specific_df$gene)
DC2_specific <- as.vector(DC2_specific_df$gene)
common_sig <- as.vector(common_sig_df$gene)

df_genes <- data.frame("cDC1-specific" = DC1_specific, "cDC2-specific" = DC2_specific, "shared" = common_sig)
write.csv(df_genes,"cDC maturation sigantures.csv", quote = F, row.names = F, col.names = F)

DC2_specific <- DC2_specific[DC2_specific!='IGLV2-14']
DC2_specific <- DC2_specific[DC2_specific!="IGKV3-20"]
length(common_sig)
length(DC1_specific)
length(DC2_specific)

NicheNet analysis.
First, Define expressed genes in sender and receiver cell populations. Authors selected expressed genes as receptor gene because they only have DC cells. Then they checker the number of expressed genes, which should a 'reasonable' number of total expressed genes in a cell type, e.g. between 5000-10000 (and not 500 or 20000).


expression = h5ad$expression
sample_info = h5ad$metadata
sample_info$cell = rownames(sample_info)

### Define expressed genes in sender and receiver cell populations
# here we do not consider sender population as we only have DC cells

cDC3_cDC1_ids = sample_info %>% filter(MajorCluster == 'cDC3-cDC1') %>% pull(cell)
## selected expressed genes (We will consider a gene to be expressed when it is expressed in at least 10% of cells in one cluster.)
expressed_genes_receiver = expression[,cDC3_cDC1_ids] %>% apply(1,function(x){sum(x>0)/length(x)})  %>% .[. >= 0.1] %>% names()

# Check the number of expressed genes: should be a 'reasonable' number of total expressed genes in a cell type, e.g. between 5000-10000 (and not 500 or 20000)
length(expressed_genes_receiver)
## [1] 6351

Define the gene set of interst and a backgroud of genes. All expressed genes in cDC1- or cDC2-derived LAMP3+ cDCs were used as background of genes.

geneset_oi = DC1_specific %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)] 

length(geneset_oi)
## [1] "SERPINE1" "TGFBI"    "MMP10"    "LAMC2"    "P4HA2"    "PDPN"

background_expressed_genes = expressed_genes_receiver %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)]
length(background_expressed_genes)
head(background_expressed_genes)
## [1] "RPS11"   "ELMO2"   "PNMA1"   "MMP2"    "TMEM216" "ERCC5"

Define a set of potential ligands

### Define a set of potential ligands
lr_network = readRDS("lr_network.rds")  #Putative ligand-receptor links were gathered from NicheNet’s ligand-receptor data sources.

# If wanted, users can remove ligand-receptor interactions that were predicted based on protein-protein interactions and only keep ligand-receptor interactions that are described in curated databases. To do this: uncomment following line of code:
# lr_network = lr_network %>% filter(database != "ppi_prediction_go" & database != "ppi_prediction")

ligands = lr_network %>% pull(from) %>% unique()
expressed_ligands = ligands ## here we used all ligands intersect(ligands,expressed_genes_sender)

receptors = lr_network %>% pull(to) %>% unique()
expressed_receptors = intersect(receptors,expressed_genes_receiver)

lr_network_expressed = lr_network %>% filter(from %in% expressed_ligands & to %in% expressed_receptors) 
head(lr_network_expressed)

potential_ligands = lr_network_expressed %>% pull(from) %>% unique()

Perform NicheNet ligand activity analysis on the gene set of interest

ligand_activities = predict_ligand_activities(geneset = geneset_oi, background_expressed_genes = background_expressed_genes, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, potential_ligands = potential_ligands)
best_upstream_ligands = ligand_activities %>% top_n(20, pearson) %>% arrange(-pearson) %>% pull(test_ligand)

Infer target genes of top-ranked ligands and visualize in a heatmap

active_ligand_target_links_df = best_upstream_ligands %>% lapply(get_weighted_ligand_target_links,geneset = geneset_oi, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, n = 250) %>% bind_rows()
active_ligand_target_links_df <- na.omit(active_ligand_target_links_df)

active_ligand_target_links = prepare_ligand_target_visualization(ligand_target_df = active_ligand_target_links_df, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, cutoff = 0.25)

order_ligands = intersect(best_upstream_ligands, colnames(active_ligand_target_links)) %>% rev()
order_targets = active_ligand_target_links_df$target %>% unique()
vis_ligand_target = active_ligand_target_links[order_targets,order_ligands] %>% t()

cDC1_specific = vis_ligand_target %>% make_heatmap_ggplot("Pro cDC1 maturation ligands","cDC1-specific maturation signature", color = "red",legend_position = "top", x_axis_position = "top",legend_title = "Regulatory potential") + scale_fill_gradient2(low = "whitesmoke",  high = "red", breaks = c(0,0.005,0.01)) + theme(axis.text.x = element_text(face = "italic"))

cDC1_specific

Similarly, they analyzed cDC2 and common maturation signature

##########cDC2 maturation signature
cDC3_cDC2_ids = sample_info %>% filter(MajorCluster == 'cDC3-cDC2') %>% pull(cell)
expressed_genes_receiver = expression[,cDC3_cDC2_ids] %>% apply(1,function(x){sum(x>0)/length(x)})  %>% .[. >= 0.1] %>% names()

# Check the number of expressed genes: should be a 'reasonable' number of total expressed genes in a cell type, e.g. between 5000-10000 (and not 500 or 20000)
length(expressed_genes_receiver)
## [1] 6351

### Define the gene set of interest and a background of genes
geneset_oi = DC2_specific %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)] 
length(geneset_oi)

background_expressed_genes = expressed_genes_receiver %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)]
length(background_expressed_genes)

### Define a set of potential ligands
lr_network = readRDS("lr_network.rds")

ligands = lr_network %>% pull(from) %>% unique()
expressed_ligands = ligands ## here we used all ligands intersect(ligands,expressed_genes_sender)

receptors = lr_network %>% pull(to) %>% unique()
expressed_receptors = intersect(receptors,expressed_genes_receiver)

lr_network_expressed = lr_network %>% filter(from %in% expressed_ligands & to %in% expressed_receptors) 
head(lr_network_expressed)

potential_ligands = lr_network_expressed %>% pull(from) %>% unique()

### Perform NicheNet鈥檚 ligand activity analysis on the gene set of interest
ligand_activities = predict_ligand_activities(geneset = geneset_oi, background_expressed_genes = background_expressed_genes, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, potential_ligands = potential_ligands)
best_upstream_ligands = ligand_activities %>% top_n(20, pearson) %>% arrange(-pearson) %>% pull(test_ligand)

### Infer target genes of top-ranked ligands and visualize in a heatmap
active_ligand_target_links_df = best_upstream_ligands %>% lapply(get_weighted_ligand_target_links,geneset = geneset_oi, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, n = 250) %>% bind_rows()

active_ligand_target_links = prepare_ligand_target_visualization(ligand_target_df = active_ligand_target_links_df, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, cutoff = 0.25)

order_ligands = intersect(best_upstream_ligands, colnames(active_ligand_target_links)) %>% rev()
order_targets = active_ligand_target_links_df$target %>% unique()
vis_ligand_target = active_ligand_target_links[order_targets[order_targets %in% rownames(active_ligand_target_links)],order_ligands] %>% t()

cDC2_specific = vis_ligand_target %>% make_heatmap_ggplot("Pro cDC2 maturation ligands","cDC2-specific maturation signature", color = "red",legend_position = "top", x_axis_position = "top",legend_title = "Regulatory potential") + scale_fill_gradient2(low = "whitesmoke",  high = "red", breaks = c(0,0.005,0.01)) + theme(axis.text.x = element_text(face = "italic"))

cDC2_specific

##########common maturation signature
cDC3_cDC2_ids = sample_info %>% filter(MajorCluster == 'cDC3-cDC2') %>% pull(cell)
cDC3_cDC1_ids = sample_info %>% filter(MajorCluster == 'cDC3-cDC1') %>% pull(cell)

expressed_genes_receiver = expression[,c(cDC3_cDC2_ids,cDC3_cDC1_ids)] %>% apply(1,function(x){sum(x>0)/length(x)})  %>% .[. >= 0.1] %>% names()

# Check the number of expressed genes: should be a 'reasonable' number of total expressed genes in a cell type, e.g. between 5000-10000 (and not 500 or 20000)
length(expressed_genes_receiver)
## [1] 6351

### Define the gene set of interest and a background of genes
geneset_oi = common_sig %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)] 
length(geneset_oi)

background_expressed_genes = expressed_genes_receiver %>% .[. %in% rownames(ligand_target_matrix)]
length(background_expressed_genes)

### Define a set of potential ligands
lr_network = readRDS("lr_network.rds")

ligands = lr_network %>% pull(from) %>% unique()
expressed_ligands = ligands ## here we used all ligands intersect(ligands,expressed_genes_sender)

receptors = lr_network %>% pull(to) %>% unique()
expressed_receptors = intersect(receptors,expressed_genes_receiver)

lr_network_expressed = lr_network %>% filter(from %in% expressed_ligands & to %in% expressed_receptors) 
head(lr_network_expressed)

potential_ligands = lr_network_expressed %>% pull(from) %>% unique()

### Perform NicheNet ligand activity analysis on the gene set of interest
ligand_activities = predict_ligand_activities(geneset = geneset_oi, background_expressed_genes = background_expressed_genes, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, potential_ligands = potential_ligands)
best_upstream_ligands = ligand_activities %>% top_n(20, pearson) %>% arrange(-pearson) %>% pull(test_ligand)

### Infer target genes of top-ranked ligands and visualize in a heatmap
active_ligand_target_links_df = best_upstream_ligands %>% lapply(get_weighted_ligand_target_links,geneset = geneset_oi, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, n = 250) %>% bind_rows()

active_ligand_target_links = prepare_ligand_target_visualization(ligand_target_df = active_ligand_target_links_df, ligand_target_matrix = ligand_target_matrix, cutoff = 0.25)

order_ligands = intersect(best_upstream_ligands, colnames(active_ligand_target_links)) %>% rev()
order_targets = active_ligand_target_links_df$target %>% unique()
vis_ligand_target = active_ligand_target_links[order_targets[order_targets %in% rownames(active_ligand_target_links)],order_ligands] %>% t()

common_res = vis_ligand_target %>% make_heatmap_ggplot("Pro cDC maturation ligands","cDC common maturation signature", color = "red",legend_position = "top", x_axis_position = "top",legend_title = "Regulatory potential") + scale_fill_gradient2(low = "whitesmoke",  high = "red", breaks = c(0,0.005,0.01)) + theme(axis.text.x = element_text(face = "italic"))

common_res

pdf(file="Common_maturation.pdf",width=6.99, height=4.96)
common_res
dev.off()

pdf(file="cDC2_specific_maturation.pdf",width=4.28, height=4.96)
cDC2_specific
dev.off()

pdf(file="cDC1_specific_maturation.pdf",width=5.36, height=4.96)
cDC1_specific
dev.off()


Heatmaps showing potential ligands driving the maturation of cDC1s.

Interpretation of results

Authors identified specific ligands for each cDC subset. Of the ligands regulating the maturation of cDC1s, IL-4 and IL12B were significantly enriched, consistent
with previous studies (Maier et al., 2020), whereas IL-15, a cytokine reported to induce the conversion of monocytes tomature DCs (Saikh et al., 2001), was identified from cDC2-specific maturation signatures.

References

Cheng S , Li Z , Gao R , et al. A pan-cancer single-cell transcriptional atlas of tumor infiltrating myeloid cells[J]. Cell, 2021, 184(3):792-809.e23.

Original

https://github.com/Sijin-ZhangLab/PanMyeloid
https://github.com/saeyslab/nichenetr

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