Spatial discordances between mRNAs and proteins in the intestinal epithelium.
IF: 19.865
Cited by: 21


The use of transcriptomes as reliable proxies for cellular proteomes is controversial. In the small intestine, enterocytes operate for 4 days as they migrate along villi, which are highly graded microenvironments. Spatial transcriptomics have demonstrated profound zonation in enterocyte gene expression, but how this variability translates to protein content is unclear. Here we show that enterocyte proteins and messenger RNAs along the villus axis are zonated, yet often spatially discordant. Using spatial sorting with zonated surface markers, together with a Bayesian approach to infer protein translation and degradation rates from the combined spatial profiles, we find that, while many genes exhibit proteins zonated toward the villus tip, mRNA is zonated toward the villus bottom. Finally, we demonstrate that space-independent protein synthesis delays can explain many of the mRNA-protein discordances. Our work provides a proteomic spatial blueprint of the intestinal epithelium, highlighting the importance of protein measurements for inferring cell states in tissues that operate outside of steady state.


Spatial Transcriptomics

MeSH terms

Gene Expression Profiling
Gene Expression Regulation
Intestinal Mucosa
Protein Stability
RNA Stability


Harnik, Yotam
Buchauer, Lisa
Ben-Moshe, Shani
Averbukh, Inna
Levin, Yishai
Savidor, Alon
Eilam, Raya
Moor, Andreas E
Itzkovitz, Shalev

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