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Serup P.,Hagedorn Research Institute | Serup P.,Copenhagen University | Gustavsen C.,Hagedorn Research Institute | Gustavsen C.,Copenhagen University | And 16 more authors.
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms | Year: 2012

Extracellular signals in development, physiology, homeostasis and disease often act by regulating transcription. Herein we describe a general method and specific resources for determining where and when such signaling occurs in live animals and for systematically comparing the timing and extent of different signals in different cellular contexts. We used recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) to test the effect of successively deleting conserved genomic regions of the ubiquitously active Rosa26 promoter and substituting the deleted regions for regulatory sequences that respond to diverse extracellular signals. We thereby created an allelic series of embryonic stem cells and mice, each containing a signal-responsive sentinel with different fluorescent reporters that respond with sensitivity and specificity to retinoic acids, bone morphogenic proteins, activin A, Wnts or Notch, and that can be adapted to any pathway that acts via DNA elements. Source


Perna F.,Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program | Vu L.P.,Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program | Themeli M.,Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program | Kriks S.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | And 9 more authors.
Stem Cell Reports | Year: 2015

Epigenetic regulation of key transcriptional programs is a critical mechanism that controls hematopoietic development, and, thus, aberrant expression patterns or mutations in epigenetic regulators occur frequently in hematologic malignancies. We demonstrate that the Polycomb protein L3MBTL1, which is monoallelically deleted in 20q- myeloid malignancies, represses the ability of stem cells to drive hematopoietic-specific transcriptional programs by regulating the expression of SMAD5 and impairing its recruitment to target regulatory regions. Indeed, knockdown of L3MBTL1 promotes the development of hematopoiesis and impairs neural cell fate in human pluripotent stem cells. We also found a role for L3MBTL1 in regulating SMAD5 target gene expression in mature hematopoietic cell pop-ulations, thereby affecting erythroid differentiation. Taken together, we have identified epigenetic priming of hematopoietic-specific transcriptional networks, which may assist in the development of therapeutic approaches for patients with anemia. Source


Fattahi F.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | Fattahi F.,Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research | Fattahi F.,Cornell University | Steinbeck J.A.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | And 23 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2016

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is the largest component of the autonomic nervous system, with neuron numbers surpassing those present in the spinal cord. The ENS has been called the 'second brain' given its autonomy, remarkable neurotransmitter diversity and complex cytoarchitecture. Defects in ENS development are responsible for many human disorders including Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). HSCR is caused by the developmental failure of ENS progenitors to migrate into the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the distal colon. Human ENS development remains poorly understood owing to the lack of an easily accessible model system. Here we demonstrate the efficient derivation and isolation of ENS progenitors from human pluripotent stem (PS) cells, and their further differentiation into functional enteric neurons. ENS precursors derived in vitro are capable of targeted migration in the developing chick embryo and extensive colonization of the adult mouse colon. The in vivo engraftment and migration of human PS-cell-derived ENS precursors rescue disease-related mortality in HSCR mice (Ednrbs-l/s-l), although the mechanism of action remains unclear. Finally, EDNRB-null mutant ENS precursors enable modelling of HSCR-related migration defects, and the identification of pepstatin A as a candidate therapeutic target. Our study establishes the first, to our knowledge, human PS-cell-based platform for the study of human ENS development, and presents cell- and drug-based strategies for the treatment of HSCR. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Sparks E.E.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | Huppert K.A.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | Brown M.A.,Center for Stem Cell Biology | Washington M.K.,Vanderbilt University | Huppert S.S.,Center for Stem Cell Biology
Hepatology | Year: 2010

Alagille syndrome, a chronic hepatobiliary disease, is characterized by paucity of intrahepatic bile ducts (IHBDs). To determine the impact of Notch signaling specifically on IHBD arborization, we studied the influence of both chronic gain and loss of Notch function on the intact three-dimensional IHBD structure using a series of mutant mouse models and a resin casting method. Impaired Notch signaling in bipotential hepatoblast progenitor cells (BHPCs) dose-dependently decreased the density of peripheral IHBDs, whereas activation of Notch1 results in an increased density of peripheral IHBDs. Although Notch2 has a dominant role in IHBD formation, there is also a redundant role for other Notch receptors in determining the density of peripheral IHBDs. Because changes in IHBD density do not appear to be due to changes in cellular proliferation of bile duct progenitors, we suggest that Notch plays a permissive role in cooperation with other factors to influence lineage decisions of BHPCs and sustain peripheral IHBDs. Conclusion: There is a threshold requirement for Notch signaling at multiple steps, including IHBD tubulogenesis and maintenance, during hepatic development that determines the density of three-dimensional peripheral IHBD architecture. Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Source


Boulbes D.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Chen C.-H.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Shaikenov T.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Agarwal N.K.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Research | Year: 2010

In animal cells, growth factors coordinate cell proliferation and survival by regulating the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Deregulation of this signaling pathway is common in a variety of human cancers. The PI3K-dependent signaling kinase complex defined as mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) functions as a regulatory Ser-473 kinase of Akt. We find that activation of mTORC2 by growth factor signaling is linked to the specific phosphorylation of its component rictor on Thr-1135. The phosphorylation of this site is induced by the growth factor stimulation and expression of the oncogenic forms of ras or PI3K. Rictor phosphorylation is sensitive to the inhibition of PI3K, mTOR, or expression of integrin-linked kinase. The substitution of wild-type rictor with its specific phospho-mutants in rictor null mouse embryonic fibroblasts did not alter the growth factor-dependent phosphorylation of Akt, indicating that the rictor Thr-1135 phosphorylation is not critical in the regulation of the mTORC2 kinase activity. We found that this rictor phosphorylation takes place in the mTORC2-deficient cells, suggesting that this modification might play a role in the regulation of not only mTORC2 but also the mTORC2-independent function of rictor. ©2010 AACR. Source

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