McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute

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McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute

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Venugopal C.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Li N.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Wang X.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Manoranjan B.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | And 11 more authors.
Stem Cell Research | Year: 2012

The master regulatory gene Bmi1 modulates key stem cell properties in neural precursor cells (NPCs), and has been implicated in brain tumorigenesis. We previously identified a population of CD133 + brain tumor cells possessing stem cell properties, known as brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs). Here, we characterize the expression and role of Bmi1 in primary minimally cultured human glioblastoma (GBM) patient isolates in CD133 + and CD133 - sorted populations. We find that Bmi1 expression is increased in CD133 - cells, and Bmi1 protein and transcript expression are highest during intermediate stages of differentiation as CD133 + BTICs lose their CD133 expression. Furthermore, in vitro stem cell assays and Bmi1 knockdown show that Bmi1 contributes to self-renewal in CD133 + populations, but regulates proliferation and cell fate determination in CD133 - populations. Finally, we test if our in vitro stem cell assays and Bmi1 expression in BTIC patient isolates are predictive of clinical outcome for GBM patients. Bmi1 expression profiles show a marked elevation in the proneural GBM subtype, and stem cell frequency as assessed by tumor sphere assays correlates with patient outcome. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Nolte S.M.,McMaster University | Nolte S.M.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Venugopal C.,McMaster University | Venugopal C.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | And 19 more authors.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Year: 2013

Background Brain metastases are most common in adults with lung cancer, predicting uniformly poor patient outcome, with a median survival of only months. Despite their frequency and severity, very little is known about tumorigenesis in brain metastases.MethodsWe applied previously developed primary solid tumor-initiating cell models to the study of brain metastases from the lung to evaluate the presence of a cancer stem cell population. Patient-derived brain metastases (n = 20) and the NCI-H1915 cell line were cultured as stem-enriching tumorspheres. We used in vitro limiting-dilution and sphere-forming assays, as well as intracranial human-mouse xenograft models. To determine genes overexpressed in brain metastasis tumorspheres, we performed comparative transcriptome analysis. All statistical analyses were two-sided.ResultsPatient-derived brain metastasis tumorspheres had a mean sphere-forming capacity of 33 spheres/2000 cells (SD = 33.40) and median stem-cell frequency of 1/60 (range = 0-1/141), comparable to that of primary brain tumorspheres (P =. 53 and P =. 20, respectively). Brain metastases also expressed CD15 and CD133, markers suggestive of a stemlike population. Through intracranial xenotransplantation, brain metastasis tumorspheres were found to recapitulate the original patient tumor heterogeneity. We also identified several genes overexpressed in brain metastasis tumorspheres as statistically significant predictors of poor survival in primary lung cancer.ConclusionsFor the first time, we demonstrate the presence of a stemlike population in brain metastases from the lung. We also show that NCI-H1915 tumorspheres could be useful in studying self-renewal and tumor initiation in brain metastases. Our candidate genes may be essential to metastatic stem cell populations, where pathway interference may be able to transform a uniformly fatal disease into a more localized and treatable one. © 2013 The Author.


Singh K.P.,University of Rochester | Bennett J.A.,University of Rochester | Casado F.L.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Walrath J.L.,University of Rochester | And 2 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2014

Loss of immune function and increased hematopoietic disease are among the most clinically significant consequences of aging. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from mice lacking aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) have high rates of cell division. Studies were designed to test the hypothesis that aging AhR-null allele (AhR-KO) mice develop premature HSC exhaustion, and changes leading to hematological disease. Compared to wild-type, aging AhR-KO mice showed a decreased survival rate, splenomegaly, increased circulating white blood cells, hematopoietic cell accumulation in tissues, and anemia. Analysis of bone marrow indicated increased numbers of stem/progenitor and lineage-committed cells, but decreased erythroid progenitors. There was also decreased self-renewal capacity of HSCs determined by competitive repopulation and serial transplantation. HSCs also showed increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), Ki-67, and γ-H2A.X, but decreased p16Ink4a. Splenic cells from aging KO mice had abnormal expression of genes, including Gata-1, Sh2d3c, Gfi-1, p21, and c-myc, involved in trafficking and associated with leukemia. HSCs from AhR-KO mice had gene changes related to HSC maintenance and consistent with phenotype observed. The most prominent gene changes (overexpression of Srpk2, Creb1, Hes1, mtor, pdp1) have been associated with HSC hyperproliferation, leukemia, and accelerated aging. Pathway analyses also indicated an enrichment of genes associated with oxidative stress, acute myelogenous leukemia, aging, and heat shock response, and the β-catenin/Wnt pathways. These data indicate that loss of AhR and associated changes in multiple signaling pathways promote premature HSC exhaustion and development of a myeloproliferative disorder. They also implicate a critical role of the AhR in the regulation of HSCs. © 2014, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Ralston A.,Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute | Ralston A.,University of California at Santa Cruz | Cox B.J.,Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute | Nishioka N.,RIKEN | And 9 more authors.
Development | Year: 2010

The mouse blastocyst and stem cells derived from its tissue lineages provide a unique genetic system for examining the establishment and loss of pluripotency. The transcription factor Cdx2 plays a central role by repressing pluripotency genes, such as Oct4, and promoting extraembryonic trophoblast fate at the blastocyst stage. However, genetic evidence has suggested that Cdx2 does not work alone in the trophoblast lineage. We have used bioinformatic and functional genomic strategies to identify the transcription factor Gata3 as a trophoblast factor. We show Gata3 to be capable of inducing trophoblast fate in embryonic stem cells and driving trophoblast differentiation in trophoblast stem cells. In addition, Cdx2 is not required for Gata3-induced expression of a subset of trophoblast genes in embryonic stem cells. We show that Gata3 is coexpressed with Cdx2 in the blastocyst, but this does not depend on Cdx2. In the embryo, expression of Gata3, like that of Cdx2, depends on Tead4, and the expression of both factors becomes restricted to trophoblast by a mechanism that does not initially rely on Oct4. These observations suggest that Gata3 and Cdx2 can act in parallel pathways downstream of Tead4 to induce the expression of common and independent targets in the trophoblast lineage, whereas Oct4 is required for continued repression of trophoblast fate in the embryonic lineage. © 2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Zarkoob H.,University of Waterloo | Taube J.H.,University of Houston | Singh S.K.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Singh S.K.,McMaster University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

In this manuscript, we use genetic data to provide a three-faceted analysis on the links between molecular subclasses of glioblastoma, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and CD133 cell surface protein. The contribution of this paper is three-fold: First, we use a newly identified signature for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human mammary epithelial cells, and demonstrate that genes in this signature have significant overlap with genes differentially expressed in all known GBM subtypes. However, the overlap between genes up regulated in the mesenchymal subtype of GBM and in the EMT signature was more significant than other GBM subtypes. Second, we provide evidence that there is a negative correlation between the genetic signature of EMT and that of CD133 cell surface protein, a putative marker for neural stem cells. Third, we study the correlation between GBM molecular subtypes and the genetic signature of CD133 cell surface protein. We demonstrate that the mesenchymal and neural subtypes of GBM have the strongest correlations with the CD133 genetic signature. While the mesenchymal subtype of GBM displays similarity with the signatures of both EMT and CD133, it also exhibits some differences with each of these signatures that are partly due to the fact that the signatures of EMT and CD133 are inversely related to each other. Taken together these data shed light on the role of the mesenchymal transition and neural stem cells, and their mutual interaction, in molecular subtypes of glioblastoma multiforme. © 2013 Zarkoob et al.


Manoranjan B.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Manoranjan B.,McMaster University | Wang X.,Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Center | Hallett R.M.,McMaster University | And 18 more authors.
Stem Cells | Year: 2013

Brain tumors represent the leading cause of childhood cancer mortality, of which medulloblastoma (MB) is the most frequent malignant tumor. Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of several MB molecular subgroups, each distinct in terms of prognosis and predicted therapeutic response. Groups 1 and 2 are characterized by relatively good clinical outcomes and activation of the Wnt and Shh pathways, respectively. In contrast, groups 3 and 4 (''non-Shh/Wnt MBs'') are distinguished by metastatic disease, poor patient outcome, and lack a molecular pathway phenotype. Current gene expression platforms have not detected brain tumor-initiating cell (BTIC) selfrenewal genes in groups 3 and 4 MBs as BTICs typically comprise a minority of tumor cells and may therefore go undetected on bulk tumor analyses. Since increasing BTIC frequency has been associated with increasing tumor aggressiveness and poor patient outcome, we investigated the subgroup-specific gene expression profile of candidate stem cell genes within 251 primary human MBs from four nonoverlapping MB transcriptional databases (Amsterdam, Memphis, Toronto, Boston) and 74 NanoString-subgrouped MBs (Vancouver). We assessed the functional relevance of two genes, FoxG1 and Bmi1, which were significantly enriched in non-Shh/Wnt MBs and showed these genes to mediate MB stem cell self-renewal and tumor initiation in mice. We also identified their transcriptional regulation through reciprocal promoter occupancy in CD151 MB stem cells. Our work demonstrates the application of stem cell data gathered from genomic platforms to guide functional BTIC assays, which may then be used to develop novel BTIC self-renewal mechanisms amenable to therapeutic targeting. © AlphaMed Press.


McIntyre B.A.S.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Kushwah R.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Mechael R.,McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute | Mechael R.,McMaster University | And 3 more authors.
Innate Immunity | Year: 2015

The acquisition of innate immune response is requisite to having bona fide differentiation of airway epithelium. Procedures developed to differentiate lung airway from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have demonstrated anecdotal evidence for innate immune response, but an in-depth exploration of response levels is lacking. Herein, using an established method of airway epithelial generation from hPSCs, we show that hPSC-derived epithelial cells are able to up-regulate expression of TNFα, IL8 and IL1β in response to challenge with bacterial endotoxin LPS, but lack response from genes associated with innate immune response in other cell types. Further, stimulation of cells with TNF-α resulted in auto-induction of TNFα transcript, as well as cytokine responses of IL8 and IL1β. The demonstration of innate immune induction in hPSC-derived airway epithelia gives further strength to the functionality of in vitro protocols aimed at generating differentiated airway cells that can potentially be used in a translational setting. Finally, we propose that innate immune challenge of airway epithelium from human pluripotent stem cell sources be used as a robust validation of functional in vitro differentiation. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.


PubMed | University of Rochester, McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, West Virginia University and University of Maryland Baltimore County
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of molecular sciences | Year: 2016

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) can lead to devastating outcomes including vasospasm, cognitive decline, and even death. Currently, treatment options are limited for this potentially life threatening injury. Recent evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a critical role in injury expansion and brain damage. Red blood cell breakdown products can lead to the release of inflammatory cytokines that trigger vasospasm and tissue injury. Preclinical models have been used successfully to improve understanding about neuroinflammation following aneurysmal rupture. The focus of this review is to provide an overview of how neuroinflammation relates to secondary outcomes such as vasospasm after aneurysmal rupture and to critically discuss pharmaceutical agents that warrant further investigation for the treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage. We provide a concise overview of the neuroinflammatory pathways that are upregulated following aneurysmal rupture and how these pathways correlate to long-term outcomes. Treatment of aneurysm rupture is limited and few pharmaceutical drugs are available. Through improved understanding of biochemical mechanisms of injury, novel treatment solutions are being developed that target neuroinflammation. In the final sections of this review, we highlight a few of these novel treatment approaches and emphasize why targeting neuroinflammation following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage may improve patient care. We encourage ongoing research into the pathophysiology of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, especially in regards to neuroinflammatory cascades and the translation to randomized clinical trials.


PubMed | McMaster University, McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute and Hamilton Health Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio) | Year: 2015

Current treatments that use hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) transplantation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients substantially reduce the risk of relapse, but are limited by the availability of immune compatible healthy HPCs. Although cellular reprogramming has the potential to provide a novel autologous source of HPCs for transplantation, the applicability of this technology toward the derivation of healthy autologous hematopoietic cells devoid of patient-specific leukemic aberrations from AML patients must first be evaluated. Here, we report the generation of human AML patient-specific hematopoietic progenitors that are capable of normal in vitro differentiation to myeloid lineages and are devoid of leukemia-associated aberration found in matched patient bone marrow. Skin fibroblasts were obtained from AML patients whose leukemic cells possessed a distinct, leukemia-associated aberration, and used to create AML patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Through hematopoietic differentiation of AML patient iPSCs, coupled with cytogenetic interrogation, we reveal that AML patient-specific HPCs possess normal progenitor capacity and are devoid of leukemia-associated mutations. Importantly, in rare patient skin samples that give rise to mosaic fibroblast cultures that continue to carry leukemia-associated mutations; healthy hematopoietic progenitors can also be generated via reprogramming selection. Our findings provide the proof of principle that cellular reprogramming can be applied on a personalized basis to generate healthy HPCs from AML patients, and should further motivate advances toward creating transplantable hematopoietic stem cells for autologous AML therapy.


PubMed | McMaster University, RIKEN and McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Innate immunity | Year: 2015

The acquisition of innate immune response is requisite to having bona fide differentiation of airway epithelium. Procedures developed to differentiate lung airway from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) have demonstrated anecdotal evidence for innate immune response, but an in-depth exploration of response levels is lacking. Herein, using an established method of airway epithelial generation from hPSCs, we show that hPSC-derived epithelial cells are able to up-regulate expression of TNF, IL8 and IL1 in response to challenge with bacterial endotoxin LPS, but lack response from genes associated with innate immune response in other cell types. Further, stimulation of cells with TNF- resulted in auto-induction of TNF transcript, as well as cytokine responses of IL8 and IL1. The demonstration of innate immune induction in hPSC-derived airway epithelia gives further strength to the functionality of in vitro protocols aimed at generating differentiated airway cells that can potentially be used in a translational setting. Finally, we propose that innate immune challenge of airway epithelium from human pluripotent stem cell sources be used as a robust validation of functional in vitro differentiation.

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