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Li A.,University of Southern California | Xing Y.,University of Southern California | Chan B.,University of Southern California | Heisterkamp N.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | And 4 more authors.
Developmental Dynamics | Year: 2010

Adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) is critical for Wnt signaling and cell migration. The current study examined Apc expression during lung development, injury, and repair. Apc was first detectable in smooth muscle layers in early lung morphogenesis, and was highly expressed in ciliated and neuroendocrine cells in the advanced stages. No Apc immunoreactivity was detected in Clara or basal cells, which function as stem/progenitor cell in adult lung. In ciliated cells, Apc is associated mainly with apical cytoplasmic domain. In response to naphthalene-induced injury, Apc positive cells underwent squamous metaplasia, accompanied by changes in Apc subcellular distribution. In conclusion, both spatial and temporal expression of Apc is dynamically regulated during lung development and injury repair. Differential expression of Apc in progenitor vs. nonprogenitor cells suggests a functional role in cell-type specification. Subcellular localization changes of Apc in response to naphthalene injury suggest a role in cell shape and cell migration. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Source

Fei F.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Fei F.,Saban Research Institute | Lim M.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Lim M.,Saban Research Institute | And 12 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2015

Precursor B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B ALL) affects hematopoietic development and therefore is associated with immune deficiencies that can be further exacerbated by chemotherapy. It is unclear if and when monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that stimulate antibody-mediated cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) can be used for treatment because this depends on the presence of functional effector cells. Here, we used flow cytometry to determine that patient samples at diagnosis, post-induction and relapse contain detectable numbers of CD56+ cells. We were able to selectively expand CD56+ immune effector cells from bone marrow and peripheral blood samples at diagnosis and at various stages of treatment by co-culture with artificial antigen-presenting K562 clone 9.mbIL-21 cells. Amplified CD56+CD3- cells had spontaneous and anti-B cell-activating factor receptor mAb-stimulated ADCC activity against allogeneic ALL cells, which could be further enhanced by IL-15. Importantly, matched CD56+ effector cells also killed autologous ALL cells grown out from leukemia samples of the same patient, through both spontaneous as well as antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. Since autologous cell therapy will not be complicated by graft-versus-host disease, our results show that expanded CD56+ cells could be applied for treatment of pre-B ALL without transplantation, or for purging of bone marrow in the setting of autologous bone marrow transplants. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Yi S.-J.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Groffen J.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Groffen J.,Saban Research Institute | Groffen J.,University of Southern California | And 3 more authors.
BMC Biochemistry | Year: 2011

Background. Breakpoint cluster region (Bcr) is a multi-domain protein that contains a C-terminal GTPase activating protein (GAP) domain for Rac. Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) regulates Bcr by direct binding to its GAP domain. Since TG2 has transglutaminase activity that has been implicated in the response to extreme stress, we investigated if Bcr can also act as a substrate for TG2. Results. We here report that activation of TG2 by calcium caused the formation of covalently cross-linked Bcr. Abr, a protein related to Bcr but lacking its N-terminal oligomerization domain, was not cross-linked by TG2 even though it forms a complex with it. A Bcr mutant missing the first 62 amino acid residues remained monomeric in the presence of activated TG2, showing that this specific domain is necessary for the cross-linking reaction. Calcium influx induced by a calcium ionophore in primary human endothelial cells caused cross-linking of endogenous Bcr, which was inhibited by the TG2 inhibitor cystamine. Treatment of cells with cobalt chloride, a hypoxia-mimetic that causes cellular stress, also generated high molecular weight Bcr complexes. Cross-linked Bcr protein appeared in the TritonX-100-insoluble cell fraction and further accumulated in cells treated with a proteasome inhibitor. Conclusions. Bcr thus represents both an interacting partner under non-stressed conditions and a target of transglutaminase activity for TG2 during extreme stress. © 2011 Yi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Parameswaran R.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Yu M.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | Lyu M.-A.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Lim M.,Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis | And 7 more authors.
Leukemia | Year: 2012

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy affecting children and a major cause of mortality from hematopoietic malignancies in adults. A substantial number of patients become drug resistant during chemotherapy, necessitating the development of alternative modes of treatment. rGel (recombinant Gelonin)/BlyS (B-lymphocyte stimulator) is a toxin-cytokine fusion protein used for selective killing of malignant B-cells expressing receptors for B-cell-activating factor (BAFF/BLyS) by receptor-targeted delivery of the toxin, Gelonin. Here, we demonstrate that rGel/BLyS binds to ALL cells expressing BAFF receptor (BAFF-R) and upon internalization, it induces apoptosis of these cells and causes downregulation of survival genes even in the presence of stromal protection. Using an immunodeficient transplant model for human ALL, we show that rGel/BLyS prolongs survival of both Philadelphia chromosome-positive and negative ALL-bearing mice. Furthermore, we used AMD3100, a CXCR4 antagonist, to mobilize the leukemic cells protected in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment and the combination with rGel/BLyS resulted in a significant reduction of the tumor load in the BM and complete eradication of ALL cells from the circulation. Thus, a combination treatment with the B-cell-specific fusion toxin rGel/BLyS and the mobilizing agent AMD3100 could be an effective alternative approach to chemotherapy for the treatment of primary and relapsed ALL. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

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