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Whistler, Canada

Samudio I.,Terry Fox Laboratory | Konopleva M.,University of Texas
Blood | Year: 2013

In this issue of Blood, Willems et al describe the dependence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells on glutamine for maintaining protein synthesis downstream of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and show that the enzyme asparaginase can be used to target this dependence. Using various AML cell lines, primary samples, and CD34 stem cells from healthy donors, the authors support the notion that asparaginase may offer a therapeutic benefit in AML-not from its well-known enzymatic activity, but from its "off-target" effects on glutamine levels that result in inhibition of downstream mTOR signaling, inhibition of protein synthesis, and ultimately loss of viability. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Finak G.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center | Perez J.-M.,Institute Of Recherches Cliniques Of Montreal | Weng A.,Terry Fox Laboratory | Gottardo R.,Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Background: In a high throughput setting, effective flow cytometry data analysis depends heavily on proper data preprocessing. While usual preprocessing steps of quality assessment, outlier removal, normalization, and gating have received considerable scrutiny from the community, the influence of data transformation on the output of high throughput analysis has been largely overlooked. Flow cytometry measurements can vary over several orders of magnitude, cell populations can have variances that depend on their mean fluorescence intensities, and may exhibit heavily-skewed distributions. Consequently, the choice of data transformation can influence the output of automated gating. An appropriate data transformation aids in data visualization and gating of cell populations across the range of data. Experience shows that the choice of transformation is data specific. Our goal here is to compare the performance of different transformations applied to flow cytometry data in the context of automated gating in a high throughput, fully automated setting. We examine the most common transformations used in flow cytometry, including the generalized hyperbolic arcsine, biexponential, linlog, and generalized Box-Cox, all within the BioConductor flowCore framework that is widely used in high throughput, automated flow cytometry data analysis. All of these transformations have adjustable parameters whose effects upon the data are non-intuitive for most users. By making some modelling assumptions about the transformed data, we develop maximum likelihood criteria to optimize parameter choice for these different transformations.Results: We compare the performance of parameter-optimized and default-parameter (in flowCore) data transformations on real and simulated data by measuring the variation in the locations of cell populations across samples, discovered via automated gating in both the scatter and fluorescence channels. We find that parameter-optimized transformations improve visualization, reduce variability in the location of discovered cell populations across samples, and decrease the misclassification (mis-gating) of individual events when compared to default-parameter counterparts.Conclusions: Our results indicate that the preferred transformation for fluorescence channels is a parameter- optimized biexponential or generalized Box-Cox, in accordance with current best practices. Interestingly, for populations in the scatter channels, we find that the optimized hyperbolic arcsine may be a better choice in a high-throughput setting than current standard practice of no transformation. However, generally speaking, the choice of transformation remains data-dependent. We have implemented our algorithm in the BioConductor package, flowTrans, which is publicly available. © 2010 Finak et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Ahmadi S.,Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences | Veinotte L.L.,Terry Fox Laboratory
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Natural Killer (NK) cells are thought to develop from common lymphoid progenitors in the bone marrow. Even though thymus is not essential for NK cell development, T-cell/natural killer-cell (T/NK) precursors, DN1 (CD44+CD25-) and DN2 (CD44+CD25+) when cultured on an OP9 stroma, give rise to some NK1.1+ cells. Genes of the Schlafen (Slfn) family are involved in hematopoietic and immune processes. The contribution of the Slfn genes in NK cell development from Double Negative (DN) cells is unknown. We transduced DN1 and DN2 progenitors prepared from C57BL/6 (B6) mouse thymus with Schlafen 1 (Slfn1) and Schlafen 2 (Slfn2) genes using Mig retroviral vector containing the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) gene and cultured those transduced progenitors on OP9 and OP9 stroma expressing the Notch ligand Delta-like 1 (OP9-DL1) with appropriate cytokines to see if they affect generating NK and T-cells differently. Maturation of both NK and T cells from immature T/NK thymocytes hampered by Slfn1 and Slfn2 transduction but we got a small number of Slfn1 and Slfn2 expressing cells upon culture of transduced DN progenitors on stroma cells. There was no difference between Slfn1 expressing (GFP+) and none expressing T cells regarding CD3 expression but all mature NK cells were from Slfn1 negative population. Slfn2 completely blocked maturation of T cells but there was no difference between Slfn2 expressing and none expressing NK cells. Based on our findings both Slfn1 and Slfn2 interfere with maturation of DN2 progenitors but T cell development is more sensitive to Slfn2 expression than NK cell. © 2011 Asian Network for Scientific Information. Source

Eaves C.J.,Terry Fox Laboratory | Eaves C.J.,University of British Columbia
Blood | Year: 2015

Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) research took hold in the 1950s with the demonstration that intravenously injected bone marrow cells can rescue irradiated mice from lethality by reestablishing blood cell production. Attempts to quantify the cells responsible led to the discovery of serially transplantable, donor-derived, macroscopic, multilineage colonies detectable on the spleen surface 1 to 2 weeks posttransplant. The concept of self-renewing multipotent HSCs was born, but accompanied by perplexing evidence of great variability in the outcomes of HSC self-renewal divisions. The next 60 years saw an explosion in the development and use of more refined tools for assessing the behavior of prospectively purified subsets of hematopoietic cells with blood cell-producing capacity. These developments have led to the formulation of increasingly complex hierarchical models of hematopoiesis and a growing list of intrinsic and extrinsic elements that regulate HSC cycling status, viability, self-renewal, and lineage outputs. More recent examination of these properties in individual, highly purified HSCs and analyses of their perpetuation in clonally generated progeny HSCs have now provided definitive evidence of linearly transmitted heterogeneity in HSC states. These results anticipate the need and use of emerging new technologies to establish models that will accommodate such pluralistic features of HSCs and their control mechanisms. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. Source

Chan Y.A.,University of British Columbia | Aristizabal M.J.,Molecular Therapeutics | Lu P.Y.T.,Molecular Therapeutics | Luo Z.,University of British Columbia | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2014

DNA:RNA hybrid formation is emerging as a significant cause of genome instability in biological systems ranging from bacteria to mammals. Here we describe the genome-wide distribution of DNA:RNA hybrid prone loci in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by DNA:RNA immunoprecipitation (DRIP) followed by hybridization on tiling microarray. These profiles show that DNA:RNA hybrids preferentially accumulated at rDNA, Ty1 and Ty2 transposons, telomeric repeat regions and a subset of open reading frames (ORFs). The latter are generally highly transcribed and have high GC content. Interestingly, significant DNA:RNA hybrid enrichment was also detected at genes associated with antisense transcripts. The expression of antisense-associated genes was also significantly altered upon overexpression of RNase H, which degrades the RNA in hybrids. Finally, we uncover mutant-specific differences in the DRIP profiles of a Sen1 helicase mutant, RNase H deletion mutant and Hpr1 THO complex mutant compared to wild type, suggesting different roles for these proteins in DNA:RNA hybrid biology. Our profiles of DNA:RNA hybrid prone loci provide a resource for understanding the properties of hybrid-forming regions in vivo, extend our knowledge of hybrid-mitigating enzymes, and contribute to models of antisense-mediated gene regulation. A summary of this paper was presented at the 26th International Conference on Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology, August 2013. © 2014 Chan et al. Source

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