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Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are highly sensitive to DNA damage and have low survival ability relative to differentiated cells. We investigated the source of this difference by comparing damage response pathways in hESCs and differentiated cells. We found that hESCs undergo more rapid p53-dependent apoptosis after DNA damage than differentiated cells(More)
Rapid analysis of a cell's propensity to undergo apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway is hindered by the complex network of interactions between more than fifteen known members of the BCL2 family that govern the decision to undergo mitochondrial apoptosis, and measurement of protein levels alone fails to account for critical interactions between the(More)
Here we investigate the function of zebrafish Bcl-2 family proteins and demonstrate important conservation of function across zebrafish and mammalian systems. We have isolated a zebrafish ortholog of mammalian BIM and show that it is the most toxic of the zebrafish BH3-only genes examined, sharing this characteristic with the mammalian BIM gene. The(More)
Cytotoxic chemotherapy targets elements common to all nucleated human cells, such as DNA and microtubules, yet it selectively kills tumor cells. Here we show that clinical response to these drugs correlates with, and may be partially governed by, the pretreatment proximity of tumor cell mitochondria to the apoptotic threshold, a property called(More)
Despite decades of successful use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), the biological basis for its differential success among individuals and for the existence of a therapeutic index has remained obscure. Rather than taking a genetic approach favored by many, we took a functional approach to ask how differential mitochondrial(More)
It is well established that CD4(+) CD8(+) thymocytes are more sensitive to myriad death stimuli than CD4(+) or CD8(+) single positive (SP) thymocytes. The mechanism behind this hypersensitivity to apoptosis of CD4(+) CD8(+) thymocytes is not understood. To test whether the difference lay in the apoptotic preset of mitochondria, established by the BCL-2(More)
More than 90% of drugs with preclinical activity fail in human trials, largely due to insufficient efficacy. We hypothesized that adequately powered trials of patient-derived xenografts (PDX) in mice could efficiently define therapeutic activity across heterogeneous tumors. To address this hypothesis, we established a large, publicly available repository of(More)
BCL2 suppresses apoptosis by binding the BH3 domain of proapoptotic factors and thereby regulating outer mitochondrial membrane permeabilization. Many tumor types, including B-cell lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, are dependent on BCL2 for survival but become resistant to apoptosis after treatment. Here, we identified a direct interaction between(More)
Myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (MCL-1) and B cell leukemia/lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) are anti-apoptotic proteins in the BCL-2 protein family often expressed in cancer. To compare the function of MCL-1 and BCL-2 in maintaining cancer survival, we constructed complementary mouse leukemia models based on Emu-Myc expression in which either BCL-2 or MCL-1 are(More)
Deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling underlies the pathogenesis of a broad range of human cancers, yet the development of targeted therapies to disrupt the resulting aberrant transcription has proved difficult because the pathway comprises large protein interaction surfaces and regulates many homeostatic functions. Therefore, we have directed our efforts(More)