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The Rho guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases) Rac1 and Rac2 are critical signaling regulators in mammalian cells. The deletion of both Rac1 and Rac2 murine alleles leads to a massive egress of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSC/Ps) into the blood from the marrow, whereas Rac1-/- but not Rac2-/- HSC/Ps fail to engraft in the bone marrow of irradiated(More)
Rho family GTPases are intracellular signaling proteins regulating multiple pathways involved in cell actomyosin organization, adhesion, and proliferation. Our knowledge of their cellular functions comes mostly from previous biochemical studies that used mutant overexpression approaches in various clonal cell lines. Recent progress in understanding Rho(More)
The characterization and targeting of Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph(+)) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)-initiating cells remains unresolved. Expression of the polycomb protein Bmi1 is up-regulated in patients with advanced stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). We report that Bmi1 transforms and reprograms CML B-lymphoid progenitors into(More)
Faithful modeling of mixed-lineage leukemia in murine cells has been difficult to achieve. We show that expression of MLL-AF9 in human CD34+ cells induces acute myeloid, lymphoid, or mixed-lineage leukemia in immunodeficient mice. Some leukemia stem cells (LSC) were multipotent and could be lineage directed by altering either the growth factors or the(More)
BACKGROUND Although disease remission can frequently be achieved for patients with neuroblastoma, relapse is common. The cancer stem cell theory suggests that rare tumorigenic cells, resistant to conventional therapy, are responsible for relapse. If true for neuroblastoma, improved cure rates may only be achieved via identification and therapeutic targeting(More)
Ras-related Rho GTPases regulate actin cytoskeletal organization, adhesion, gene transcription, and cell-cycle progression. The Rac subfamily of Rho GTPases and Cdc42 has been shown to play essential roles in hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) engraftment and mobilization. Here, we study the role of RhoA, a related Rho GTPase, in HSC functions. Using(More)
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disease that predisposes 30-50 % of affected individuals to develop plexiform neurofibromas. We found that macrophage infiltration of both mouse and human neurofibromas correlates with disease progression. Macrophages accounted for almost half of neurofibroma cells, leading us to hypothesize that nerve(More)
Gap junctions (GJs) provide for a unique system of intercellular communication (IC) allowing rapid transport of small molecules from cell to cell. GJs are formed by a large family of proteins named connexins (Cxs). Cx43 has been considered as the predominantly expressed Cx by hematopoietic-supporting stroma. To investigate the role of the Cx family in(More)
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are aggressive sarcomas without effective therapeutics. Bioinformatics was used to identify potential therapeutic targets. Paired Box (PAX), Eyes Absent (EYA), Dachsund (DACH) and Sine Oculis (SIX) genes, which form a regulatory interactive network in Drosophila, were found to be dysregulated in human MPNST(More)
Mobilization of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) from bone marrow into peripheral blood by the cytokine granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has become the preferred source of HSPCs for stem cell transplants. However, G-CSF fails to mobilize sufficient numbers of stem cells in up to 10% of donors, precluding autologous(More)