Zachary T. Schafer

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Stem-cell function is an exquisitely regulated process. Thus far, the contribution of metabolic cues to stem-cell function has not been well understood. Here we identify a previously unknown promyelocytic leukemia (PML)–peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPAR-δ)–fatty-acid oxidation (FAO) pathway for the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells(More)
Normal epithelial cells require matrix attachment for survival, and the ability of tumour cells to survive outside their natural extracellular matrix (ECM) niches is dependent on acquisition of anchorage independence. Although apoptosis is the most rapid mechanism for eliminating cells lacking appropriate ECM attachment, recent reports suggest that(More)
Cancer cells exhibit an aberrant metabolism that facilitates more efficient production of biomass and hence tumor growth and progression. However, the genetic cues modulating this metabolic switch remain largely undetermined. We identified a metabolic function for the promyelocytic leukemia (PML) gene, uncovering an unexpected role for this bona fide tumor(More)
Metastasis by cancer cells relies upon the acquisition of the ability to evade anoikis, a cell death process elicited by detachment from extracellular matrix (ECM). The molecular mechanisms that ECM-detached cancer cells use to survive are not understood. Striking increases in reactive oxygen species (ROS) occur in ECM-detached mammary epithelial cells,(More)
In this issue of the JCI, two reports provide intriguing new information on the role of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 in breast and lung cancer. The study by Sansone et al. implicates IL-6 in the instigation of malignant properties in breast cancer stem cells (see the related article beginning on page 3988). The study by Gao et al. identifies mutant(More)
Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, is executed by a family of zymogenic proteases known as caspases, which cleave an array of intracellular substrates in the dying cell. Many proapoptotic stimuli trigger cytochrome c release from mitochondria, promoting the formation of a complex between Apaf-1 and caspase-9 in a caspase-activating structure known(More)
Epithelial cells require attachment to the extracellular matrix (ECM) for survival. However, during tumour progression and metastasis, cancerous epithelial cells must adapt to and survive in the absence of ECM. During the past 20 years, several cellular changes, including anoikis, have been shown to regulate cell viability when cells become detached from(More)
Bcr-Abl, activated in chronic myelogenous leukemias, is a potent cell death inhibitor. Previous reports have shown that Bcr-Abl prevents apoptosis through inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. We report here that Bcr-Abl also inhibits caspase activation after the release of cytochrome c. Bcr-Abl inhibited caspase activation by cytochrome c added(More)
Epithelial cells are dependent on extracellular matrix (ECM) attachment for maintenance of metabolic activity and suppression of apoptosis. Here we show that loss of ECM attachment causes down-regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and β1 integrin protein and mRNA expression and that ErbB2, which is amplified in 25% of breast tumors, reverses(More)
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and highly invasive type of breast cancer, and patients diagnosed with IBC often face a very poor prognosis. IBC is characterized by the lack of primary tumor formation and the rapid accumulation of cancerous epithelial cells in the dermal lymphatic vessels. Given that normal epithelial cells require attachment to(More)