Instructor, Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
MicroRNAs profoundly impact hematopoietic cells by regulating progenitor cell-fate decisions, as well as mature immune effector function. However to date, microRNAs that regulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function have been less well characterized. Here we show that microRNA-125b (miR-125b) is highly expressed in HSCs and its expression decreases in committed progenitors. Overexpression of miR-125b in mouse HSC enhances their function, demonstrated through serial transplantation of highly purified HSC, and enriches for the previously described Slamf1(lo)CD34(-) lymphoid-balanced and the Slamf1(neg)CD34(-) lymphoid-biased cell subsets within the multipotent HSC (CD34-KLS) fraction. Mature peripheral blood cells derived from the miR-125b-overexpressing HSC are skewed toward the lymphoid lineage. Consistent with this observation, miR-125b overexpression significantly increases the number of early B-progenitor cells within the spleen and induces the expansion and enrichment of the lymphoid-balanced and lymphoid-biased HSC subset via an antiapoptotic mechanism, reducing the mRNA expression levels of two proapoptotic targets, Bmf and KLF13. The antiapoptotic effect of miR-125b is more pronounced in the lymphoid-biased HSC subset because of their intrinsic higher baseline levels of apoptosis. These effects of miR-125b are associated with the development of lymphoproliferative disease, marked by expansion of CD8(+) T lymphocytes. Taken together, these data reveal that miR-125b regulates HSC survival and can promote lymphoid-fate decisions at the level of the HSC by preferentially expanding lymphoid-balanced and lymphoid-biased HSC.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1016218107
View details for Web of Science ID 000285521500053
View details for PubMedID 21118986
To examine the role of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) in metastasis, we generated human-in-mouse breast cancer orthotopic models using patient tumor specimens, labeled with optical reporter fusion genes. These models recapitulate human cancer features not captured with previous models, including spontaneous metastasis in particular, and provide a useful platform for studies of breast tumor initiation and progression. With noninvasive imaging approaches, as few as 10 cells of stably labeled BCSCs could be tracked in vivo, enabling studies of early tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis. These advances in BCSC imaging revealed that CD44(+) cells from both primary tumors and lung metastases are highly enriched for tumor-initiating cells. Our metastatic cancer models, combined with noninvasive imaging techniques, constitute an integrated approach that could be applied to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying the dissemination of metastatic CSCs (MCSCs) and to explore therapeutic strategies targeting MCSCs in general or to evaluate individual patient tumor cells and predict response to therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1006732107
View details for Web of Science ID 000283184800050
View details for PubMedID 20921380