Eva Vertes on cancer

Eva Vertes

Amazing girl, didn’t start to read until she was 14, at which point she plunged into medicine. At age 17 she had the theory which she presented in this talk, that:

Cancer seems to be a response to injury. It may thus be a healing/self-repair mechanism which is badly controlled.

Skeletal muscle does not get cancer. Muscle “expects” frequent injury, and is thus very good at self repair.

A search of pub med shows that she (may) be involved in cancer research, but has not yet published on this theory directly:

Cell Stem Cell. 2010 Mar 5;6(3):251-64.
Endothelial cells are essential for the self-renewal and repopulation of Notch-dependent hematopoietic stem cells.
Butler JM, Nolan DJ, Vertes EL, Varnum-Finney B, Kobayashi H, Hooper AT, Seandel M, Shido K, White IA, Kobayashi M, Witte L, May C, Shawber C, Kimura Y, Kitajewski J, Rosenwaks Z, Bernstein ID, Rafii S.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Bone marrow endothelial cells (ECs) are essential for reconstitution of hematopoiesis, but their role in self-renewal of long-term hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSCs) is unknown. We have developed angiogenic models to demonstrate that EC-derived angiocrine growth factors support in vitro self-renewal and in vivo repopulation of authentic LT-HSCs. In serum/cytokine-free cocultures, ECs, through direct cellular contact, stimulated incremental expansion of repopulating CD34(-)Flt3(-)cKit(+)Lineage(-)Sca1(+) LT-HSCs, which retained their self-renewal ability, as determined by single-cell and serial transplantation assays. Angiocrine expression of Notch ligands by ECs promoted proliferation and prevented exhaustion of LT-HSCs derived from wild-type, but not Notch1/Notch2-deficient, mice. In transgenic notch-reporter (TNR.Gfp) mice, regenerating TNR.Gfp(+) LT-HSCs were detected in cellular contact with sinusoidal ECs. Interference with angiocrine, but not perfusion, function of SECs impaired repopulation of TNR.Gfp(+) LT-HSCs. ECs establish an instructive vascular niche for clinical-scale expansion of LT-HSCs and a cellular platform to identify stem cell-active trophogens.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Dec 9;105(49):19288-93. Epub 2008 Nov 26.
Generation of a functional and durable vascular niche by the adenoviral E4ORF1 gene.
Seandel M, Butler JM, Kobayashi H, Hooper AT, White IA, Zhang F, Vertes EL, Kobayashi M, Zhang Y, Shmelkov SV, Hackett NR, Rabbany S, Boyer JL, Rafii S.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Vascular cells contribute to organogenesis and tumorigenesis by producing unknown factors. Primary endothelial cells (PECs) provide an instructive platform for identifying factors that support stem cell and tumor homeostasis. However, long-term maintenance of PECs requires stimulation with cytokines and serum, resulting in loss of their angiogenic properties. To circumvent this hurdle, we have discovered that the adenoviral E4ORF1 gene product maintains long-term survival and facilitates organ-specific purification of PECs, while preserving their vascular repertoire for months, in serum/cytokine-free cultures. Lentiviral introduction of E4ORF1 into human PECs (E4ORF1(+) ECs) increased the long-term survival of these cells in serum/cytokine-free conditions, while preserving their in vivo angiogenic potential for tubulogenesis and sprouting. Although E4ORF1, in the absence of mitogenic signals, does not induce proliferation of ECs, stimulation with VEGF-A and/or FGF-2 induced expansion of E4ORF1(+) ECs in a contact-inhibited manner. Indeed, VEGF-A-induced phospho MAPK activation of E4ORF1(+) ECs is comparable with that of naive PECs, suggesting that the VEGF receptors remain functional upon E4ORF1 introduction. E4ORF1(+) ECs inoculated in implanted Matrigel plugs formed functional, patent, humanized microvessels that connected to the murine circulation. E4ORF1(+) ECs also incorporated into neo-vessels of human tumor xenotransplants and supported serum/cytokine-free expansion of leukemic and embryonal carcinoma cells. E4ORF1 augments survival of PECs in part by maintaining FGF-2/FGF-R1 signaling and through tonic Ser-473 phosphorylation of Akt, thereby activating the mTOR and NF-kappaB pathways. Therefore, E4ORF1(+) ECs establish an Akt-dependent durable vascular niche not only for expanding stem and tumor cells but also for interrogating the roles of vascular cells in regulating organ-specific vascularization and tumor neo-angiogenesis.


Posted on September 13, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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