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1.  Oncogenic extracellular vesicles in brain tumor progression 
The brain is a frequent site of neoplastic growth, including both primary and metastatic tumors. The clinical intractability of many brain tumors and their distinct biology are implicitly linked to the unique microenvironment of the central nervous system (CNS) and cellular interactions within. Among the most intriguing forms of cellular interactions is that mediated by membrane-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs). Their biogenesis (vesiculation) and uptake by recipient cells serves as a unique mechanism of intercellular trafficking of complex biological messages including the exchange of molecules that cannot be released through classical secretory pathways, or that are prone to extracellular degradation. Tumor cells produce EVs containing molecular effectors of several cancer-related processes such as growth, invasion, drug resistance, angiogenesis, and coagulopathy. Notably, tumor-derived EVs (oncosomes) also contain oncogenic proteins, transcripts, DNA, and microRNA (miR). Uptake of this material may change properties of the recipient cells and impact the tumor microenvironment. Examples of transformation-related molecules found in the cargo of tumor-derived EVs include the oncogenic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII), tumor suppressors (PTEN), and oncomirs (miR-520g). It is postulated that EVs circulating in blood or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of brain tumor patients may be used to decipher molecular features (mutations) of the underlying malignancy, reflect responses to therapy, or molecular subtypes of primary brain tumors [e.g., glioma or medulloblastoma (MB)]. It is possible that metastases to the brain may also emit EVs with clinically relevant oncogenic signatures. Thus, EVs emerge as a novel and functionally important vehicle of intercellular communication that can mediate multiple biological effects. In addition, they provide a unique platform to develop molecular biomarkers in brain malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3429065  PMID: 22934045
extracellular vesicles; exosomes; oncogenes; cancer; brain
2.  Modulation of Lgl1 by steroid, retinoic acid, and Vitamin D models complex transcriptional regulation during alveolarization 
Pediatric research  2010;67(4):375-381.
Alveolarization depends on circulating glucocorticoid (GC), retinoid (RA) and Vitamin D (VitD). Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a leading cause of neonatal morbidity, is associated with arrested alveolarization. In hyperoxia-exposed rats displaying features of BPD, reduced levels of Lgl1 normalize during recovery. We show that GC (100nM) stimulates (7–115 fold) and VitD (100µM) suppresses (2 fold) Lgl1 expression. RA (all trans/9-cis, 10µM) effects are biphasic. From postnatal (PN) days 7–10, RA was stimulatory (2 fold) at 24h, after which effects were inhibitory (3–15 fold). Lgl1 promoter-luciferase reporter assays confirmed that these agents operated at the transcriptional level. Interestingly, the individual inhibitory effects of VitD and RA on GC induction of Lgl1 were abrogated when both agents were present, suggesting that steric hindrance may influence promoter accessibility. Analysis of the proximity (<50 base pairs) of binding sites for overlapping VitD and RA receptors to that of the GC receptor identified 81% of promoters in 66 genes (including Lgl1) important in human lung development compared to 48% in a random set of 1000 genes. Complex integration of the effects of GC, RA, and VitD on gene expression in the postnatal lung is likely to contribute to the timely advance of alveolarization without attendant inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3104505  PMID: 20057335

Results 1-2 (2)