Publications by authors named "Abeba Tesfaye"

6 Publications

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HCV infection-associated hepatocellular carcinoma in humanized mice.

Infect Agent Cancer 2015 27;10:24. Epub 2015 Jul 27.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037 USA.

Background And Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major risk factor for chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our aim is to explore molecular changes that underlie HCV infection-associated HCC in a humanized mouse model, in order to identify markers of HCC progression.

Methods: Liver proteins from human hepatocyte-engrafted and HCV-infected MUP-uPA/SCID/Bg mice were compared with either uninfected controls or HCV-infected but HCC-negative mice by Western blotting. MicroRNA markers of HCC positive or uninfected mouse liver were analyzed by RT-PCR.

Results: We describe the depletion of tumor suppressor proteins and induction of oncoproteins and oncogenic microRNAs (oncomiRs) in HCV-infection associated HCC. Similar depletion of PTEN protein in both HCC-positive and HCV-infected but HCC-negative liver suggests that PTEN depletion is an early, precancerous marker of HCC. By contrast, induction of oncoprotein cMyc, oncomiRs (miR21, miR221 and miR141) and inflammatory response proteins correspond to HCC progression.

Conclusions: While the loss of PTEN is important for the initiation of HCV infection-associated HCC, PTEN depletion by itself is insufficient for tumor progression. Liver tumor progression requires induction of oncoproteins and oncomiRs. Overall, human hepatocyte-engrafted (MUP-uPA/SCID/Bg) mice provide a suitable small animal model for studying the effects of oncogenic changes that promote HCV infection associated HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13027-015-0018-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4515941PMC
July 2015

Engrafted human stem cell-derived hepatocytes establish an infectious HCV murine model.

J Clin Invest 2014 Nov 8;124(11):4953-64. Epub 2014 Oct 8.

The demonstrated ability to differentiate both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) holds great promise for both regenerative medicine and liver disease research. Here, we determined that, despite an immature phenotype, differentiated HLCs are permissive to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and mount an interferon response to HCV infection in vitro. HLCs differentiated from hESCs and hiPSCs could be engrafted in the liver parenchyma of immune-deficient transgenic mice carrying the urokinase-type plasminogen activator gene driven by the major urinary protein promoter. The HLCs were maintained for more than 3 months in the livers of chimeric mice, in which they underwent further maturation and proliferation. These engrafted and expanded human HLCs were permissive to in vivo infection with HCV-positive sera and supported long-term infection of multiple HCV genotypes. Our study demonstrates efficient engraftment and in vivo HCV infection of human stem cell-derived hepatocytes and provides a model to study chronic HCV infection in patient-derived hepatocytes, action of antiviral therapies, and the biology of HCV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI75456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4347235PMC
November 2014

Chimeric mouse model for the infection of hepatitis B and C viruses.

PLoS One 2013 14;8(10):e77298. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Division of Viral Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.

While the chimpanzee remains the only animal that closely models human hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, transgenic and immunodeficient mice in which human liver can be engrafted serve as a partial solution to the need for a small animal model for HCV infection. The established system that was based on mice carrying a transgene for urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) gene under the control of the human albumin promoter has proved to be useful for studies of virus infectivity and for testing antiviral drug agents. However, the current Alb-uPA transgenic model with a humanized liver has practical limitations due to the inability to maintain non-engrafted mice as dizygotes for the transgene, poor engraftment of hemizygotes, high neonatal and experimental death rates of dizygous mice and a very short time window for hepatocyte engraftment. To improve the model, we crossed transgenic mice carrying the uPA gene driven by the major urinary protein promoter onto a SCID/Beige background (MUP-uPA SCID/Bg). These transgenic mice are healthy relative to Alb-uPA mice and provide a long window from about age 4 to 12 months for engraftment with human hepatocytes and infection with hepatitis C or hepatitis B (HBV) viruses. We have demonstrated engraftment of human hepatocytes by immunohistochemistry staining for human albumin (30-80% engraftment) and observed a correlation between the number of human hepatocytes inoculated and the level of the concentration of human albumin in the serum. We have shown that these mice support the replication of both HBV and all six major HCV genotypes. Using HBV and HCV inocula that had been previously tittered in chimpanzees, we showed that the mice had approximately the same sensitivity for infection as chimpanzees. These mice should be useful for isolating non-cell culture adapted viruses as well as testing of antiviral drugs, antibody neutralization studies and examination of phenotypic changes in viral mutants.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0077298PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796464PMC
June 2014

Dlk1 influences differentiation and function of B lymphocytes.

Stem Cells Dev 2008 Jun;17(3):495-507

Cellular and Tissue Therapies Branch, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

The Dlk1 (delta-like-1) gene is a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like homeotic gene family. It influences cell-cell interactions between stromal cells and pro-B cells in vitro. To define the in vivo role of the dlk protein in B cell development, we established a Dlk1-/- mouse model. In spleens of Dlk1-/- mice, transitional B cell numbers were increased and the ratio between transitional B cell subsets was altered. Numbers of follicular B cells decreased, while the number of marginal zone B cells and the size of the marginal zone were increased. Loss of dlk resulted in increased immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and IgG3 in preimmune sera. Furthermore, there was an exaggerated primary T-dependent antigen-specific humoral immune response. In bone marrow, the lack of dlk led to increased numbers of the earliest B lineage cells in young mice without affecting numbers of later B lineage cells. In vitro experiments showed that lack of dlk on either stromal cells or pro-B cells caused changes in differentiation and proliferation of pro-B cells, suggesting that lack of dlk leads to changes in cell-cell interactions in the bone marrow microenvironment. These results show that dlk expression is essential for normal B cell development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2007.0102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3189718PMC
June 2008

The high-mobility group A1 gene up-regulates cyclooxygenase 2 expression in uterine tumorigenesis.

Cancer Res 2007 May;67(9):3998-4004

Hematology Division, Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female genital tract and is the fourth most frequent cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. Despite the high prevalence of uterine cancers, the molecular events that lead to neoplastic transformation in the uterus are poorly understood. Moreover, there are limited mouse models to study these malignancies. We generated transgenic mice with high-mobility group A1 gene (HMGA1a) expression targeted to uterine tissue and all female mice developed tumors by 9 months of age. Histopathologically, the tumors resemble human uterine adenosarcoma and are transplantable. To determine whether these findings are relevant to human disease, we evaluated primary human uterine neoplasms and found that HMGA1a mRNA and protein levels are increased in most high-grade neoplasms but not in normal uterine tissue, benign tumors, or most low-grade neoplasms. We also found that HMGA1a up-regulates cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) expression in transgenic tumors. Moreover, both HMGA1a and COX-2 expression are up-regulated in high-grade human leiomyosarcomas. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, HMGA1a binds directly to the COX-2 promoter in human uterine cancer cells in vivo and activates its expression in transfection experiments. We also show that blocking either HMGA1a or COX-2 in high-grade human uterine cancer cells blocks anchorage-independent cell growth in methylcellulose. These findings show that HMGA1a functions as an oncogene when overexpressed in the uterus and contributes to the pathogenesis of human uterine cancer by activating COX-2 expression. Although a larger study is needed to confirm these results, HMGA1a may be a useful marker for aggressive human uterine cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1684DOI Listing
May 2007

The HMG-I oncogene causes highly penetrant, aggressive lymphoid malignancy in transgenic mice and is overexpressed in human leukemia.

Cancer Res 2004 May;64(10):3371-5

Hematology Division, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

HMG-I/Y is overexpressed in human cancer, although a direct role for this gene in transformation has not been established. We generated transgenic mice with HMG-I targeted to lymphoid cells. All seven informative founder HMG-I mice developed aggressive lymphoma by a mean age of 4.8 months. Tumors express T-cell markers and are transplantable. We also demonstrate that HMG-I mRNA and protein are increased in human acute lymphocytic leukemia samples. Our results show that HMG-I functions as an oncogene and suggest that it contributes to the pathogenesis of leukemia and other cancers with increased HMG-I expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-0044DOI Listing
May 2004