Publications by authors named "Elena N Tolkunova"

3 Publications

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Isolation and Characterization of Human Colon Adenocarcinoma Stem-Like Cells Based on the Endogenous Expression of the Stem Markers.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 28;22(9). Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Science, 194064 St-Petersburg, Russia.

Background: Cancer stem cells' (CSCs) self-maintenance is regulated via the pluripotency pathways promoting the most aggressive tumor phenotype. This study aimed to use the activity of these pathways for the CSCs' subpopulation enrichment and separating cells characterized by the OCT4 and SOX2 expression.

Methods: To select and analyze CSCs, we used the SORE6x lentiviral reporter plasmid for viral transduction of colon adenocarcinoma cells. Additionally, we assessed cell chemoresistance, clonogenic, invasive and migratory activity and the data of mRNA-seq and intrinsic disorder predisposition protein analysis (IDPPA).

Results: We obtained the line of CSC-like cells selected on the basis of the expression of the OCT4 and SOX2 stem cell factors. The enriched CSC-like subpopulation had increased chemoresistance as well as clonogenic and migration activities. The bioinformatic analysis of mRNA seq data identified the up-regulation of pluripotency, development, drug resistance and phototransduction pathways, and the downregulation of pathways related to proliferation, cell cycle, aging, and differentiation. IDPPA indicated that CSC-like cells are predisposed to increased intrinsic protein disorder.

Conclusion: The use of the SORE6x reporter construct for CSCs enrichment allows us to obtain CSC-like population that can be used as a model to search for the new prognostic factors and potential therapeutic targets for colon cancer treatment.
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April 2021

Protecting a transgene expression from the HAC-based vector by different chromatin insulators.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2013 Oct 16;70(19):3723-37. Epub 2013 May 16.

Laboratories of Molecular Pharmacology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

Human artificial chromosomes (HACs) are vectors that offer advantages of capacity and stability for gene delivery and expression. Several studies have even demonstrated their use for gene complementation in gene-deficient recipient cell lines and animal transgenesis. Recently, we constructed an advance HAC-based vector, alphoid(tetO)-HAC, with a conditional centromere. In this HAC, a gene-loading site was inserted into a centrochromatin domain critical for kinetochore assembly and maintenance. While by definition this domain is permissive for transcription, there have been no long-term studies on transgene expression within centrochromatin. In this study, we compared the effects of three chromatin insulators, cHS4, gamma-satellite DNA, and tDNA, on the expression of an EGFP transgene inserted into the alphoid(tetO)-HAC vector. Insulator function was essential for stable expression of the transgene in centrochromatin. In two analyzed host cell lines, a tDNA insulator composed of two functional copies of tRNA genes showed the highest barrier activity. We infer that proximity to centrochromatin does not protect genes lacking chromatin insulators from epigenetic silencing. Barrier elements that prevent gene silencing in centrochromatin would thus help to optimize transgenesis using HAC vectors.
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October 2013

Engrailed cooperates with extradenticle and homothorax to repress target genes in Drosophila.

Development 2003 Feb;130(4):741-51

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Kimmel Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Engrailed is a key transcriptional regulator in the nervous system and in the maintenance of developmental boundaries in Drosophila, and its vertebrate homologs regulate brain and limb development. Here, we show that the functions of both of the Hox cofactors Extradenticle and Homothorax play essential roles in repression by Engrailed. Mutations that remove either of them abrogate the ability of Engrailed to repress its target genes in embryos, both cofactors interact directly with Engrailed, and both stimulate repression by Engrailed in cultured cells. We suggest a model in which Engrailed, Extradenticle and Homothorax function as a complex to repress Engrailed target genes. These studies expand the functional requirements for extradenticle and homothorax beyond the Hox proteins to a larger family of non-Hox homeodomain proteins.
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February 2003