Publications by authors named "Ignas Masilionis"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

L1CAM defines the regenerative origin of metastasis-initiating cells in colorectal cancer.

Nat Cancer 2020 Jan 13;1(1):28-45. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Metastasis-initiating cells with stem-like properties drive cancer lethality, yet their origins and relationship to primary-tumor-initiating stem cells are not known. We show that L1CAM cells in human colorectal cancer (CRC) have metastasis-initiating capacity, and we define their relationship to tissue regeneration. L1CAM is not expressed in the homeostatic intestinal epithelium, but is induced and required for epithelial regeneration following colitis and in CRC organoid growth. By using human tissues and mouse models, we show that L1CAM is dispensable for adenoma initiation but required for orthotopic carcinoma propagation, liver metastatic colonization and chemoresistance. L1CAM cells partially overlap with LGR5 stem-like cells in human CRC organoids. Disruption of intercellular epithelial contacts causes E-cadherin-REST transcriptional derepression of L1CAM, switching chemoresistant CRC progenitors from an L1CAM to an L1CAM state. Thus, L1CAM dependency emerges in regenerative intestinal cells when epithelial integrity is lost, a phenotype of wound healing deployed in metastasis-initiating cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43018-019-0006-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7351134PMC
January 2020

Cerebellar Cells Self-Assemble into Functional Organoids on Synthetic, Chemically Crosslinked ECM-Mimicking Peptide Hydrogels.

Biomolecules 2020 05 12;10(5). Epub 2020 May 12.

Institute of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Sukilėlių ave. 13, LT50162 Kaunas, Lithuania.

Hydrogel-supported neural cell cultures are more in vivo-relevant compared to monolayers formed on glass or plastic substrates. However, there is a lack of synthetic microenvironment available for obtaining standardized and easily reproducible cultures characterized by tissue-mimicking cell composition, cell-cell interactions, and functional networks. Synthetic peptides representing the biological properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins have been reported to promote the adhesion-driven differentiation and functional maturation of neural cells. Thus, such peptides can serve as building blocks for engineering a standardized, all-synthetic environment. In this study, we have compared the effect of two chemically crosslinked hydrogel compositions on primary cerebellar cells: collagen-like peptide (CLP), and CLP with an integrin-binding motif arginine-glycine-aspartate (CLP-RGD), both conjugated to polyethylene glycol molecular templates (PEG-CLP and PEG-CLP-RGD, respectively) and fabricated as self-supporting membranes. Both compositions promoted a spontaneous organization of primary cerebellar cells into tissue-like clusters with fast-rising Ca signals in soma, reflecting action potential generation. Notably, neurons on PEG-CLP-RGD had more neurites and better synaptic efficiency compared to PEG-CLP. For comparison, poly-L-lysine-coated glass and plastic surfaces did not induce formation of such spontaneously active networks. Additionally, contrary to the hydrogel membranes, glass substrates functionalized with PEG-CLP and PEG-CLP-RGD did not sufficiently support cell attachment and, subsequently, did not promote functional cluster formation. These results indicate that not only chemical composition but also the hydrogel structure and viscoelasticity are essential for bioactive signaling. The synthetic strategy based on ECM-mimicking, multifunctional blocks in registry with chemical crosslinking for obtaining tissue-like mechanical properties is promising for the development of fast and well standardized functional in vitro neural models and new regenerative therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom10050754DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277677PMC
May 2020

Regenerative potential of prostate luminal cells revealed by single-cell analysis.

Science 2020 05;368(6490):497-505

Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Androgen deprivation is the cornerstone of prostate cancer treatment. It results in involution of the normal gland to ~90% of its original size because of the loss of luminal cells. The prostate regenerates when androgen is restored, a process postulated to involve stem cells. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we identified a rare luminal population in the mouse prostate that expresses stemlike genes ( and ) and a large population of differentiated cells (, ). In organoids and in mice, both populations contribute equally to prostate regeneration, partly through androgen-driven expression of growth factors (Nrg2, Rspo3) by mesenchymal cells acting in a paracrine fashion on luminal cells. Analysis of human prostate tissue revealed similar differentiated and stemlike luminal subpopulations that likewise acquire enhanced regenerative potential after androgen ablation. We propose that prostate regeneration is driven by nearly all persisting luminal cells, not just by rare stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay0267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7313621PMC
May 2020

Regenerative lineages and immune-mediated pruning in lung cancer metastasis.

Nat Med 2020 02 10;26(2):259-269. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Sloan Kettering Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.

Developmental processes underlying normal tissue regeneration have been implicated in cancer, but the degree of their enactment during tumor progression and under the selective pressures of immune surveillance, remain unknown. Here we show that human primary lung adenocarcinomas are characterized by the emergence of regenerative cell types, typically seen in response to lung injury, and by striking infidelity among transcription factors specifying most alveolar and bronchial epithelial lineages. In contrast, metastases are enriched for key endoderm and lung-specifying transcription factors, SOX2 and SOX9, and recapitulate more primitive transcriptional programs spanning stem-like to regenerative pulmonary epithelial progenitor states. This developmental continuum mirrors the progressive stages of spontaneous outbreak from metastatic dormancy in a mouse model and exhibits SOX9-dependent resistance to natural killer cells. Loss of developmental stage-specific constraint in macrometastases triggered by natural killer cell depletion suggests a dynamic interplay between developmental plasticity and immune-mediated pruning during metastasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0750-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021003PMC
February 2020

Adult Human Glioblastomas Harbor Radial Glia-like Cells.

Stem Cell Reports 2020 02 30;14(2):338-350. Epub 2020 Jan 30.

Department of Neurosurgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA. Electronic address:

Radial glia (RG) cells are the first neural stem cells to appear during embryonic development. Adult human glioblastomas harbor a subpopulation of RG-like cells with typical RG morphology and markers. The cells exhibit the classic and unique mitotic behavior of normal RG in a cell-autonomous manner. Single-cell RNA sequencing analyses of glioblastoma cells reveal transcriptionally dynamic clusters of RG-like cells that share the profiles of normal human fetal radial glia and that reside in quiescent and cycling states. Functional assays show a role for interleukin in triggering exit from dormancy into active cycling, suggesting a role for inflammation in tumor progression. These data are consistent with the possibility of persistence of RG into adulthood and their involvement in tumor initiation or maintenance. They also provide a putative cellular basis for the persistence of normal developmental programs in adult tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7014025PMC
February 2020