Publications by authors named "Jeff Milsom"

5 Publications

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NOTCH Signaling Regulates Asymmetric Cell Fate of Fast- and Slow-Cycling Colon Cancer-Initiating Cells.

Cancer Res 2016 06 11;76(11):3411-21. Epub 2016 Apr 11.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Colorectal cancer cells with stem-like properties, referred to as colon cancer-initiating cells (CCIC), have high tumorigenic potential. While CCIC can differentiate to promote cellular heterogeneity, it remains unclear whether CCIC within a tumor contain distinct subpopulations. Here, we describe the co-existence of fast- and slow-cycling CCIC, which can undergo asymmetric division to generate each other, highlighting CCIC plasticity and interconvertibility. Fast-cycling CCIC express markers, such as LGR5 and CD133, rely on MYC for their proliferation, whereas slow-cycling CCIC express markers, such as BMI1 and hTERT, are independent of MYC. NOTCH signaling promotes asymmetric cell fate, regulating the balance between these two populations. Overall, our results illuminate the basis for CCIC heterogeneity and plasticity by defining a direct interconversion mechanism between slow- and fast-cycling CCIC. Cancer Res; 76(11); 3411-21. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-3198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891252PMC
June 2016

Comprehensive models of human primary and metastatic colorectal tumors in immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice by chemokine targeting.

Nat Biotechnol 2015 Jun 25;33(6):656-60. Epub 2015 May 25.

Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

Current orthotopic xenograft models of human colorectal cancer (CRC) require surgery and do not robustly form metastases in the liver, the most common site clinically. CCR9 traffics lymphocytes to intestine and colorectum. We engineered use of the chemokine receptor CCR9 in CRC cell lines and patient-derived cells to create primary gastrointestinal (GI) tumors in immunodeficient mice by tail-vein injection rather than surgery. The tumors metastasize inducibly and robustly to the liver. Metastases have higher DKK4 and NOTCH signaling levels and are more chemoresistant than paired subcutaneous xenografts. Using this approach, we generated 17 chemokine-targeted mouse models (CTMMs) that recapitulate the majority of common human somatic CRC mutations. We also show that primary tumors can be modeled in immunocompetent mice by microinjecting CCR9-expressing cancer cell lines into early-stage mouse blastocysts, which induces central immune tolerance. We expect that CTMMs will facilitate investigation of the biology of CRC metastasis and drug screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt.3239DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532544PMC
June 2015

A microRNA miR-34a-regulated bimodal switch targets Notch in colon cancer stem cells.

Cell Stem Cell 2013 May;12(5):602-15

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

microRNAs regulate developmental cell-fate decisions, tissue homeostasis, and oncogenesis in distinct ways relative to proteins. Here, we show that the tumor suppressor microRNA miR-34a is a cell-fate determinant in early-stage dividing colon cancer stem cells (CCSCs). In pair-cell assays, miR-34a distributes at high levels in differentiating progeny, whereas low levels of miR-34a demarcate self-renewing CCSCs. Moreover, miR-34a loss of function and gain of function alter the balance between self-renewal versus differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, miR-34a sequesters Notch1 mRNA to generate a sharp threshold response where a bimodal Notch signal specifies the choice between self-renewal and differentiation. In contrast, the canonical cell-fate determinant Numb regulates Notch levels in a continuously graded manner. Altogether, our findings highlight a unique microRNA-regulated mechanism that converts noisy input into a toggle switch for robust cell-fate decisions in CCSCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2013.03.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3646336PMC
May 2013

Chemokine 25-induced signaling suppresses colon cancer invasion and metastasis.

J Clin Invest 2012 Sep 6;122(9):3184-96. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Department of Medicine, Genetic Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, USA.

Chemotactic cytokines (chemokines) can help regulate tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Here, we show that chemokine 25 (CCL25) and its cognate receptor chemokine receptor 9 (CCR9) inhibit colorectal cancer (CRC) invasion and metastasis. We found that CCR9 protein expression levels were highest in colon adenomas and progressively decreased in invasive and metastatic CRCs. CCR9 was expressed in both primary tumor cell cultures and colon-cancer-initiating cell (CCIC) lines derived from early-stage CRCs but not from metastatic CRC. CCL25 stimulated cell proliferation by activating AKT signaling. In vivo, systemically injected CCR9+ early-stage CCICs led to the formation of orthotopic gastrointestinal xenograft tumors. Blocking CCR9 signaling inhibited CRC tumor formation in the native gastrointestinal CCL25+ microenvironment, while increasing extraintestinal tumor incidence. NOTCH signaling, which promotes CRC metastasis, increased extraintestinal tumor frequency by stimulating CCR9 proteasomal degradation. Overall, these data indicate that CCL25 and CCR9 regulate CRC progression and invasion and further demonstrate an appropriate in vivo experimental system to study CRC progression in the native colon microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI62110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428084PMC
September 2012

Colonoscopy training: the need for patience (patients).

ANZ J Surg 2002 Feb;72(2):89-91

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio 44195, USA.

Background: The insertion of a colonoscope to the caecum is a difficult technique to teach and to learn. The most commonly used criterion for proficiency is completion rate and early experience is often discouraging. In order to document the learning curve and better define normal progress for the early learning experience, the performance of trainees during their first 100-125 cases was recorded.

Methods: The completion rate and time for office colonoscopy were recorded prospectively over a 5-year period for each of 18 trainees. Trainees' experience was analysed in groups of 25 cases, numbered chronologically. Completion rate was defined as the number of examinations completed to the caecum by the trainee expressed as a percentage of the number completed by the staff.

Results: The mean overall completion rate for trainees was 56.4% (range 27.8-83.9%). For the first five groups of 25 cases, the percentage completion rates (in order from first 25 cases to fifth 25 cases) were 43.1, 52.6, 49.3, 61.8 and 75.1%, respectively. There was a wide variation in completion rates between trainees, but no difference in time taken. (Time for trainees to complete the procedure, in order from the first 25 cases to fifth 25 cases: 18.7, 19.1, 19.4, 17.6 and 17.1 min, respectively.)

Conclusions: Early experience in colonoscopy can be discouraging. At least 100 cases are needed to attain a level of proficiency that enables completion in two-thirds of cases, whereas 125 cases lead to an average completion rate of 75%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1445-2197.2002.02312.xDOI Listing
February 2002