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CAMP: Control and exploitation of cellular variability in homeostasis and cancer

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Arjun Raj, University of Pennsylvania
When
20 January 2015 from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Where
339 Davey Laboratory
Contact Name
Lu Bai
Contact Phone
(814) 863-4824
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Individual cells can show striking variability in biomolecular number, even when they are genetically identical and growing in the same environment.  We show here that cells have multiple global homeostatic mechanisms that serve to reduce variability that results from changes in cell size and DNA content.  Cells use these mechanisms to maintain RNA concentration.  At the same time, cells can still exhibit significant heterogeneity, especially in diseases like cancer.  In cancer, cellular heterogeneity is thought to underlie the acquired resistance of cancer cells to targeted therapeutics, an important reason that patients often relapse.  We show that this resistance is non-genetic but rather stochastic, and characterize that non-genetic transformation.  Such results may alter our approach to targeted chemotherapy.

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