Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Science, California State University, Fullerton, Biochemistry (2019)
Copy number variation (CNV) at the 16p11.2 locus is associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. CNVs of the 16p gene can manifest in opposing head sizes. Carriers of 16p11.2 deletion tend to have macrocephaly (or brain enlargement), while those with 16p11.2 duplication frequently have microcephaly. Increases in both gray and white matter volume have been observed in brain imaging studies in 16p11.2 deletion carriers with macrocephaly. Here, we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from controls and subjects with 16p11.2 deletion and 16p11.2 duplication to understand the underlying mechanisms regulating brain overgrowth. To model both gray and white matter, we differentiated patient-derived iPSCs into neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). In both NPCs and OPCs, we show that CD47 (a "don't eat me" signal) is overexpressed in the 16p11.2 deletion carriers contributing to reduced phagocytosis both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, 16p11.2 deletion NPCs and OPCs up-regulate cell surface expression of calreticulin (a prophagocytic "eat me" signal) and its binding sites, indicating that these cells should be phagocytosed but fail to be eliminated due to elevations in CD47. Treatment of 16p11.2 deletion NPCs and OPCs with an anti-CD47 antibody to block CD47 restores phagocytosis to control levels. While the CD47 pathway is commonly implicated in cancer progression, we document a role for CD47 in psychiatric disorders associated with brain overgrowth.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2005483118
View details for PubMedID 33833053
View details for Web of Science ID 000618737700575
The balance of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation is critical for a healthy blood supply; imbalances underlie hematological diseases. The importance of HSCs and their progenitors have led to their extensive characterization at genomic and transcriptomic levels. However, the proteomics of hematopoiesis remains incompletely understood. Here we report a proteomics resource from mass spectrometry of mouse young adult and old adult mouse HSCs, multipotent progenitors and oligopotent progenitors; 12 cell types in total. We validated differential protein levels, including confirmation that Dnmt3a protein levels are undetected in young adult mouse HSCs until forced into cycle. Additionally, through integrating proteomics and RNA-sequencing datasets, we identified a subset of genes with apparent post-transcriptional repression in young adult mouse HSCs. In summary, we report proteomic coverage of young and old mouse HSCs and progenitors, with broader implications for understanding mechanisms for stem cell maintenance, niche interactions and fate determination.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.62210
View details for PubMedID 33236985
View details for Web of Science ID 000551367400035
View details for DOI 10.1101/808022
View details for DOI 10.1101/836692
Macrophage-mediated programmed cell removal (PrCR) is a process essential for the clearance of unwanted (damaged, dysfunctional, aged, or harmful) cells. The detection and recognition of appropriate target cells by macrophages is a critical step for successful PrCR, but its molecular mechanisms have not been delineated. Here using the models of tissue turnover, cancer immunosurveillance, and hematopoietic stem cells, we show that unwanted cells such as aging neutrophils and living cancer cells are susceptible to "labeling" by secreted calreticulin (CRT) from macrophages, enabling their clearance through PrCR. Importantly, we identified asialoglycans on the target cells to which CRT binds to regulate PrCR, and the availability of such CRT-binding sites on cancer cells correlated with the prognosis of patients in various malignancies. Our study reveals a general mechanism of target cell recognition by macrophages, which is the key for the removal of unwanted cells by PrCR in physiological and pathophysiological processes.
View details for PubMedID 30097573