In the past the Lab
research focused on the biology of telomeres and telomerase. Recently, the lab research results showed
that telomerase mRNA is expressed in exosomes secreted from all types of cancer
cells in vitro and in vivo. Exosomal telomerase is taken up by
bystander cells e.g. fibroblasts, where it is translated into an active enzyme,
converting them from telomerase-/- into telomerase+/+cells. Telomerase activity induces molecular changes promoting the
transformation of them to become cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs).
In light of the above
findings the Lab research focuses now on the effects of chronic lymphocytic
leukemia (CLL) cells – derived exosomes on their bystander cells: endothelial
cells, monocytes and normal B cells. CLL derived exosomes induce the following
1. Phosphorylate a plethora of proteins including b- catenin which
induces IL-6 secretion into the endothelial cells growth medium. IL-6 is then
taken up by the CLL cells where it activates STAT-3 providing CLL cells
proliferative capabilities (Fig. 1).
2. Induce the transformation of monocytes into
nurse like cells.
3. Induce the elimination of normal B cells (as a
"Trojan horse") to take over common environmental resources (Fig. 2).
In addition, the Lab research focuses on following the levels of
telomerase in exosomes of patients with brain tumors as well as breast and lung
cancers in response to their clinical status.