Cancer cells and germ cells share many cellular and molecule features and the link is even more striking when considering the many tumors resulting from aberrant germ cells. Moreover, many tumors require germline determinants for tumorigenesis, even those tumors from a non- germ line origin. As one of the original germline determinants identified, Vasa have been used extensively as a germline marker in many organisms. Recently though Vasa has received more widespread attention for its'presence in many human cancer cells, its'essential nature in tumor formation, its'role in multipotent cell functions, and recently, it's'function in regulation of the cell cycle. Despite its'long history,the functions and regulation of Vasa in these important and widespread roles are not yet known. This project is designed to reveal the regulatory mechanisms of Vasa that contributes to its'essential function in health and disease.

Public Health Relevance

Vasa is a classic germ line marker now receiving widespread attention for it's'role in tumor formation, its'function in development of multipotent stem cells and its'essential function in the regulation of cell division. This project is designed to reveal he regulatory mechanisms of this essential protein in fundamental cellular processes of health and disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-EMNR-E (02))
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Ravindranath, Neelakanta
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Brown University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Schudrowitz, Natalie; Takagi, Satoshi; Wessel, Gary M et al. (2017) Germline factor DDX4 functions in blood-derived cancer cell phenotypes. Cancer Sci 108:1612-1619
Oulhen, Nathalie; Swartz, S Zachary; Laird, Jessica et al. (2017) Transient translational quiescence in primordial germ cells. Development 144:1201-1210
Brayboy, Lynae M; Oulhen, Nathalie; Long, Sokunvichet et al. (2017) Multidrug resistance transporter-1 and breast cancer resistance protein protect against ovarian toxicity, and are essential in ovarian physiology. Reprod Toxicol 69:121-131
Fresques, Tara; Swartz, Steven Zachary; Juliano, Celina et al. (2016) The diversity of nanos expression in echinoderm embryos supports different mechanisms in germ cell specification. Evol Dev 18:267-78
Oulhen, Nathalie; Wessel, Gary M (2016) Differential Nanos 2 protein stability results in selective germ cell accumulation in the sea urchin. Dev Biol 418:146-156
Brayboy, L M; Wessel, G M (2016) The double-edged sword of the mammalian oocyte--advantages, drawbacks and approaches for basic and clinical analysis at the single cell level. Mol Hum Reprod 22:200-7
Zazueta-Novoa, Vanesa; Onorato, Thomas M; Reyes, Gerardo et al. (2016) Complexity of Yolk Proteins and Their Dynamics in the Sea Star Patiria miniata. Biol Bull 230:209-19
Oulhen, Nathalie; Heyland, Andreas; Carrier, Tyler J et al. (2016) Regeneration in bipinnaria larvae of the bat star Patiria miniata induces rapid and broad new gene expression. Mech Dev 142:10-21
Dresselhaus, Thomas; Sprunck, Stefanie; Wessel, Gary M (2016) Fertilization Mechanisms in Flowering Plants. Curr Biol 26:R125-39
Wessel, Gary M (2016) Germ Line Mechanics--And Unfinished Business. Curr Top Dev Biol 117:553-66

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