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Grant number: 14/10519-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal researcher:Oswaldo Keith Okamoto
Grantee:Beatriz de Araujo Cortez
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/08028-1 - CEGH-CEL - Human Genome and Stem Cell Research Center, AP.CEPID
Associated scholarship(s):16/24234-9 - The Hippo pathway, asymmetric cell division and the tolerance to aneuploidy in cancer cells, BE.EP.PD


Asymmetric cell division is a striking feature of stem cells. It generates two daughter cells with defined distinct fates, ensuring both stem cell self renewal and differentiation. Abnormalities in this process may affect tissue homeostasis leading to tumor formation, as first observed in Drosophila mutants for genes involved in asymmetric cell division. Failures in asymmetric cell division are also observed in cancer stem cells, or tumor initiating cells. These cells have features of stem and cancer cells and are responsible for tumor initiation and propagation. Signaling pathways regulating typical stem cell properties are often activated in these cells, which also display asymmetric division capability. However, recent studies suggest that cancer stem cells divide mostly through symmetric divisions, which favor cell proliferation and tumor growth. The Hippo pathway has been recently reported as one of the altered signaling pathways in tumors and cancer stem cells. This pathway, originally described as a regulator of tissue growth and size, comprises a well characterized central axis which results in the expression of genes related to cell proliferation, pluripotency and apoptosis. The Hippo pathway has recently been related to the balance between proliferation and differentiation, playing a crucial role in stem cell maintenance and tissue homeostasis. In tumors, Hippo´s effectors are generally overexpressed and confer proliferative capability and undifferentiated phenotype to tumor cells. However, the relation between Hippo pathway and asymmetric division of cancer stem cells has not been characterized yet. Investigating this issue may help understand how cell division is regulated in cancer stem cells, and how modulation of such division pattern may affect tumor aggressiveness.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
KAID, CAROLINI; SILVA, PATRICIA B. G.; CORTEZ, BEATRIZ A.; RODINI, CAROLINA O.; SEMEDO-KURIKI, PATRICIA; OKAMOTO, OSWALDO K.. miR-367 promotes proliferation and stem-like traits in medulloblastoma cells. Cancer Science, v. 106, n. 9, p. 1188-1195, . (11/10001-9, 14/10519-6, 13/17566-7, 10/52686-5, 13/02983-1, 13/08028-1)

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