Tracking Uptake and Regulating Release of Acute Myeloid Luekemia-Derived Extracellular Vesicles
The bone marrow is a complicated environment in which many bodily functions on the micro scale can be observed. One area of science that remains largely unexplored, is the release of extracellular vesicles from both Leukemic and hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. Extracellular vesicles are seen to be a critical mediator for cell-cell communication and could play a large role in cancer growth and proliferation through the carrying of different cargo. Under the supervision of Dr. Peter Kurre and Dr. Stephanie Hurwitz, I was able to explore the differing effects of Leukemic and Hematopoietic stem cell vesicle release on cancer growth.
My team and I were able to confirm the effect of three different pharmacological treatments on vesicle release, identifying and confirming two drugs that decrease vesicle release and one drug that increases vesicle release in the bone marrow niche. After these effects were confirmed, we were able to investigate the differences of an increased and decreased vesicle environment on cancer growth through looking at growth signaling pathways in leukemic cells. This holds large scale implications for potential treatments of leukemia that could use a change in extracellular vesicle release as an agent for slowing cancer growth.
Through this research experience, I have had the opportunity to learn a variety of lab techniques as well as gained a lot of confidence in designing and executing experiments from start to finish. I hope to continue investigating this area of study in the coming year and be able to come to more conclusions regarding the effects of EV release on cancer growth. Thank you very much to Dr. Kurre and Dr. Hurwitz for guiding me through this invaluable experience.