The major focus of the Rafii laboratory is to isolate and characterize known and novel adhesion and membrane-bound cytokines expressed by endothelium that regulate proliferation and adhesion of hematopoietic stem cells and their progenitors. To this end, they have utilized expression cloning strategy using BMEC and FLEC cDNA libraries to screen for known and novel adhesion/homing receptor and membrane-bound cytokines that regulate proliferation of hematopoietic progenitors. In collaboration with Dr. R. Crystal, adenoviral vectors overexpressing cytokines and adhesion molecules are being used to examine their function in long-term CD34+ progenitor-endothelial coculture studies. Direct introduction of adenoviral vectors expressing stem cell active cytokines into hematopoietic microenvironment provides novel approaches for the treatment of acquired or congenital hematological disorders.
Cao Z, Lis R, Ginsberg M, Chavez D, Shido K, Rabbany SY, Fong GH, Sakmar TP, Rafii S, Ding BS. Targeting of the Pulmonary Capillary Vascular Niche Promotes Lung Alveolar Repair and Ameliorates Fibrosis. Nature Medicine. 2016 Jan 18 (Epub).
Rafii S, Butler JM, Ding BS. Angiocrine Functions of Organ-Specific Endothelial Cells. Nature. 2016 Jan 29, 529(7586).
Sandler VM, Lis R, Liu Y, Kedem A, James D, Elemento I, Butler J, Scandura J, Rafii S. Reprogramming human endothelial cells to haematopoietic cells requires vascular induction. Nature. 2014 Jul 17;511(7509):312-8.
Shmelkov, S., Butler, J., Hooper, A., Hormigo, A., Kushner, J., Baljevic, M., White, I., Murphy, J., Gale, N.W., Thurston, G., Yancopoulos, G.D., D'Angelica, M., Kemeny, N., Lyden, D., Rafii, S. (2008). CD133 expression is not restricted to stem cells, and both CD133+ and CD133- metastatic colon cancer cells initiate tumors. J Clin Invest. 2008 Jun; 118(6):2111-20.
Seandel, M., Butler, J., Lyden, D., and Raffii, S. (2008). A catalytic role for proangiogenic marrow-derived cells in tumor neovascularization. Cancer Cell. 2008 Mar; 13(3):181-3.