Professor Benezra's lab is analyzing the role of the Id proteins in stem cell self-renewal and the maintenance of pluripotency. The Id proteins inhibit the activity of transcription factors thereby controlling cell fate decisions during embryogenesis and adult life. Embryonic, neural and hematopoietic stem cells have all been shown to require Id proteins to block premature commitment to a more differentiated cell state. The downstream targets of Id activity vary depending on the stem cell in question. Benezra's current efforts focus on analyzing the effects of stem cell depletion on normal adult physiology in cancer.
Miller, R., Cirulli, V., Diaferia, G.R., Ninniri, S., Hardiman, G., Torbett, B.E., Benezra, R., Crisa, L. (2008). Switching-on survival and Repair Response Programs in Islet Transplants by Bone Marrow-derived Vasculogenic Cells. Diabetes. 2008 Jun 2. (Epub ahead of print).
Ciarrocchi, A., Jankovic, V., Shaked, Y., Nolan, D.J., Mittal, V., Kerbel, R.S., Nimer, S.D., Benezra, R. (2007). Id1 restrains p21 expression to control endothelial progenitor cell formation. PLoS ONE. 2007 Dec 19;2(12):e1338.
Nolan, D.J., Ciarrocchi, A., Mellick, A.S., Jaggi, J.S., Bambino, K., Gupta, S., Heikamp, E., McDevitt, M.R., Scheinberg, D.A., Benezra, R., Mittal, V. (2007). Bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells are a major determinant of nascent tumor neovascularization. Genes Dev. 2007 Jun 15;21(12):1546-58.