Constance G. Craig

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (9)

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhibitors of apoptosis (IAPs) suppress apoptosis through the inhibition of the caspase cascade and thus are key proteins in the control of cell death. Here we have isolated the protein XIAP-associated factor 1 (XAF1) on the basis of its ability to bind XIAP, a member of the IAP family. XIAP suppresses caspase activation and cell death in vitro, and XAF1 antagonizes these XIAP activities. Expression of XAF1 triggers a redistribution of XIAP from the cytosol to the nucleus. XAF1 is ubiquitously expressed in normal tissues, but is present at low or undetectable levels in many different cancer cell lines. Loss of control over apoptotic signalling is now recognized as a critical event in the development of cancer. Our results indicate that XAF1 may be important in mediating the apoptosis resistance of cancer cells.
    Full-text Article · Mar 2001 · Nature Cell Biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) is a potent modulator of programmed cell death. XIAP specifically binds and inhibits the function of caspase-3, -7, and -9, key effector proteases of apoptosis. We recently isolated, by yeast two-hybrid screening, a novel 34-kDa zinc finger protein, XIAP-associated factor 1 (XAF1). Both the caspase inhibiting and the anti-apoptotic abilities of XIAP were found to be blocked by overexpressed XAF1. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of the human XAF1 gene. The xaf1 gene consists of seven exons spanning 18 kb. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis localized the xaf1 locus at 17p13.2, telomeric to the p53 gene. The xaf1 locus was further refined to YAC 746C10, approximately 3 cM distal to TP53. Microsatellite analysis of the xaf1 locus using the NCI 60 cell line panel revealed significantly decreased heterozygosity at all three polymorphic markers tested, suggesting that allelic loss of the xaf1 gene is prevalent in cancer cell lines. Examination of the same NCI cell line panel for xaf1 RNA expression demonstrated that cancer cell lines exhibited very low levels of mRNA relative to normal human liver. In contrast, XIAP mRNA levels were relatively high in the majority of cancer cell lines tested. We propose that a high level of XIAP to XAF1 expression in cancer cells may provide a survival advantage through the relative increase of XIAP anti-apoptotic function.
    Article · Dec 2000 · Genomics
  • C G Craig · R D'sa · C M Morshead · [...] · D van der Kooy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Initial experiments to evaluate the in vivo fate(s) of constitutively proliferating subependymal cells determined that, following in vivo labeling of this population by infection with a retrovirus containing a β-galactosidase reporter gene, there was a progressive and eventually complete loss of histochemically β-galactosidase-positive cells within the lateral ventricle subependyma with increasing survival times of up to 28 days after retroviral infection. Subsequent experiments were designed to ascertain the potential contributions of: (i) the migration of subependymal cells away from the forebrain lateral ventricles; and (ii) the down-regulation of the retroviral reporter gene expression. Retroviral lineage tracing experiments demonstrate that a major in vivo fate for constitutively proliferating subependymal cells is their rostral migration away from the walls of the lateral ventricle to the olfactory bulb. Although down-regulation of retroviral reporter gene expression does not contribute to the loss of detection of β-galactosidase-labeled cells from the lateral ventricle subependyma, it does result in an underestimation of the absolute number of retrovirally labeled cells in the olfactory bulb at longer survival times. Furthermore, a temporal decrease in the double labeling of β-galactosidase-labeled cells with [3H]thymidine was observed, indicating that only a subpopulation of the migratory subependymal-derived cells continue to actively proliferate en route to the olfactory bulb. These two events may contribute to the lack of a significant increase in the total number of retrovirally labeled subependymal cells during rostral migration. Evidence from separately published studies suggests that cell death is also an important regulator of the size of the constitutively proliferating subependymal population.
    Article · Feb 1999 · Neuroscience
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    C.M. Morshead · C.G. Craig · D van der Kooy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adult mammalian forebrain contains a population of multipotential neural stem cells in the subependyma of the lateral ventricles whose progeny are the constitutively proliferating cells, which divide actively throughout life. The adult mammalian brain is ideal for examining the kinetics of the stem cells due to their strict spatial localization and the limited and discrete type of progeny generated (constitutively proliferating cells). Clonal lineage analyses 6 days after retrovirus infection revealed that under baseline conditions 60% of the constitutively proliferating cells undergo cell death, 25% migrate to the olfactory bulb and 15% remain confined to the lateral ventricle subependyma (where they reside for approximately 15 days). Analysis of single cell clones 31 days after retroviral infection revealed that the stem cell divides asymmetrically to self-renew and give rise to constitutively proliferating cells. Following repopulation of the depleted subependyma the average clone size is 2.8 times larger than control, yet the absolute number of cells migrating to the olfactory bulb is maintained and the stem cell retains its asymmetric mode of division. The number of neural stem cells in the adult forebrain 33 days after repopulation of the subependyma was estimated using bromodeoxyuridine labeling of subepenydmal cells. There were calculated to be 1200-1300 cells between the rostral corpus callosum and rostral anterior commissure; these data support a lineage model similar to those based on stem cell behavior in other tissue types.
    Full-text Article · Jul 1998 · Development
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adult mammalian forebrain subependyma contains neural stem cells and their progeny, the constitutively proliferating progenitor cells. Using bromodeoxyuridine labeling to detect mitotically active cells, we demonstrate that the endogenous expression of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGFalpha) is necessary for the full proliferation of progenitor cells localized to the dorsolateral corner of the subependyma and the full production of the neuronal progenitors that migrate to the olfactory bulbs. Proliferation of these progenitor cells also is diminished with age (in 23- to 25-months-old compared with 2- to 4-months-old mice), likely because of a lengthening of the cell cycle. Senescence or the absence of endogenous TGFalpha does not affect the numbers of neural stem cells isolated in vitro in the presence of epidermal growth factor. These results suggest that endogenous TGFalpha and the effects of senescence may regulate the proliferation of progenitor cells in the adult subependyma, but that the number of neural stem cells is maintained throughout life.
    Full-text Article · Nov 1997 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neural precursor cells have been of interest historically as the building blocks of the embryonic CNS and, most recently, as substrates for restorative neurological approaches. The majority of previous in vitro studies of the regulation of neural-cell proliferation by polypeptide growth factors, and in vivo studies of neural lineage, argue for the presence of precursors with limited proliferative or lineage potential in the mammalian CNS. This is in contrast to renewable tissues, such as the blood or immune system, skin epithelium and epithelium of the small intestinal crypts, which contain specialized, self-renewing cells known as stem cells. However, recent in vitro and in vivo studies from our and other laboratories lead us to conclude that neural stem cells, with self-renewal and multilineage potential, are present in the embryonic through to adult mammalian forebrain.
    Article · Oct 1996 · Trends in Neurosciences
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drosophila numb was originally described as a mutation affecting binary divisions in the sensory organ precursor (SOP) lineage. The numb gene was subsequently shown to encode an asymmetrically localized protein which is required for binary cell-fate decisions during peripheral nervous system development. Part of the Drosophila NUMB protein exhibits homology to the SHC phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain, suggesting a potential link to tyrosine-kinase signal transduction. A widely expressed mammalian homologue of Drosophila numb (dnumb) has been cloned from rat and is referred to here as mammalian Numb (mNumb). The mNUMB protein has a similar overall structure to dNUMB and 67 sequence similarity. Misexpression of mNumb in Drosophila during sensory nervous system precursor cell division causes identical cell fate transformations to those produced by ectopic dNUMB expression. In vitro, the mNUMB PTB domain binds phosphotyrosine-containing proteins, and SH3 domains of SRC-family tyrosine kinases bind to mNUMB presumably through interactions with proline-rich regions in the carboxyl terminus. Overexpression of full-length mNUMB in the multipotential neural crest stem cell line MONC-1 dramatically biases its differentiation towards neurons, whereas overexpression of the mNUMB PTB domain biases its differentiation away from neuronal fates. Our results demonstrate that mNUMB is an evolutionarily conserved functional homologue of dNUMB, and establish a link to tyrosine-kinase-mediated signal transduction pathways. Furthermore, our results suggest that mNUMB and dNUMB are new members of a family of signaling adapter molecules that mediate conserved cell-fate decisions during development.
    Full-text Article · Oct 1996 · Current Biology
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    C G Craig · V Tropepe · C M Morshead · [...] · D van der Kooy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lateral ventricle subependyma in the adult mammalian forebrain contains both neural stem and progenitor cells. This study describes the in situ modulation of these subependymal neural precursor populations after intraventricular administration of exogenous growth factors. In vivo infusion of epidermal growth factor (EGF) into adult mouse forebrain for 6 consecutive days resulted in a dramatic increase in the proliferation and total number of subependymal cells and induced their migration away from the lateral ventricle walls into adjacent parenchyma. Immediately after EGF infusion, immunohistochemical characterization of the EGF-expanded cell population demonstrated that >95% of these cells were EGF receptor- and nestin-positive, whereas only 0.9% and 0.2% labeled for astrocytic and neuronal markers, respectively. Seven weeks after EGF withdrawal, 25% of the cells induced to proliferate after 6d of EGF were still detectable; 28% of these cells had differentiated into new astrocytes and 3% into new neurons in the cortex, striatum, and septum. Newly generated oligodendrocytes were also observed. These in vivo results (1) confirm the existence of EGF-responsive subependymal neural precursor cells in the adult mouse forebrain and (2) suggest that EGF acts directly as a proliferation, survival, and migration factor for subependymal precursor cells to expand these populations and promote the movement of these cells into normal brain parenchyma. Thus, in situ modulation of endogenous forebrain precursor cells represents a novel model for studying neural development in the adult mammalian brain and may provide insights that will achieve adult replacement of neurons and glia lost to disease or trauma.
    Full-text Article · Apr 1996 · The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • Cindi M. Morshead · Brent A. Reynolds · Constance G. Craig · [...] · Derek van der Kooy
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dissection of the subependyma from the lateral ventricle of the adult mouse forebrain is necessary and sufficient for the in vitro formation of clonally derived spheres of cells that exhibit stem cell properties such as self-maintenance and the generation of a large number of progeny comprising the major cell types found in the central nervous system. Killing the constitutively proliferating cells of the subependyma in vivo has no effect on the number of stem cells isolated in vitro and induces a complete repopulation of the subependyma in vivo by relatively quiescent stem cells found within the subependyma. Depleting the relatively quiescent cell population within the subependyma in vivo results in a corresponding decrease in spheres formed in vitro and in the final number of constitutively proliferating cells in vivo, suggesting that a relatively quiescent subependymal cell is the in vivo source of neural stem cells.
    Article · Dec 1994 · Neuron