Université de Moncton
Moncton, New Brunswick
Platelet-packaged organelles: A novel outsourcing of cancer modulators
Inflammation is tightly linked with the development and progression of cancer. Amongst the inflammatory components participating in these processes are platelet cells. Platelets, initially discovered as clotting agents, are the second most abundant circulating blood cells in the human body. Interestingly, platelets also shed small vesicles (similar to escape pods) which package biologically active molecules. We have recently identified a new type of these vesicles, termed mitoMPs. These mitoMPs contain mitochondria which are known as the power and energy producing components of every cell. Our preliminary results show that mitoMPs bind and get enveloped by leukemia cells to transfer their content (mitochondria). As a result, these cancer cells have greater viability and have increased resistance to cellular death. We believe that mitoMPs represent important cancer modulators which will result in increased disease progression. In this study, we propose to define the significance of mitoMPs in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Most importantly, we will determine the disease mechanisms which will then allow for the development of new strategic therapeutic approaches.
Funded in partnership with the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF).