Heart cells generated from stem cells
Zsuzsanna Polgar, research fellow in Laszlo Virag's laboratory used stem cells (induced pluripotent cells) to generate heart muscle cells (cardiomyocytes). Succesfully induction of cardiomyocyte differentiation is proved by the fact that cultures beat just like a heart.
We published a paper in International Journal of Molecular Medicine (with Dr. Edina Bakondi and Bhopen Singh as first authors) reporting that spilanthol is the key antiinflammatory molecule of the medicinal plant Acmella oleracea.
Zsolt Regdon graduate student published a paper in Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Here the Virág group reports novel mechanism by which macrophage cells protect themselves from oxidative damage-induced cell death. They modelled inflammatory conditions by exposing macrophjage cells to bacterial products and found that activated macrophages are highly resistant to oxidative agents. The self-defense mechanism is complex and involves downregulation of cell death genes, induction of antioxidant genes and rewiring cell metabolism.
Many aspects of cancer biology such as carcinogenesis, cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, metastasis and vascularization all appear to be under redox control. The Virag group published a review in Redox Biology on the redox control of cancer cell destruction which is the ultimate goal of cancer therapy. The authors overview experimental evidence on and highlight controversies of the role played by reactive oxygen and nitrogens species in cancer cell death caused by conventional chemotherapy, radiotherapy as well as by cytotoxic cells of the immune system (e.g. natural killer cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes).
In collaboration with Laszlo Virag, Agnieszka Robaszkiewicz's group revealed new mechanism by which cell cycle arrest caused by CDK inhibitors sensitizes cancer cells to chemotherapy.
In collaboration with Agnieszka Robaszkiewicz’s group (Lodz, Poland), Laszlo Virag and Zsolt Regdon published a paper in BBA Gene Regulatory Mechanisms about gene expression regulation in monocytes.