Michael Kareta Lab
Behind the research
Our laboratory is focused on the role of pluripotency pathways in tumor formation using both genetically engineered mouse models and cellular reprogramming techniques. In particular we are investigating the role of the Sox2 gene in the formation of tumors. We have previously identified Sox2 as a downstream target of the retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor. Using induced pluripotency we observed that upon Rb loss, Sox2 is upregulated and the cells are more able to be reprogrammed to a acquire a new cellular identity. Additionally we observe that this upregulation of Sox2 is required in the formation of tumors following Rb loss. As the mechanism by which Rb loss promotes tumors is not fully understood, understanding the downstream networks activated by Rb loss will be critical for the development of future therapeutics. Therefore we will continue our study into Sox2 oncogene function using multiple genomic and cutting-edge bioinformatics approaches so that we may shed light on foundational networks in cancer and validate new targets to inhibit in the clinic.
Kareta Lab in the Press
April 2017, Dr. Michael Kareta recently published an article in Nature regarding a new paradigm for the regulation of cellular identity. Kareta and colleagues showed that one neuronal gene, Myt1l, established neuronal identity not by turning on neuronal genes as is common with most genetic regulators, but rather by turning off genes for other cellular identities such as skin, heart, muscle, and liver. “Mty1l safeguards neuronal identity by actively repressing many non-neuronal fates”
January 2017, Michael Kareta, PhD, attended the Keystone meeting on Cell Plasticity within the Tumor Microenvironment in Big Sky, MT. This meeting was comprised of experts in cancer, stromal and immune cells who discussed current scientific knowledge about stem cell reprogramming into cancer cells and proposed effective therapeutic approaches targeting such cancer cells.
September 2016, Dr. Kareta presented the lab’s latest findings at the Annual Center for Pediatric Research Symposium at the Sanford Center
September 2016, Dr. Kareta joined Sanford Research and opened his laboratory
March 2016, Dr. Kareta presented the lab’s latest findings as an invited speaker at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Precision Medicine Series: Cancer Cell Cycle - Tumor Progression and Therapeutic Response meeting in Orlando, FL