It has been established previously that up to 40% of mouse CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells are capable of internalizing exogenous dsDNA fragments both in vivo and ex vivo. Importantly, when mice are treated with a combination of cyclophosphamide and dsDNA, the repair of interstrand crosslinks in hematopoietic progenitors is attenuated, and their pluripotency is altered. Here we show for the first time that among various actively proliferating mammalian cell populations there are subpopulations capable of internalizing dsDNA fragments. In the context of cancer, such dsDNA-internalizing cell subpopulations display cancer stem cell-like phenotype. Furthermore, using Krebs-2 ascites cells as a model, we found that upon combined treatment with cyclophosphamide and dsDNA, engrafted material loses its tumor-initiating properties which we attribute to the elimination of tumor-initiating stem cell subpopulation or loss of its tumorigenic potential.
Three databases that provide data on transcriptional regulation are described. TRANSFAC is a database on transcription factors and their DNA binding sites. TRRD (Transcription Regulatory Region Database) collects information about complete regulatory regions, their regulation properties and architecture. COMPEL comprises specific information on composite regulatory elements. Here, we describe the present status of these databases and the first steps towards their federation.
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