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Einstein Image: Lynch Syndrome

By Larry Katzenstein
Image courtesy of Kyeryoung Lee, Ph.D., a research associate in Dr. Edelmann’s lab

Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that greatly increases the risk for intestinal cancer. In this image, the drug rapamycin has eliminated differentiated tumor cells from the small intestine of a Lynch syndrome mouse model, but two types of cancer stem cells have resisted rapamycin: Lgr5+ (green) and Bmil+ (purple) stem cells. (Also visible are Lgr5+ stem cell–associated Paneth cells, in red.)

Tumors return when rapamycin therapy is stopped—and Lgr5+ cells, in particular, are suspected of regenerating tumors. Winfried Edelmann, Ph.D., and colleagues are studying a drug that makes Lgr5+ cells sensitive to rapamycin by inhibiting the membrane protein MDR1 (multi-drug resistance 1), which pumps out rapamycin and other anticancer drugs. Dr. Edelmann is a professor of cell biology and of genetics and the Joseph and Gertrud Buchler Chair in Transgenic Medicine at Einstein.

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