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Event Details

Date: 2023-06-05
Hours: 11:00 › 12:00
Speaker: Dr. Hans Clevers is the Head of Pharma Research and Early Development, and a member of the Corporate Executive Committee of Roche. He is a Dutch molecular geneticist, cell biologist and stem cell researcher. Previously, he headed a research group at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research and at the Princess Máxima Center in the Netherlands, where he remains as an advisor. He is also a Professor in Molecular Genetics at the University of Utrecht.
Location: SV 1717
Category: Conferences - Seminars
Language: English
Organizer: Deanship School of Life Sciences
Contact: Geneviève Peter

Organoids to model human diseases

Abstract: Lgr5 Stem Cell-based organoids in human disease

The intestinal epithelium is the most rapidly self-renewing tissue in adult mammals. We originally defined Lgr5 as a Wnt target gene, transcribed in colon cancer cells. Two knock-in alleles revealed exclusive expression of Lgr5 in cycling, columnar cells at the crypt base. Using lineage tracing experiments in adult mice, we found that these Lgr5+ve crypt base columnar cells (CBC) generated all epithelial lineages throughout life, implying that they represent the stem cell of the small intestine and colon. Lgr5 was subsequently found to represent an exquisitely specific, yet 'generic' marker for active epithelial stem cells, including in hair follicles, kidney, liver, mammary gland, inner ear tongue and stomach epithelium. Single sorted Lgr5+ve stem cells can initiate ever-expanding crypt-villus organoids, or so called 'mini-guts' in 3D culture. The technology is based on the observation that Lgr5 is the receptor for a potent stem cell growth factor, R-spondin. Similar 3D cultures systems have been developed for the Lgr5+ve stem cells of human stomach, liver, pancreas, prostate and kidney. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, genes can be efficiently modified in organoids of various origins. Organoid technology opens a range of avenues for the study of development, physiology and disease, for drug development and for personalized medicine. In the long run, cultured mini-organs may replace transplant organs from donors and hold promise in gene therapy.

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