The stroma in solid tumors contains a variety of cellular phenotypes and signaling pathways associated with wound healing, leading to the concept that a tumor behaves as a wound that does not heal. Similarities between tumors and healing wounds include fibroblast recruitment and activation, extracellular matrix (ECM) component deposition, infiltration of immune cells, neovascularization, and cellular lineage plasticity. However, unlike a wound that heals, the edges of a tumor are constantly expanding. Cell migration occurs both inward and outward as the tumor proliferates and invades adjacent tissues, often disregarding organ boundaries. The focus of our review is cancer associated fibroblast (CAF) cellular heterogeneity and plasticity and the acellular matrix components that accompany these cells. We explore how similarities and differences between healing wounds and tumor stroma continue to evolve as research progresses, shedding light on possible therapeutic targets that can result in innovative stromal-based treatments for cancer.
Deshka S. Foster, R. Ellen Jones, Ryan C. Ransom, Michael T. Longaker, Jeffrey A. Norton
The disabling degenerative disease osteoarthritis (OA) is prevalent among the global population. Articular cartilage degeneration is a central feature of OA; therefore, a better understanding of the mechanisms that maintain cartilage homeostasis is vital for developing effective therapeutic interventions. MicroRNAs (miRs) modulate cell signaling pathways and various processes in articular cartilage via posttranscriptional repression of target genes. As dysregulated miRs frequently alter the homeostasis of articular cartilage, modulating select miRs presents a potential therapeutic opportunity for OA. Here, we review key miRs that have been shown to modulate cartilage-protective or -destructive mechanisms and signaling pathways. Additionally, we use an integrative computational biology approach to provide insight into predicted miR gene targets that may contribute to OA pathogenesis, and highlight the complexity of miR signaling in OA by generating both unique and overlapping gene targets of miRs that mediate protective or destructive effects. Early OA detection would enable effective prevention; thus, miRs are being explored as diagnostic biomarkers. We discuss these ongoing efforts and the applicability of miR mimics and antisense inhibitors as potential OA therapeutics.
Helal Endisha, Jason Rockel, Igor Jurisica, Mohit Kapoor
The ability to image tissue morphogenesis in real-time and in 3-dimensions (3-D) remains an optical challenge. The advent of light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) has advanced developmental biology and tissue regeneration research. In this review, we introduce a LSFM system in which the illumination lens reshapes a thin light-sheet to rapidly scan across a sample of interest while the detection lens orthogonally collects the imaging data. This multiscale strategy provides deep-tissue penetration, high-spatiotemporal resolution, and minimal photobleaching and phototoxicity, allowing in vivo visualization of a variety of tissues and processes, ranging from developing hearts in live zebrafish embryos to ex vivo interrogation of the microarchitecture of optically cleared neonatal hearts. Here, we highlight multiple applications of LSFM and discuss several studies that have allowed better characterization of developmental and pathological processes in multiple models and tissues. These findings demonstrate the capacity of multiscale light-sheet imaging to uncover cardiovascular developmental and regenerative phenomena.
Yichen Ding, Jianguo Ma, Adam D. Langenbacher, Kyung In Baek, Juhyun Lee, Chih-Chiang Chang, Jeffrey J. Hsu, Rajan P. Kulkarni, John Belperio, Wei Shi, Sara Ranjbarvaziri, Reza Ardehali, Yin Tintut, Linda L. Demer, Jau-Nian Chen, Peng Fei, René R. Sevag Packard, Tzung K. Hsiai
Molecular targeted therapy heralded a new era for the treatment of patients with oncogene-driven advanced-stage non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Molecular testing at the time of diagnosis guides therapy selection, and targeted therapies in patients with activating mutations in EGFR, BRAF, and rearrangements in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS1 have become part of routine care. These therapies have extended the median survival from a mere few months to greater than 3 years for patients with stage 4 disease. However, despite the initial success, these treatments are eventually met with molecular resistance. Selective pressure leads to cellular adaption to maintain cancer growth, making resistance complex and the treatment challenging. This review focuses on recent advances in targeted therapy, mechanisms of resistance, and therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance in patients with lung cancer.
Suchita Pakkala, Suresh S. Ramalingam
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal fibrotic lung disease that is associated with aberrant activation of TGF-β, myofibroblast differentiation, and abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) production. Proper regulation of protein stability is important for maintenance of intracellular protein homeostasis and signaling. Ubiquitin E3 ligases mediate protein ubiquitination, and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) reverse the process. The role of ubiquitin E3 ligases and DUBs in the pathogenesis of IPF is relatively unexplored. In this review, we provide an overview of how ubiquitin E3 ligases and DUBs modulate pulmonary fibrosis through regulation of both TGF-β–dependent and –independent pathways. We also summarize currently available small-molecule inhibitors of ubiquitin E3 ligases and DUBs as potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of IPF.
Shuang Li, Jing Zhao, Dong Shang, Daniel J. Kass, Yutong Zhao
Extracellular RNA (exRNA) has emerged as an important transducer of intercellular communication. Advancing exRNA research promises to revolutionize biology and transform clinical practice. Recent efforts have led to cutting-edge research and expanded knowledge of this new paradigm in cell-to-cell crosstalk; however, gaps in our understanding of EV heterogeneity and exRNA diversity pose significant challenges for continued development of exRNA diagnostics and therapeutics. To unravel this complexity, the NIH convened expert teams to discuss the current state of the science, define the significant bottlenecks, and brainstorm potential solutions across the entire exRNA research field. The NIH Strategic Workshop on Extracellular RNA Transport helped identify mechanistic and clinical research opportunities for exRNA biology and provided recommendations on high priority areas of research that will advance the exRNA field.
Kang Li, Rodosthenis S. Rodosthenous, Fatah Kashanchi, Thomas Gingeras, Stephen J. Gould, Lillian S. Kuo, Peter Kurre, Hakho Lee, Joshua N. Leonard, Huiping Liu, Tania B. Lombo, Stefan Momma, John P. Nolan, Margaret J. Ochocinska, D. Michiel Pegtel, Yoel Sadovsky, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, Kayla M. Valdes, Kasey C. Vickers, Alissa M. Weaver, Kenneth W. Witwer, Yong Zeng, Saumya Das, Robert L. Raffai, T. Kevin Howcroft
The emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus during the past decade along with an impending shortage of effective antistaphylococcal antibiotics have fueled impressive advances in our understanding of how S. aureus overcomes the host environment to establish infection. Backed by recent technologic advances, studies have uncovered elaborate metabolic, nutritional, and virulence strategies deployed by S. aureus to survive the restrictive and hostile environment imposed by the host, leading to a plethora of promising antimicrobial approaches that have potential to remedy the antibiotic resistance crisis. In this Review, we highlight some of the critical and recently elucidated bacterial strategies that are potentially amenable to intervention, discuss their relevance to human diseases, and address the translational challenges posed by current animal models.
Isaac P. Thomsen, George Y. Liu
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common occurrence, with over 3 million cases reported every year in the United States. While research into the underlying pathophysiology is ongoing, there is an urgent need for better clinical guidelines that allow more consistent diagnosis of mTBI and ensure safe return-to-play timelines for athletes, nonathletes, and military personnel. The development of a suite of biomarkers that indicate the pathogenicity of mTBI could lead to clinically useful tools for establishing both diagnosis and prognosis. Here, we review the current evidence for mTBI biomarkers derived from investigations of the multifactorial pathology of mTBI. While the current literature lacks the scope and size for clarification of these biomarkers’ clinical utility, early studies have identified some promising candidates.
Han Jun Kim, Jack W. Tsao, Ansley Grimes Stanfill
Cirrhosis is a prevalent cause of morbidity and mortality, especially for those at an advanced decompensated stage. Cirrhosis development and progression involves several important interorgan communications, and recently, the gut microbiome has been implicated in pathophysiology of the disease. Dysbiosis, defined as a pathological change in the microbiome, has a variable effect on the compensated versus decompensated stage of cirrhosis. Adverse microbial changes, both in composition and function, can act at several levels within the gut (stool and mucosal) and have also been described in the blood and oral cavity. While dysbiosis in the oral cavity could be a source of systemic inflammation, current cirrhosis treatment modalities are targeted toward the gut-liver axis and do not address the oral microbiome. As interventions designed to modulate oral dysbiosis may delay progression of cirrhosis, a better understanding of this process is of the utmost importance. The concept of oral microbiota dysbiosis in cirrhosis is relatively new; therefore, this review will highlight the emerging role of the oral-gut-liver axis and introduce perspectives for future research.
Chathur Acharya, Sinem Esra Sahingur, Jasmohan S. Bajaj
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive hematological malignancy with a poor outcome; overall survival is approximately 35% at two years and some subgroups have a less than 5% two-year survival. Recently, significant improvements have been made in our understanding of AML biology and genetics. These fundamental discoveries are now being translated into new therapies for this disease. This review will discuss recent advances in AML biology and the emerging treatments that are arising from biological studies. Specifically, we will consider new therapies that target molecular mutations in AML and dysregulated pathways such as apoptosis and mitochondrial metabolism. We will also discuss recent advances in immune and cellular therapy for AML.
Simon Kavanagh, Tracy Murphy, Arjun Law, Dana Yehudai, Jenny M. Ho, Steve Chan, Aaron D. Schimmer
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