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Cells, Volume 13, Issue 12 (June-2 2024) – 80 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Cells (ISSN 2073-4409) is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal which provides an advanced forum for studies related to cell biology, molecular biology and biophysics. It publishes reviews, research articles, communications and technical notes. Our aim is to encourage scientists to publish their experimental and theoretical results in as much detail as possible. The Spanish Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM), Nordic Autophagy Society (NAS), Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH) and Society for Regenerative Medicine (Russian Federation) (RPO) are affiliated with Cells and their members receive discounts on the article processing charges.
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17 pages, 2637 KiB  
Article
ScRNA-Seq Analyses Define the Role of GATA3 in iNKT Cell Effector Lineage Differentiation
by Tzong-Shyuan Tai, Huang-Yu Yang, Wan-Chu Chuang, Yu-Wen Huang, I-Cheng Ho, Ching-Chung Tsai and Ya-Ting Chuang
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121073 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 495
Abstract
While the transcription factor GATA-3 is well-established for its crucial role in T cell development, its specific influence on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells remains relatively unexplored. Using flow cytometry and single-cell transcriptomic analysis, we demonstrated that GATA-3 deficiency in mice leads [...] Read more.
While the transcription factor GATA-3 is well-established for its crucial role in T cell development, its specific influence on invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells remains relatively unexplored. Using flow cytometry and single-cell transcriptomic analysis, we demonstrated that GATA-3 deficiency in mice leads to the absence of iNKT2 and iNKT17 cell subsets, as well as an altered distribution of iNKT1 cells. Thymic iNKT cells lacking GATA-3 exhibited diminished expression of PLZF and T-bet, key transcription factors involved in iNKT cell differentiation, and reduced production of Th2, Th17, and cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell transcriptomics revealed a comprehensive absence of iNKT17 cells, a substantial reduction in iNKT2 cells, and an increase in iNKT1 cells in GATA-3-deficient thymi. Differential expression analysis highlighted the regulatory role of GATA-3 in T cell activation signaling and altered expression of genes critical for iNKT cell differentiation, such as Icos, Cd127, Eomes, and Zbtb16. Notably, restoration of Icos, but not Cd127, expression could rescue iNKT cell development in GATA-3-deficient mice. In conclusion, our study demonstrates the pivotal role of GATA-3 in orchestrating iNKT cell effector lineage differentiation through the regulation of T cell activation pathways and Icos expression, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms governing iNKT cell development and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in ‘Cellular Immunology’)
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17 pages, 2702 KiB  
Review
Alkaptonuria: From Molecular Insights to a Dedicated Digital Platform
by Maria Serena Milella, Michela Geminiani, Alfonso Trezza, Anna Visibelli, Daniela Braconi and Annalisa Santucci
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121072 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissues of several body compartments causing cartilage degeneration, tendon calcification, heart problems, and an invalidating, early-onset form of osteoarthritis. The molecular mechanisms underlying AKU involve homogentisic acid (HGA) accumulation in cells and tissues. HGA [...] Read more.
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissues of several body compartments causing cartilage degeneration, tendon calcification, heart problems, and an invalidating, early-onset form of osteoarthritis. The molecular mechanisms underlying AKU involve homogentisic acid (HGA) accumulation in cells and tissues. HGA is highly reactive, able to modify several macromolecules, and activates different pathways, mostly involved in the onset and propagation of oxidative stress and inflammation, with consequences spreading from the microscopic to the macroscopic level leading to irreversible damage. Gaining a deeper understanding of AKU molecular mechanisms may provide novel possible therapeutical approaches to counteract disease progression. In this review, we first describe inflammation and oxidative stress in AKU and discuss similarities with other more common disorders. Then, we focus on HGA reactivity and AKU molecular mechanisms. We finally describe a multi-purpose digital platform, named ApreciseKUre, created to facilitate data collection, integration, and analysis of AKU-related data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Pathology)
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39 pages, 2256 KiB  
Review
Tumor-Agnostic Therapy—The Final Step Forward in the Cure for Human Neoplasms?
by Mohamed Mahmoud El-Sayed, Julia Raffaella Bianco, YiJing Li and Zsolt Fabian
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1071; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121071 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Cancer accounted for 10 million deaths in 2020, nearly one in every six deaths annually. Despite advancements, the contemporary clinical management of human neoplasms faces a number of challenges. Surgical removal of tumor tissues is often not possible technically, while radiation and chemotherapy [...] Read more.
Cancer accounted for 10 million deaths in 2020, nearly one in every six deaths annually. Despite advancements, the contemporary clinical management of human neoplasms faces a number of challenges. Surgical removal of tumor tissues is often not possible technically, while radiation and chemotherapy pose the risk of damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs, presenting complex clinical challenges. These require a paradigm shift in developing new therapeutic modalities moving towards a more personalized and targeted approach. The tumor-agnostic philosophy, one of these new modalities, focuses on characteristic molecular signatures of transformed cells independently of their traditional histopathological classification. These include commonly occurring DNA aberrations in cancer cells, shared metabolic features of their homeostasis or immune evasion measures of the tumor tissues. The first dedicated, FDA-approved tumor-agnostic agent’s profound progression-free survival of 78% in mismatch repair-deficient colorectal cancer paved the way for the accelerated FDA approvals of novel tumor-agnostic therapeutic compounds. Here, we review the historical background, current status, and future perspectives of this new era of clinical oncology. Full article
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16 pages, 17359 KiB  
Communication
Use of FRET-Sensor ‘Mermaid’ to Detect Subtle Changes in Membrane Potential of Primary Mouse PASMCs
by Ruth C. Dartsch, Simone Kraut, Tim Mayer, Andreas Gabel, Alexander Dietrich, Norbert Weissmann, Beate Fuchs and Fenja Knoepp
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1070; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121070 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 565
Abstract
Subtle changes in the membrane potential of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) are pivotal for controlling pulmonary vascular tone, e.g., for initiating Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction, a vital mechanism of the pulmonary circulation. In our study, we evaluated the ability of the fluorescence [...] Read more.
Subtle changes in the membrane potential of pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) are pivotal for controlling pulmonary vascular tone, e.g., for initiating Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction, a vital mechanism of the pulmonary circulation. In our study, we evaluated the ability of the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based voltage-sensor Mermaid to detect such subtle changes in membrane potential. Mouse PASMCs were isolated and transduced with Mermaid-encoding lentiviral vectors before the acceptor/donor emission ratio was assessed via live cell FRET-imaging. Mermaid’s sensitivity was tested by applying specific potassium chloride (KCl) concentrations. These KCl concentrations were previously validated by patch clamp recordings to induce depolarization with predefined amplitudes that physiologically occur in PASMCs. Mermaid’s emission ratio dose-dependently increased upon depolarization with KCl. However, Mermaid formed unspecific intracellular aggregates, which limited the usefulness of this voltage sensor. When analyzing the membrane rim only to circumvent these unspecific signals, Mermaid was not suitable to resolve subtle changes in the membrane potential of ≤10 mV. In summary, we found Mermaid to be a suitable alternative for reliably detecting qualitative membrane voltage changes of more than 10 mV in primary mouse PASMCs. However, one should be aware of the limitations associated with this voltage sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Technology for Cellular Imaging)
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11 pages, 2001 KiB  
Communication
Resveratrol Induces Myotube Development by Altering Circadian Metabolism via the SIRT1-AMPK-PP2A Axis
by Natalie Avital-Cohen, Nava Chapnik and Oren Froy
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121069 - 20 Jun 2024
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Resveratrol is a polyphenol known to have metabolic as well as circadian effects. However, there is little information regarding the metabolic and circadian effect of resveratrol on muscle cells. We sought to investigate the metabolic impact of resveratrol throughout the circadian cycle to [...] Read more.
Resveratrol is a polyphenol known to have metabolic as well as circadian effects. However, there is little information regarding the metabolic and circadian effect of resveratrol on muscle cells. We sought to investigate the metabolic impact of resveratrol throughout the circadian cycle to clarify the associated signaling pathways. C2C12 myotubes were incubated with resveratrol in the presence of increasing concentrations of glucose, and metabolic and clock proteins were measured for 24 h. Resveratrol led to SIRT1, AMPK and PP2A activation. Myotubes treated with increasing glucose concentrations showed higher activation of the mTOR signaling pathway. However, resveratrol did not activate the mTOR signaling pathway, except for P70S6K and S6. In accordance with the reduced mTOR activity, resveratrol led to advanced circadian rhythms and reduced levels of pBMAL1 and CRY1. Resveratrol increased myogenin expression and advanced its rhythms. In conclusion, resveratrol activates the SIRT1-AMPK-PP2A axis, advances circadian rhythms and induces muscle development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Signaling)
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19 pages, 4275 KiB  
Article
Reduced Retinal Pigment Epithelial Autophagy Due to Loss of Rab12 Prenylation in a Human iPSC-RPE Model of Choroideremia
by Maide Ö. Raeker, Nirosha D. Perera, Athanasios J. Karoukis, Lisheng Chen, Kecia L. Feathers, Robin R. Ali, Debra A. Thompson and Abigail T. Fahim
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121068 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 767
Abstract
Choroideremia is an X-linked chorioretinal dystrophy caused by mutations in CHM, encoding Rab escort protein 1 (REP-1), leading to under-prenylation of Rab GTPases (Rabs). Despite ubiquitous expression of CHM, the phenotype is limited to degeneration of the retina, retinal pigment epithelium [...] Read more.
Choroideremia is an X-linked chorioretinal dystrophy caused by mutations in CHM, encoding Rab escort protein 1 (REP-1), leading to under-prenylation of Rab GTPases (Rabs). Despite ubiquitous expression of CHM, the phenotype is limited to degeneration of the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and choroid, with evidence for primary pathology in RPE cells. However, the spectrum of under-prenylated Rabs in RPE cells and how they contribute to RPE dysfunction remain unknown. A CRISPR/Cas-9-edited CHM−/− iPSC-RPE model was generated with isogenic control cells. Unprenylated Rabs were biotinylated in vitro and identified by tandem mass tag (TMT) spectrometry. Rab12 was one of the least prenylated and has an established role in suppressing mTORC1 signaling and promoting autophagy. CHM−/− iPSC-RPE cells demonstrated increased mTORC1 signaling and reduced autophagic flux, consistent with Rab12 dysfunction. Autophagic flux was rescued in CHM−/− cells by transduction with gene replacement (ShH10-CMV-CHM) and was reduced in control cells by siRNA knockdown of Rab12. This study supports Rab12 under-prenylation as an important cause of RPE cell dysfunction in choroideremia and highlights increased mTORC1 and reduced autophagy as potential disease pathways for further investigation. Full article
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17 pages, 8441 KiB  
Article
Blockade of Sialylation with Decrease in Polysialic Acid Levels Counteracts Transforming Growth Factor β1-Induced Skin Fibroblast-to-Myofibroblast Transition
by Bianca Saveria Fioretto, Irene Rosa, Alessia Tani, Elena Andreucci, Eloisa Romano, Eleonora Sgambati and Mirko Manetti
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121067 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Aberrant sialylation with overexpression of the homopolymeric glycan polysialic acid (polySia) was recently reported in fibroblasts from fibrotic skin lesions. Yet, whether such a rise in polySia levels or sialylation in general may be functionally implicated in profibrotic activation of fibroblasts and their [...] Read more.
Aberrant sialylation with overexpression of the homopolymeric glycan polysialic acid (polySia) was recently reported in fibroblasts from fibrotic skin lesions. Yet, whether such a rise in polySia levels or sialylation in general may be functionally implicated in profibrotic activation of fibroblasts and their transition to myofibroblasts remains unknown. Therefore, we herein explored whether inhibition of sialylation could interfere with the process of skin fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition induced by the master profibrotic mediator transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1). Adult human skin fibroblasts were pretreated with the competitive pan-sialyltransferase inhibitor 3-Fax-peracetyl-Neu5Ac (3-Fax) before stimulation with recombinant human TGFβ1, and then analyzed for polySia expression, cell viability, proliferation, migratory ability, and acquisition of myofibroblast-like morphofunctional features. Skin fibroblast stimulation with TGFβ1 resulted in overexpression of polySia, which was effectively blunted by 3-Fax pre-administration. Pretreatment with 3-Fax efficiently lessened TGFβ1-induced skin fibroblast proliferation, migration, changes in cell morphology, and phenotypic and functional differentiation into myofibroblasts, as testified by a significant reduction in FAP, ACTA2, COL1A1, COL1A2, and FN1 gene expression, and α-smooth muscle actin, N-cadherin, COL1A1, and FN-EDA protein levels, as well as a reduced contractile capability. Moreover, skin fibroblasts pre-administered with 3-Fax displayed a significant decrease in Smad3-dependent canonical TGFβ1 signaling. Collectively, our in vitro findings demonstrate for the first time that aberrant sialylation with increased polySia levels has a functional role in skin fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition and suggest that competitive sialyltransferase inhibition might offer new therapeutic opportunities against skin fibrosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibrosis in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases)
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20 pages, 1654 KiB  
Article
Off-the-Shelf Cord-Blood Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Production, Quality Control, and Clinical Use
by Tiziana Montemurro, Cristiana Lavazza, Elisa Montelatici, Silvia Budelli, Salvatore La Rosa, Mario Barilani, Cecilia Mei, Paolo Manzini, Ilaria Ratti, Silvia Cimoni, Manuela Brasca, Daniele Prati, Giorgia Saporiti, Giuseppe Astori, Francesca Elice, Rosaria Giordano and Lorenza Lazzari
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121066 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 586
Abstract
Background Recently, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have gained recognition for their clinical utility in transplantation to induce tolerance and to improve/replace pharmacological immunosuppression. Cord blood (CB)-derived MSCs are particularly attractive for their immunological naivety and peculiar anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. Objectives: The objective [...] Read more.
Background Recently, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have gained recognition for their clinical utility in transplantation to induce tolerance and to improve/replace pharmacological immunosuppression. Cord blood (CB)-derived MSCs are particularly attractive for their immunological naivety and peculiar anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties. Objectives: The objective of this study was to obtain an inventory of CB MSCs able to support large-scale advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP)-based clinical trials. Study design: We isolated MSCs by plastic adherence in a GMP-compliant culture system. We established a well-characterized master cell bank and expanded a working cell bank to generate batches of finished MSC(CB) products certified for clinical use. The MSC(CB) produced by our facility was used in approved clinical trials or for therapeutic use, following single-patient authorization as an immune-suppressant agent. Results: We show the feasibility of a well-defined MSC manufacturing process and describe the main indications for which the MSCs were employed. We delve into a regulatory framework governing advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), emphasizing the need of stringent quality control and safety assessments. From March 2012 to June 2023, 263 of our Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-certified MSC(CB) preparations were administered as ATMPs in 40 subjects affected by Graft-vs.-Host Disease, nephrotic syndrome, or bronco-pulmonary dysplasia of the newborn. There was no infusion-related adverse event. No patient experienced any grade toxicity. Encouraging preliminary outcome results were reported. Clinical response was registered in the majority of patients treated under therapeutic use authorization. Conclusions: Our 10 years of experience with MSC(CB) described here provides valuable insights into the use of this innovative cell product in immune-mediated diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stromal Cells—Structure, Function and Therapeutics Development)
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22 pages, 362 KiB  
Review
Scaffold Application for Bone Regeneration with Stem Cells in Dentistry: Literature Review
by Elham Saberian, Andrej Jenča, Yaser Zafari, Andrej Jenča, Adriána Petrášová, Hadi Zare-Zardini and Janka Jenčová
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121065 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Bone tissue injuries within oral and dental contexts often present considerable challenges because traditional treatments may not be able to fully restore lost or damaged bone tissue. Novel approaches involving stem cells and targeted 3D scaffolds have been investigated in the search for [...] Read more.
Bone tissue injuries within oral and dental contexts often present considerable challenges because traditional treatments may not be able to fully restore lost or damaged bone tissue. Novel approaches involving stem cells and targeted 3D scaffolds have been investigated in the search for workable solutions. The use of scaffolds in stem cell-assisted bone regeneration is a crucial component of tissue engineering techniques designed to overcome the drawbacks of traditional bone grafts. This study provides a detailed review of scaffold applications for bone regeneration with stem cells in dentistry. This review focuses on scaffolds and stem cells while covering a broad range of studies explaining bone regeneration in dentistry through the presentation of studies conducted in this field. The role of different stem cells in regenerative medicine is covered in great detail in the reviewed literature. These studies have addressed a wide range of subjects, including the effects of platelet concentrates during dental surgery or specific combinations, such as human dental pulp stem cells with scaffolds for animal model bone regeneration, to promote bone regeneration in animal models. Noting developments, research works consider methods to improve vascularization and explore the use of 3D-printed scaffolds, secretome applications, mesenchymal stem cells, and biomaterials for oral bone tissue regeneration. This thorough assessment outlines possible developments within these crucial regenerative dentistry cycles and provides insights and suggestions for additional study. Furthermore, alternative creative methods for regenerating bone tissue include biophysical stimuli, mechanical stimulation, magnetic field therapy, laser therapy, nutritional supplements and diet, gene therapy, and biomimetic materials. These innovative approaches offer promising avenues for future research and development in the field of bone tissue regeneration in dentistry. Full article
24 pages, 1949 KiB  
Review
Combination Therapy Approach to Overcome the Resistance to PI3K Pathway Inhibitors in Gynecological Cancers
by Kristen R. Ibanez, Tzu-Ting Huang and Jung-Min Lee
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121064 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 703
Abstract
The PI3K signaling pathway plays an essential role in cancer cell proliferation and survival. PI3K pathway inhibitors are now FDA-approved as a single agent treatment or in combination for solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma or breast cancer. However, despite the high [...] Read more.
The PI3K signaling pathway plays an essential role in cancer cell proliferation and survival. PI3K pathway inhibitors are now FDA-approved as a single agent treatment or in combination for solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma or breast cancer. However, despite the high prevalence of PI3K pathway alterations in gynecological cancers and promising preclinical activity in endometrial and ovarian cancer models, PI3K pathway inhibitors showed limited clinical activity in gynecological cancers. In this review, we provide an overview on resistance mechanisms against PI3K pathway inhibitors that limit their use in gynecological malignancies, including genetic alterations that reactivate the PI3K pathway such as PIK3CA mutations and PTEN loss, compensatory signaling pathway activation, and feedback loops causing the reactivation of the PI3K signaling pathway. We also discuss the successes and limitations of recent clinical trials aiming to address such resistance mechanisms through combination therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PI3K/AKT/mTOR Signaling Network in Human Health and Diseases 2.0)
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26 pages, 1637 KiB  
Review
Non-Coding RNAs in Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: Unraveling the Hidden Players in Disease Pathogenesis
by Mirolyuba Simeonova Ilieva
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121063 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders pose substantial challenges to public health, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying their pathogenesis. In recent years, the focus has shifted toward the intricate world of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), a class of RNA molecules that do [...] Read more.
Neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders pose substantial challenges to public health, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying their pathogenesis. In recent years, the focus has shifted toward the intricate world of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), a class of RNA molecules that do not encode proteins but play pivotal roles in gene regulation and cellular processes. This review explores the emerging significance of ncRNAs in the context of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, shedding light on their diverse functions and regulatory mechanisms. The dysregulation of various ncRNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs), has been implicated in the pathophysiology of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and mood disorders. This review delves into the specific roles these ncRNAs play in modulating key cellular processes, including synaptic plasticity, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis, providing a nuanced understanding of their impact on disease progression. Furthermore, it discusses the potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications of targeting ncRNAs in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. The identification of specific ncRNA signatures holds promise for the development of novel biomarkers for early disease detection, while the manipulation of ncRNA expression offers innovative therapeutic avenues. Challenges and future directions in the field are also considered, highlighting the need for continued research to unravel the complexities of ncRNA-mediated regulatory networks in the context of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and stimulate further exploration into the fascinating realm of ncRNAs in the brain’s intricate landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cells of the Nervous System)
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15 pages, 1093 KiB  
Review
Targeting the Hippo Pathway in Cutaneous Melanoma
by Urszula Kazimierczak, Anna Przybyla, Marianna Smielowska, Tomasz Kolenda and Andrzej Mackiewicz
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1062; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121062 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. In the advanced stage of development, it is resistant to currently available therapeutic modalities. Increased invasiveness and metastatic potential depend on several proteins involved in various signal transduction pathways. Hippo signaling plays a vital [...] Read more.
Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer. In the advanced stage of development, it is resistant to currently available therapeutic modalities. Increased invasiveness and metastatic potential depend on several proteins involved in various signal transduction pathways. Hippo signaling plays a vital role in malignant transformation. Dysfunctions of the Hippo pathway initiate the expression of tumor growth factors and are associated with tumor growth and metastasis formation. This review summarizes the recent achievements in studying the role of the Hippo pathway in melanoma pathogenesis and points to the potential specific targets for anti-melanoma therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signaling Pathways and Mechanisms in Cancer Therapy Resistance)
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17 pages, 5510 KiB  
Article
Down-Regulation of AKT Proteins Slows the Growth of Mutant-KRAS Pancreatic Tumors
by Chuankai Chen, Ya-Ping Jiang, Inchul You, Nathanael S. Gray and Richard Z. Lin
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121061 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Serine/threonine kinase AKT isoforms play a well-established role in cell metabolism and growth. Most pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PDACs) harbor activation mutations of KRAS, which activates the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. However, AKT inhibitors are not effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. To better understand [...] Read more.
Serine/threonine kinase AKT isoforms play a well-established role in cell metabolism and growth. Most pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PDACs) harbor activation mutations of KRAS, which activates the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. However, AKT inhibitors are not effective in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. To better understand the role of AKT signaling in mutant-KRAS pancreatic tumors, this study utilized proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) and CRISPR-Cas9-genome editing to investigate AKT proteins. The PROTAC down-regulation of AKT proteins markedly slowed the growth of three pancreatic tumor cell lines harboring mutant KRAS. In contrast, the inhibition of AKT kinase activity alone had very little effect on the growth of these cell lines. The concurrent genetic deletion of all AKT isoforms (AKT1, AKT2, and AKT3) in the KPC (KrasG12D; Trp53R172H; Pdx1-Cre) pancreatic cancer cell line also dramatically slowed its growth in vitro and when orthotopically implanted in syngeneic mice. Surprisingly, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), but not epidermal growth factor (EGF), restored KPC cell growth in serum-deprived conditions, and the IGF-1 growth stimulation effect was AKT-dependent. The RNA-seq analysis of AKT1/2/3-deficient KPC cells suggested that reduced cholesterol synthesis may be responsible for the decreased response to IGF-1 stimulation. These results indicate that the presence of all three AKT isoforms supports pancreatic tumor cell growth, and the pharmacological degradation of AKT proteins may be more effective than AKT catalytic inhibitors for treating pancreatic cancer. Full article
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32 pages, 5749 KiB  
Article
The TGFβ Induced MicroRNAome of the Trabecular Meshwork
by Chelsey Doyle, Breedge Callaghan, Anton W. Roodnat, Lee Armstrong, Karen Lester, David A. Simpson, Sarah D. Atkinson, Carl Sheridan, Declan J. McKenna and Colin E. Willoughby
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1060; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121060 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 801
Abstract
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a progressive optic neuropathy with a complex, multifactorial aetiology. Raised intraocular pressure (IOP) is the most important clinically modifiable risk factor for POAG. All current pharmacological agents target aqueous humour dynamics to lower IOP. Newer therapeutic agents are [...] Read more.
Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a progressive optic neuropathy with a complex, multifactorial aetiology. Raised intraocular pressure (IOP) is the most important clinically modifiable risk factor for POAG. All current pharmacological agents target aqueous humour dynamics to lower IOP. Newer therapeutic agents are required as some patients with POAG show a limited therapeutic response or develop ocular and systemic side effects to topical medication. Elevated IOP in POAG results from cellular and molecular changes in the trabecular meshwork driven by increased levels of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) in the anterior segment of the eye. Understanding how TGFβ affects both the structural and functional changes in the outflow pathway and IOP is required to develop new glaucoma therapies that target the molecular pathology in the trabecular meshwork. In this study, we evaluated the effects of TGF-β1 and -β2 treatment on miRNA expression in cultured human primary trabecular meshwork cells. Our findings are presented in terms of specific miRNAs (miRNA-centric), but given miRNAs work in networks to control cellular pathways and processes, a pathway-centric view of miRNA action is also reported. Evaluating TGFβ-responsive miRNA expression in trabecular meshwork cells will further our understanding of the important pathways and changes involved in the pathogenesis of glaucoma and could lead to the development of miRNAs as new therapeutic modalities in glaucoma. Full article
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18 pages, 4318 KiB  
Article
Striatal GDNF Neurons Chemoattract RET-Positive Dopamine Axons at Seven Times Farther Distance Than Medium Spiny Neurons
by Ana Rosa Montaño-Rodriguez, Tabea Schorling and Jaan-Olle Andressoo
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121059 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is among the strongest dopamine neuron function- and survival-promoting factors known. Due to this reason, it has clinical relevance in dopamine disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. In the striatum, GDNF is exclusively expressed in interneurons, [...] Read more.
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is among the strongest dopamine neuron function- and survival-promoting factors known. Due to this reason, it has clinical relevance in dopamine disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. In the striatum, GDNF is exclusively expressed in interneurons, which make up only about 0.6% of striatal cells. Despite clinical significance, histological analysis of striatal GDNF system arborization and relevance to incoming dopamine axons, which bear its receptor RET, has remained enigmatic. This is mainly due to the lack of antibodies able to visualize GDNF- and RET-positive cellular processes; here, we overcome this problem by using knock-in marker alleles. We find that GDNF neurons chemoattract RET+ axons at least seven times farther in distance than medium spiny neurons (MSNs), which make up 95% of striatal neurons. Furthermore, we provide evidence that tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in dopamine synthesis, is enriched towards GDNF neurons in the dopamine axons. Finally, we find that GDNF neuron arborizations occupy approximately only twelve times less striatal volume than 135 times more abundant MSNs. Collectively, our results improve our understanding of how endogenous GDNF affects striatal dopamine system function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in 'Cells of the Nervous System' Section)
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17 pages, 929 KiB  
Review
Potential Benefits of Combining Proton or Carbon Ion Therapy with DNA Damage Repair Inhibitors
by Gro Elise Rødland, Mihaela Temelie, Adrian Eek Mariampillai, Sissel Hauge, Antoine Gilbert, François Chevalier, Diana I. Savu and Randi G. Syljuåsen
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121058 - 19 Jun 2024
Viewed by 723
Abstract
The use of charged particle radiotherapy is currently increasing, but combination therapy with DNA repair inhibitors remains to be exploited in the clinic. The high-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation delivered by charged particles causes clustered DNA damage, which is particularly effective in destroying [...] Read more.
The use of charged particle radiotherapy is currently increasing, but combination therapy with DNA repair inhibitors remains to be exploited in the clinic. The high-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation delivered by charged particles causes clustered DNA damage, which is particularly effective in destroying cancer cells. Whether the DNA damage response to this type of damage is different from that elicited in response to low-LET radiation, and if and how it can be targeted to increase treatment efficacy, is not fully understood. Although several preclinical studies have reported radiosensitizing effects when proton or carbon ion irradiation is combined with inhibitors of, e.g., PARP, ATR, ATM, or DNA-PKcs, further exploration is required to determine the most effective treatments. Here, we examine what is known about repair pathway choice in response to high- versus low-LET irradiation, and we discuss the effects of inhibitors of these pathways when combined with protons and carbon ions. Additionally, we explore the potential effects of DNA repair inhibitors on antitumor immune signaling upon proton and carbon ion irradiation. Due to the reduced effect on healthy tissue and better immune preservation, particle therapy may be particularly well suited for combination with DNA repair inhibitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Innovative Radiation Therapies)
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21 pages, 2462 KiB  
Review
Tumour Microenvironment: The General Principles of Pathogenesis and Implications in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma
by Stanislavs Sinkarevs, Boriss Strumfs, Svetlana Volkova and Ilze Strumfa
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121057 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 697
Abstract
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide, constituting around 30–40% of all cases. Almost 60% of patients develop relapse of refractory DLBCL. Among the reasons for the therapy failure, tumour microenvironment (TME) components could be [...] Read more.
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma worldwide, constituting around 30–40% of all cases. Almost 60% of patients develop relapse of refractory DLBCL. Among the reasons for the therapy failure, tumour microenvironment (TME) components could be involved, including tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), tumour-associated neutrophils (TANs), cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), and different subtypes of cytotoxic CD8+ cells and T regulatory cells, which show complex interactions with tumour cells. Understanding of the TME can provide new therapeutic options for patients with DLBCL and improve their prognosis and overall survival. This review provides essentials of the latest understanding of tumour microenvironment elements and discusses their role in tumour progression and immune suppression mechanisms which result in poor prognosis for patients with DLBCL. In addition, we point out important markers for the diagnostic purposes and highlight novel therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Lymphomas)
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25 pages, 21026 KiB  
Article
Molecular Profiling and the Interaction of Somatic Mutations with Transcriptomic Profiles in Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) in a Population Exposed to Arsenic
by Farzana Jasmine, Maria Argos, Yuliia Khamkevych, Tariqul Islam, Muhammad Rakibuz-Zaman, Mohammad Shahriar, Christopher R. Shea, Habibul Ahsan and Muhammad G. Kibriya
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121056 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 435
Abstract
Exposure to inorganic arsenic (As) is recognized as a risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). We followed up with 7000 adults for 6 years who were exposed to As. During follow-up, 2.2% of the males and 1.3% of the females developed basal [...] Read more.
Exposure to inorganic arsenic (As) is recognized as a risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). We followed up with 7000 adults for 6 years who were exposed to As. During follow-up, 2.2% of the males and 1.3% of the females developed basal cell carcinoma (BCC), while 0.4% of the male and 0.2% of the female participants developed squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Using a panel of more than 400 cancer-related genes, we detected somatic mutations (SMs) in the first 32 NMSC samples (BCC = 26 and SCC = 6) by comparing paired (tissue–blood) samples from the same individual and then comparing them to the SM in healthy skin tissue from 16 participants. We identified (a) a list of NMSC-associated SMs, (b) SMs present in both NMSC and healthy skin, and (c) SMs found only in healthy skin. We also demonstrate that the presence of non-synonymous SMs in the top mutated genes (like PTCH1, NOTCH1, SYNE1, PKHD1 in BCC and TP53 in SCC) significantly affects the magnitude of differential expressions of major genes and gene pathways (basal cell carcinoma pathways, NOTCH signaling, IL-17 signaling, p53 signaling, Wnt signaling pathway). These findings may help select groups of patients for targeted therapy, like hedgehog signaling inhibitors, IL17 inhibitors, etc., in the future. Full article
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27 pages, 3559 KiB  
Article
Dysfunction of Small-Conductance Ca2+-Activated Potassium (SK) Channels Drives Amygdala Hyperexcitability and Neuropathic Pain Behaviors: Involvement of Epigenetic Mechanisms
by Vadim Yakhnitsa, Jeremy Thompson, Olga Ponomareva, Guangchen Ji, Takaki Kiritoshi, Lenin Mahimainathan, Deborah Molehin, Kevin Pruitt and Volker Neugebauer
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121055 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Neuroplasticity in the amygdala and its central nucleus (CeA) is linked to pain modulation and pain behaviors, but cellular mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we addressed the role of small-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (SK) channels in pain-related amygdala plasticity. The facilitatory [...] Read more.
Neuroplasticity in the amygdala and its central nucleus (CeA) is linked to pain modulation and pain behaviors, but cellular mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we addressed the role of small-conductance Ca2+-activated potassium (SK) channels in pain-related amygdala plasticity. The facilitatory effects of the intra-CeA application of an SK channel blocker (apamin) on the pain behaviors of control rats were lost in a neuropathic pain model, whereas an SK channel activator (NS309) inhibited pain behaviors in neuropathic rats but not in sham controls, suggesting the loss of the inhibitory behavioral effects of amygdala SK channels. Brain slice electrophysiology found hyperexcitability of CeA neurons in the neuropathic pain condition due to the loss of SK channel-mediated medium afterhyperpolarization (mAHP), which was accompanied by decreased SK2 channel protein and mRNA expression, consistent with a pretranscriptional mechanisms. The underlying mechanisms involved the epigenetic silencing of the SK2 gene due to the increased DNA methylation of the CpG island of the SK2 promoter region and the change in methylated CpG sites in the CeA in neuropathic pain. This study identified the epigenetic dysregulation of SK channels in the amygdala (CeA) as a novel mechanism of neuropathic pain-related plasticity and behavior that could be targeted to control abnormally enhanced amygdala activity and chronic neuropathic pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Chronic Pain)
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26 pages, 3056 KiB  
Review
Growing Role of 3D In Vitro Cell Cultures in the Study of Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms: Short Focus on Breast Cancer, Endometriosis, Liver and Infectious Diseases
by Nora Bloise, Marialaura Giannaccari, Giuseppe Guagliano, Emanuela Peluso, Elisa Restivo, Silvia Strada, Cristina Volpini, Paola Petrini and Livia Visai
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121054 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 806
Abstract
Over the past decade, the development of three-dimensional (3D) models has increased exponentially, facilitating the unravelling of fundamental and essential cellular mechanisms by which cells communicate with each other, assemble into tissues and organs and respond to biochemical and biophysical stimuli under both [...] Read more.
Over the past decade, the development of three-dimensional (3D) models has increased exponentially, facilitating the unravelling of fundamental and essential cellular mechanisms by which cells communicate with each other, assemble into tissues and organs and respond to biochemical and biophysical stimuli under both physiological and pathological conditions. This section presents a concise overview of the most recent updates on the significant contribution of different types of 3D cell cultures including spheroids, organoids and organ-on-chip and bio-printed tissues in advancing our understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms. The case studies presented include the 3D cultures of breast cancer (BC), endometriosis, the liver microenvironment and infections. In BC, the establishment of 3D culture models has permitted the visualization of the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts in the delivery of exosomes, as well as the significance of the physical properties of the extracellular matrix in promoting cell proliferation and invasion. This approach has also become a valuable tool in gaining insight into general and specific mechanisms of drug resistance. Given the considerable heterogeneity of endometriosis, 3D models offer a more accurate representation of the in vivo microenvironment, thereby facilitating the identification and translation of novel targeted therapeutic strategies. The advantages provided by 3D models of the hepatic environment, in conjunction with the high throughput characterizing various platforms, have enabled the elucidation of complex molecular mechanisms underlying various threatening hepatic diseases. A limited number of 3D models for gut and skin infections have been developed. However, a more profound comprehension of the spatial and temporal interactions between microbes, the host and their environment may facilitate the advancement of in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo disease models. Additionally, it may pave the way for the development of novel therapeutic approaches in diverse research fields. The interested reader will also find concluding remarks on the challenges and prospects of using 3D cell cultures for discovering cellular and molecular mechanisms in the research areas covered in this review. Full article
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19 pages, 3846 KiB  
Article
The Odad3 Gene Is Necessary for Spermatozoa Development and Male Fertility in Mice
by Miriam Pasquini, Francesco Chiani, Alessia Gambadoro, Chiara Di Pietro, Renata Paoletti, Tiziana Orsini, Sabrina Putti, Ferdinando Scavizzi, Gina La Sala and Olga Ermakova
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121053 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Odad3 gene loss-of-function mutation leads to Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD), a disease caused by motile cilia dysfunction. Previously, we demonstrated that knockout of the Odad3 gene in mice replicates several features of PCD, such as hydrocephalus, defects in left–right body symmetry, and male [...] Read more.
Odad3 gene loss-of-function mutation leads to Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD), a disease caused by motile cilia dysfunction. Previously, we demonstrated that knockout of the Odad3 gene in mice replicates several features of PCD, such as hydrocephalus, defects in left–right body symmetry, and male infertility, with a complete absence of sperm in the reproductive tract. The majority of Odad3 knockout animals die before sexual maturation due to severe hydrocephalus and failure to thrive, which precludes fertility studies. Here, we performed the expression analysis of the Odad3 gene during gonad development and in adult testes. We showed that Odad3 starts its expression during the first wave of spermatogenesis, specifically at the meiotic stage, and that its expression is restricted to the germ cells in the adult testes, suggesting that Odad3 plays a role in spermatozoa formation. Subsequently, we conditionally deleted the Odad3 gene in adult males and demonstrated that even partial ablation of the Odad3 gene leads to asthenoteratozoospermia with multiple morphological abnormalities of sperm flagella (MMAF) in mice. The analysis of the seminiferous tubules in Odad3-deficient mice revealed defects in spermatogenesis with accumulation of seminiferous tubules at the spermiogenesis and spermiation phases. Furthermore, analysis of fertility in heterozygous Odad3+/− knockout mice revealed a reduction in sperm count and motility as well as abnormal sperm morphology. Additionally, Odad3+/− males exhibited a shorter fertile lifespan. Overall, these results suggest the important role of Odad3 and Odad3 gene dosage in male fertility. These findings may have an impact on the genetic and fertility counseling practice of PCD patients carrying Odad3 loss-of-function mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Cilia in Health and Diseases)
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13 pages, 790 KiB  
Review
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and CRISPR-Cas9 Innovations for Treating Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Glycogen Storage Diseases
by Colin Walsh and Sha Jin
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121052 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 615
Abstract
Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies have become powerful tools in disease modeling and treatment. By harnessing recent biotechnological advancements, this review aims to equip researchers and clinicians with a comprehensive and updated understanding of the evolving treatment landscape [...] Read more.
Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) and CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies have become powerful tools in disease modeling and treatment. By harnessing recent biotechnological advancements, this review aims to equip researchers and clinicians with a comprehensive and updated understanding of the evolving treatment landscape for metabolic and genetic disorders, highlighting how iPSCs provide a unique platform for detailed pathological modeling and pharmacological testing, driving forward precision medicine and drug discovery. Concurrently, CRISPR-Cas9 offers unprecedented precision in gene correction, presenting potential curative therapies that move beyond symptomatic treatment. Therefore, this review examines the transformative role of iPSC technology and CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in addressing metabolic and genetic disorders such as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD) and glycogen storage disease (GSD), which significantly impact liver and pulmonary health and pose substantial challenges in clinical management. In addition, this review discusses significant achievements alongside persistent challenges such as technical limitations, ethical concerns, and regulatory hurdles. Future directions, including innovations in gene-editing accuracy and therapeutic delivery systems, are emphasized for next-generation therapies that leverage the full potential of iPSC and CRISPR-Cas9 technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stem Cells)
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17 pages, 812 KiB  
Review
Hypercalcemia in Cancer: Causes, Effects, and Treatment Strategies
by Patrycja Bartkiewicz, Dominika Kunachowicz, Michał Filipski, Agata Stebel, Julia Ligoda and Nina Rembiałkowska
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121051 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 669
Abstract
Calcium plays central roles in numerous biological processes, thereby, its levels in the blood are under strict control to maintain homeostatic balance and enable the proper functioning of living organisms. The regulatory mechanisms ensuring this balance can be affected by pathologies such as [...] Read more.
Calcium plays central roles in numerous biological processes, thereby, its levels in the blood are under strict control to maintain homeostatic balance and enable the proper functioning of living organisms. The regulatory mechanisms ensuring this balance can be affected by pathologies such as cancer, and as a result, hyper- or hypocalcemia can occur. These states, characterized by elevated or decreased calcium blood levels, respectively, have a significant effect on general homeostasis. This article focuses on a particular form of calcium metabolism disorder, which is hypercalcemia in neoplasms. It also constitutes a summary of the current knowledge regarding the diagnosis of hypercalcemia and its management. Hypercalcemia of malignancy is estimated to affect over 40% of cancer patients and can be associated with both solid and blood cancers. Elevated calcium levels can be an indicator of developing cancer. The main mechanism of hypercalcemia development in tumors appears to be excessive production of parathyroid hormone-related peptides. Among the known treatment methods, bisphosphonates, calcitonin, steroids, and denosumab should be mentioned, but ongoing research promotes progress in pharmacotherapy. Given the rising global cancer prevalence, the problem of hypercalcemia is of high importance and requires attention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cellular Pathology)
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17 pages, 2010 KiB  
Article
Cardiac Development Long Non-Coding RNA (CARDEL) Is Activated during Human Heart Development and Contributes to Cardiac Specification and Homeostasis
by Isabela T. Pereira, Rubens Gomes-Júnior, Aruana Hansel-Frose, Rhaíza S. V. França, Man Liu, Hossam A. N. Soliman, Sunny S. K. Chan, Samuel C. Dudley, Jr., Michael Kyba and Bruno Dallagiovanna
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1050; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121050 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Successful heart development depends on the careful orchestration of a network of transcription factors and signaling pathways. In recent years, in vitro cardiac differentiation using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) has been used to uncover the intricate gene-network regulation involved in the proper [...] Read more.
Successful heart development depends on the careful orchestration of a network of transcription factors and signaling pathways. In recent years, in vitro cardiac differentiation using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) has been used to uncover the intricate gene-network regulation involved in the proper formation and function of the human heart. Here, we searched for uncharacterized cardiac-development genes by combining a temporal evaluation of human cardiac specification in vitro with an analysis of gene expression in fetal and adult heart tissue. We discovered that CARDEL (CARdiac DEvelopment Long non-coding RNA; LINC00890; SERTM2) expression coincides with the commitment to the cardiac lineage. CARDEL knockout hPSCs differentiated poorly into cardiac cells, and hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes showed faster beating rates after controlled overexpression of CARDEL during differentiation. Altogether, we provide physiological and molecular evidence that CARDEL expression contributes to sculpting the cardiac program during cell-fate commitment. Full article
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3 pages, 167 KiB  
Editorial
Understanding Cellular, Molecular, and Functional Specificity, Heterogeneity, and Diversity of the Endocannabinoid System
by Jun Aoki and Masako Isokawa
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121049 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 348
Abstract
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a widely recognized lipid messenger system involved in many aspects of our health and diseases [...] Full article
14 pages, 1036 KiB  
Review
Affinity of PET-MRI Tracers for Hypoxic Cells in Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review
by Ioana-Claudia Costin and Loredana G. Marcu
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121048 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 405
Abstract
Tumour hypoxia is a known microenvironmental culprit for treatment resistance, tumour recurrence and promotion of metastatic spread. Despite the long-known existence of this factor within the tumour milieu, hypoxia is still one of the greatest challenges in cancer management. The transition from invasive [...] Read more.
Tumour hypoxia is a known microenvironmental culprit for treatment resistance, tumour recurrence and promotion of metastatic spread. Despite the long-known existence of this factor within the tumour milieu, hypoxia is still one of the greatest challenges in cancer management. The transition from invasive and less reliable detection methods to more accurate and non-invasive ways to identify and quantify hypoxia was a long process that eventually led to the promising results showed by functional imaging techniques. Hybrid imaging, such as PET-CT, has the great advantage of combining the structural or anatomical image (offered by CT) with the functional or metabolic one (offered by PET). However, in the context of hypoxia, it is only the PET image taken after appropriate radiotracer administration that would supply hypoxia-specific information. To overcome this limitation, the development of the latest hybrid imaging systems, such as PET-MRI, enables a synergistic approach towards hypoxia imaging, with both methods having the potential to provide functional information on the tumour microenvironment. This study is designed as a systematic review of the literature on the newest developments of PET-MRI for the imaging of hypoxic cells in breast cancer. The analysis includes the affinity of various PET-MRI tracers for hypoxia in this patient group as well as the correlations between PET-specific and MRI-specific parameters, to offer a broader view on the potential for the widespread clinical implementation of this hybrid imaging technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hypoxia and Cancer: New Aspects 2.0)
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9 pages, 2199 KiB  
Communication
Ischemic Post-Conditioning in a Rat Model of Asphyxial Cardiac Arrest
by Matthew B. Barajas, Takuro Oyama, Masakazu Shiota, Zhu Li, Maximillian Zaum, Ilija Zecevic and Matthias L. Riess
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121047 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Background: Ischemic post-conditioning (IPoC) has been shown to improve outcomes in limited pre-clinical models. As down-time is often unknown, this technique needs to be investigated over a range of scenarios. As this tool limits reperfusion injury, there may be limited benefit or even [...] Read more.
Background: Ischemic post-conditioning (IPoC) has been shown to improve outcomes in limited pre-clinical models. As down-time is often unknown, this technique needs to be investigated over a range of scenarios. As this tool limits reperfusion injury, there may be limited benefit or even harm after short arrest and limited ischemia-reperfusion injury. Methods: Eighteen male Wistar rats underwent 7 min of asphyxial arrest. Animals randomized to IPoC received a 20 s pause followed by 20 s of compressions, repeated four times, initiated 40 s into cardiopulmonary resuscitation. If return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was achieved, epinephrine was titrated to mean arterial pressure (MAP) of 70 mmHg. Data were analyzed using t-test or Mann–Whitney test. Significance set at p ≤ 0.05. Results: The rate of ROSC was equivalent in both groups, 88%. There was no statistically significant difference in time to ROSC, epinephrine required post ROSC, carotid flow, or peak lactate at any timepoint. There was a significantly elevated MAP with IPoC, 90.7 mmHg (SD 13.9), as compared to standard CPR, 76.7 mmHg (8.5), 2 h after ROSC, p = 0.03. Conclusions: IPoC demonstrated no harm in a model of short arrest using a new arrest etiology for CPR based IPoC intervention in a rat model. Full article
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13 pages, 6815 KiB  
Article
Effect of Bromfenac on Reducing Neuroinflammation in an Ischemia–Reperfusion Glaucoma Model
by Si-Eun Oh, Jie-Hyun Kim, Chan-Kee Park and Hae-Young Lopilly Park
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121046 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 456
Abstract
In the context of glaucoma, intraocular pressure (IOP) and age are recognized as the primary factors contributing to its onset and progression. However, significant reductions in IOP fail to completely halt its advancement. An emerging body of literature highlights the role of neuroinflammation [...] Read more.
In the context of glaucoma, intraocular pressure (IOP) and age are recognized as the primary factors contributing to its onset and progression. However, significant reductions in IOP fail to completely halt its advancement. An emerging body of literature highlights the role of neuroinflammation in glaucoma. This study aimed to explore Bromfenac’s anti-inflammatory properties in mitigating neuroinflammation associated with glaucoma using an ischemia–reperfusion (IR) glaucoma model. Bromfenac’s impact on microglia and astrocytes under pressure was assessed via Western blotting and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Immunohistochemical staining was used to evaluate glial activation and changes in inflammatory marker expression in the IR model. Bromfenac led to the downregulation of inflammatory markers, which were elevated in the conditions of elevated pressure, and necroptosis markers were downregulated in astrocytes. In the IR model, elevated levels of GFAP and Iba-1 indicated glial activation. Following Bromfenac administration, levels of iNOS, COX-2, and PGE2-R were reduced, suggesting a decrease in neuroinflammation. Furthermore, Bromfenac administration in the IR model resulted in the improved survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and preservation of retinal function, as demonstrated by immunohistochemical staining and electroretinography. In summary, Bromfenac proved effective in diminishing neuroinflammation and resulted in enhanced RGC survival. Full article
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23 pages, 7798 KiB  
Review
Stem Cells and Acellular Preparations in Bone Regeneration/Fracture Healing: Current Therapies and Future Directions
by Marcel G. Brown, Davis J. Brady, Kelsey M. Healy, Kaitlin A. Henry, Ayobami S. Ogunsola and Xue Ma
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121045 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Bone/fracture healing is a complex process with different steps and four basic tissue layers being affected: cortical bone, periosteum, fascial tissue surrounding the fracture, and bone marrow. Stem cells and their derivatives, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, [...] Read more.
Bone/fracture healing is a complex process with different steps and four basic tissue layers being affected: cortical bone, periosteum, fascial tissue surrounding the fracture, and bone marrow. Stem cells and their derivatives, including embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, skeletal stem cells, and multipotent stem cells, can function to artificially introduce highly regenerative cells into decrepit biological tissues and augment the healing process at the tissue level. Stem cells are molecularly and functionally indistinguishable from standard human tissues. The widespread appeal of stem cell therapy lies in its potential benefits as a therapeutic technology that, if harnessed, can be applied in clinical settings. This review aims to establish the molecular pathophysiology of bone healing and the current stem cell interventions that disrupt or augment the bone healing process and, finally, considers the future direction/therapeutic options related to stem cells and bone healing. Full article
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14 pages, 4043 KiB  
Article
In Vivo Imaging of Immune Rejection of MIN6 Cells Transplanted in C3H Mice
by Jyuhn-Huarng Juang, Chen-Ling Chen, Chen-Wei Kao, Shu-Ting Wu and Chia-Rui Shen
Cells 2024, 13(12), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells13121044 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Recently, we successfully utilized noninvasive magnetic resonance and bioluminescence imaging to track MIN6 cells subcutaneously transplanted in immunocompromised nude mice for up to 64 days. In this study, we further used bioluminescence imaging to investigate the immune rejection of MIN6 cells in immunocompetent [...] Read more.
Recently, we successfully utilized noninvasive magnetic resonance and bioluminescence imaging to track MIN6 cells subcutaneously transplanted in immunocompromised nude mice for up to 64 days. In this study, we further used bioluminescence imaging to investigate the immune rejection of MIN6 cells in immunocompetent C3H mice. A total of 5 × 106 luciferase-transfected MIN6 cells were implanted into the subcutaneous space of each nude or C3H mouse. After transplantation, hypoglycemia and persistent bioluminescence signals were observed in eight of eight (100%) nude mice and five of nine (56%) C3H mice (p < 0.05). We then presensitized a group of C3H mice with C57BL/6 spleen cells just prior to transplantation (n = 14). Interestingly, none of them had hypoglycemia or persistent bioluminescence signals (p < 0.01 vs. C3H mice without presensitization). Histological examination of the grafts revealed a lack or minimal presence of insulin-positive cells in recipients without hypoglycemia and persistent bioluminescence signals. In contrast, recipients with hypoglycemia and persistent bioluminescence signals showed a significant presence of insulin-positive cells in their grafts. Our results indicate that rejection of MIN6 cells occurred in C3H mice and could be enhanced by presensitization with C57BL/6 spleen cells and that bioluminescence imaging is a useful noninvasive tool for detecting rejection of subcutaneously transplanted MIN6 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islet Transplantation)
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