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Advances on Cancer Molecular Mechanisms and Immunotherapy

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 June 2021) | Viewed by 20993

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
2. Interuniversity Center for the Promotion of 3Rs Principle in Teaching and Research, Centro 3R, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: tissue engineering; scaffold; hydrogels; drug release
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Turin, 10126 Turin, Italy
Interests: pancreatic tumor; identification of antigens as diagnostic markers and potential immunotherapeutic targets; DNA vaccination; inflammation and fibrosis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
DIMEAS, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: multiscale modelling; taste; artificial intelligence; physiology and pathology dynamics; bioengineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
2. Interuniversity Center for the Promotion of 3Rs Principle in Teaching and Research, Centro 3R, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Interests: hydrogels; coatings; surface functionalization; tissue engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: nanoparticles; extracellular vesicles; drug delivery; nanomedicine; in vitro study; nanotoxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Immunotherapy is one of the most promising strategies for cancer treatment. However, in certain patient populations, its therapeutic efficacy has been limited by adverse effects such as therapeutic resistance and autoimmunity. Recent advances in the field have suggested that a synergic combination of medicine, bionanotechnologies, and bioengineering could greatly improve the therapeutic outcome of immunotherapy strategies targeting cancer. This endeavor requires a better understanding of cancer molecular mechanisms, immunological barriers in cancer, and subcellular level phenomena driving immune system function.
This Special Issue focuses on the most recent advances in cancer knowledge and related immunotherapy.
Participation with research papers, short communications, and reviews focused on the abovementioned topics is highly encouraged, and can include nano and molecular tools, biological studies, molecular and multiscale modelling, bioinformatics, machine learning applied to shed light on cancer mechanisms, and potential applications of cancer immunotherapy.
The Special Issue is associated with but not limited to the results presented within the international workshop "Nanoscience in Cancer Immunotherapy" to be held virtually on 9-11 March 2021 (https://www.cancerto.it/). The meeting provides an opportunity for discussion on the most recent advances in tumor immunology, with a focus on nano-bio-technology as a strategy to foster the impact of immunotherapy on cancer treatment.

Prof. Dr. Valeria Chiono
Prof. Dr. Paola Cappello
Prof. Dr. Marco Agostino Deriu
Prof. Dr. Irene Carmagnola
Dr. Tania Limongi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cancer molecular mechanisms
  • tumor immunology
  • in vitro and animal models
  • nanotechnology-based delivery systems
  • nanoparticles
  • molecular and multiscale modelling
  • machine learning techniques to rationalize clinical and biological data
  • nanomedicine

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 6394 KiB  
Article
A Human Pan-Cancer System Analysis of Procollagen-Lysine, 2-Oxoglutarate 5-Dioxygenase 3 (PLOD3)
by Siming Gong, Yingjuan Duan, Changwu Wu, Georg Osterhoff, Nikolas Schopow and Sonja Kallendrusch
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 9903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22189903 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4682
Abstract
The overexpression of the enzymes involved in the degradation of procollagen lysine is correlated with various tumor entities. Procollagen-lysine, 2-oxoglutarate 5-dioxygenase 3 (PLOD3) expression was found to be correlated to the progression and migration of cancer cells in gastric, lung and prostate cancer. [...] Read more.
The overexpression of the enzymes involved in the degradation of procollagen lysine is correlated with various tumor entities. Procollagen-lysine, 2-oxoglutarate 5-dioxygenase 3 (PLOD3) expression was found to be correlated to the progression and migration of cancer cells in gastric, lung and prostate cancer. Here, we analyzed the gene expression, protein expression, and the clinical parameters of survival across 33 cancers based on the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC), function annotation of the mammalian genome 5 (FANTOM5), Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx), Human Protein Atlas (HPA) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) databases. Genetic alteration, immune infiltration and relevant cellular pathways were analyzed in detail. PLOD3 expression negatively correlated with survival periods and the infiltration level of CD8+ T cells, but positively correlated to the infiltration of cancer associated fibroblasts in diverse cancers. Immunohistochemistry in colon carcinomas, glioblastomas, and soft tissue sarcomas further confirm PLOD 3 expression in human cancer tissue. Moreover, amplification and mutation accounted for the largest proportion in esophageal adenocarcinoma and uterine corpus endometrial carcinoma, respectively; the copy number alteration of PLOD3 appeared in all cancers from TCGA; and molecular mechanisms further proved the effect of PLOD3 on tumorigenesis. In particular, PLOD3 expression appears to have a tumor immunological effect, and is related to multiple immune cells. Furthermore, it is also associated with tumor mutation burden and microsatellite instability in various tumors. PLOD3 acts as an inducer of various cancers, and it could be a potential biomarker for prognosis and targeted treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances on Cancer Molecular Mechanisms and Immunotherapy)
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17 pages, 6767 KiB  
Article
Integrative and Comprehensive Pancancer Analysis of Regulator of Chromatin Condensation 1 (RCC1)
by Changwu Wu, Yingjuan Duan, Siming Gong, Sonja Kallendrusch, Nikolas Schopow and Georg Osterhoff
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(14), 7374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22147374 - 9 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2902
Abstract
Regulator of Chromatin Condensation 1 (RCC1) is the only known guanine nucleotide exchange factor that acts on the Ras-like G protein Ran and plays a key role in cell cycle regulation. Although there is growing evidence to support the relationship between RCC1 and [...] Read more.
Regulator of Chromatin Condensation 1 (RCC1) is the only known guanine nucleotide exchange factor that acts on the Ras-like G protein Ran and plays a key role in cell cycle regulation. Although there is growing evidence to support the relationship between RCC1 and cancer, detailed pancancer analyses have not yet been performed. In this genome database study, based on The Cancer Genome Atlas, Genotype-Tissue Expression and Gene Expression Omnibus databases, the potential role of RCC1 in 33 tumors’ entities was explored. The results show that RCC1 is highly expressed in most human malignant neoplasms in contrast to healthy tissues. RCC1 expression is closely related to the prognosis of a broad variety of tumor patients. Enrichment analysis showed that some tumor-related pathways such as “cell cycle” and “RNA transport” were involved in the functional mechanism of RCC1. In particular, the conducted analysis reveals the relation of RCC1 to multiple immune checkpoint genes and suggests that the regulation of RCC1 is closely related to tumor infiltration of cancer-associated fibroblasts and CD8+ T cells. Coherent data demonstrate the association of RCC1 with the tumor mutation burden and microsatellite instability in various tumors. These findings provide new insights into the role of RCC1 in oncogenesis and tumor immunology in various tumors and indicate its potential as marker for therapy prognosis and targeted treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances on Cancer Molecular Mechanisms and Immunotherapy)
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Review

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23 pages, 2831 KiB  
Review
Teneurins: Role in Cancer and Potential Role as Diagnostic Biomarkers and Targets for Therapy
by Giulia Peppino, Roberto Ruiu, Maddalena Arigoni, Federica Riccardo, Antonella Iacoviello, Giuseppina Barutello and Elena Quaglino
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052321 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3367
Abstract
Teneurins have been identified in vertebrates as four different genes (TENM1-4), coding for membrane proteins that are mainly involved in embryonic and neuronal development. Genetic studies have correlated them with various diseases, including developmental problems, neurological disorders and congenital general anosmia. There is [...] Read more.
Teneurins have been identified in vertebrates as four different genes (TENM1-4), coding for membrane proteins that are mainly involved in embryonic and neuronal development. Genetic studies have correlated them with various diseases, including developmental problems, neurological disorders and congenital general anosmia. There is some evidence to suggest their possible involvement in cancer initiation and progression, and drug resistance. Indeed, mutations, chromosomal alterations and the deregulation of teneurins expression have been associated with several tumor types and patient survival. However, the role of teneurins in cancer-related regulatory networks is not fully understood, as both a tumor-suppressor role and pro-tumoral functions have been proposed, depending on tumor histotype. Here, we summarize and discuss the literature data on teneurins expression and their potential role in different tumor types, while highlighting the possibility of using teneurins as novel molecular diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and as targets for cancer treatments, such as immunotherapy, in some tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances on Cancer Molecular Mechanisms and Immunotherapy)
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26 pages, 2192 KiB  
Review
Toll-Like Receptor 2 at the Crossroad between Cancer Cells, the Immune System, and the Microbiota
by Antonino Di Lorenzo, Elisabetta Bolli, Lidia Tarone, Federica Cavallo and Laura Conti
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(24), 9418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21249418 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 8815
Abstract
Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) expressed on myeloid cells mediates the recognition of harmful molecules belonging to invading pathogens or host damaged tissues, leading to inflammation. For this ability to activate immune responses, TLR2 has been considered a player in anti-cancer immunity. Therefore, TLR2 [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) expressed on myeloid cells mediates the recognition of harmful molecules belonging to invading pathogens or host damaged tissues, leading to inflammation. For this ability to activate immune responses, TLR2 has been considered a player in anti-cancer immunity. Therefore, TLR2 agonists have been used as adjuvants for anti-cancer immunotherapies. However, TLR2 is also expressed on neoplastic cells from different malignancies and promotes their proliferation through activation of the myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MyD88)/nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cell (NF-κB) pathway. Furthermore, its activation on regulatory immune cells may contribute to the generation of an immunosuppressive microenvironment and of the pre-metastatic niche, promoting cancer progression. Thus, TLR2 represents a double-edge sword, whose role in cancer needs to be carefully understood for the setup of effective therapies. In this review, we discuss the divergent effects induced by TLR2 activation in different immune cell populations, cancer cells, and cancer stem cells. Moreover, we analyze the stimuli that lead to its activation in the tumor microenvironment, addressing the role of danger, pathogen, and microbiota-associated molecular patterns and their modulation during cancer treatments. This information will contribute to the scientific debate on the use of TLR2 agonists or antagonists in cancer treatment and pave the way for new therapeutic avenues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances on Cancer Molecular Mechanisms and Immunotherapy)
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