Improved Prognostic Testing for Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Approximately 40% of patients with stage I-III triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have recurrences after standard treatment, whereas the remaining 60% experience long-term disease-free survival. However, there are currently no clinical tests to assess the risk of recurrence in TNBC patients. Continue reading → Improved Prognostic Testing for Patients with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

The Role of Cholesterol in Activating a Key Cellular Signaling Pathway

Hedgehog signaling promotes embryonic development and, when aberrant, can lead to malignancies. The seven-transmembrane transducer Smoothened (SMO) occupies a key node in this pathway and is activated by cholesterol. Continue reading → The Role of Cholesterol in Activating a Key Cellular Signaling Pathway

Improved Genetic Models for Non-small-cell Lung Cancer

Oliver and colleagues developed a genetic model of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)-squamous cell carcinoma and used the model to show how lineage-defining transcription factors such as Sox2 and NKX2-1 activate genes and pathways that determine different tumor immune microenvironments. Continue reading → Improved Genetic Models for Non-small-cell Lung Cancer

Mechanisms of Epigenetic Inheritance

A central issue in epigenetics is whether and how epigenetic information in gametes (sperm and egg) is inherited. Cairns and colleagues discovered that “Placeholder” nucleosomes, containing histone variants, occupy DNA regions lacking methylation in both sperm and early embryos. Continue reading → Mechanisms of Epigenetic Inheritance

Genes Responsible for Maintaining Embryonic Developmental Potential

A major question concerning early embryos involves how early cleavage-stage (two-cell) embryos establish unlimited developmental potential – termed totipotency. Cairns and colleagues identified the multicopy retrogene, DUX4 in humans or Dux in mice, as a transcription factor that is turned on in very early embryos and activates hundreds of genes and retroviral elements during cleavage stage. Continue reading → Genes Responsible for Maintaining Embryonic Developmental Potential

Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

A vital issue in cell biology is how epithelial sheets provide a barrier while balancing cell growth and death, and withstand the stretching forces that sheets experience in vivo. Rosenblatt and colleagues demonstrated that mechanical stretching stimulates epithelial cell division and characterized the stretch-sensitive Piezo1 channel as well as the downstream signaling that triggers cell division. Continue reading → Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors

Cancers arise from the complex interplay of oncogene activation and tumor suppressor inactivation. Oliver and colleagues uncovered how Myc cooperates with other oncogene products to promote aggressive, highly metastatic lung tumors. Continue reading → Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors

Defining Pathways for Bone Destruction and Preservation in Cancer

Bone destruction occurs during aging and numerous diseases, such as osteoporosis and cancer. Many cancer patients, including those with breast-to-bone metastasis, have bone osteolysis that is refractory to state-of-the-art treatments. Continue reading → Defining Pathways for Bone Destruction and Preservation in Cancer