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Trends in Molecular Medicine

Patrick Küry, Avindra Nath, Alain Créange, Antonina Dolei, Patrice Marche, Julian Gold, Gavin Giovannoni, Hans-Peter Hartung, Hervé Perron
The causes of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have long remained elusive. A new category of pathogenic components, normally dormant within human genomes, has been identified: human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). These represent ∼8% of the human genome, and environmental factors have reproducibly been shown to trigger their expression. The resulting production of envelope (Env) proteins from HERV-W and HERV-K appears to engage pathophysiological pathways leading to the pathognomonic features of MS and ALS, respectively...
March 15, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Julian A Gingold, Dandan Zhu, Dung-Fang Lee, Ahmed Kaseb, Jian Chen
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), the two most common primary liver cancers, represent the second most common cancer-related cause of death worldwide, with most cases being diagnosed at an advanced stage. Recent genome-wide studies have helped to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis and genetic heterogeneity of liver cancers. This review of the genetic landscape of HCC and iCCA discusses the most recent findings from genomic profiling and the current understanding of the pathways involved in the initiation and progression of liver cancer...
March 9, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Giovanna Flores-Mendoza, Stephanie P Sansón, Santiago Rodríguez-Castro, José C Crispín, Florencia Rosetti
Disease heterogeneity remains a major challenge for the understanding of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recent work has revealed the important role of nonimmune factors in the development of end-organ damage involvement, shifting the current paradigm that views SLE as a disease inflicted by a disturbed immune system on passive target organs. Here, we discuss the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis in a comprehensive manner, by incorporating the role that target organs play by withstanding and modulating the local inflammatory response...
March 8, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Almudena García-Ortiz, Juan M Serrador
Nitric oxide (NO) is a key messenger in the pathogenesis of inflammation, linking innate and adaptive immunity. By targeting signaling molecules, NO from inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and endothelial (e)NOS affects T helper cell differentiation and the effector functions of T lymphocytes, and is a potential target for therapeutic manipulation. In this review we discuss the regulatory actions exerted by NO on T cell functions, focusing on S-nitrosylation as an important post-translational modification by which NO acts as a signaling molecule during T cell-mediated immunity...
March 5, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Ramzi Nehmar, Alexandre Mariotte, Aurore de Cauwer, Jean Sibilia, Seiamak Bahram, Philippe Georgel
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactorial immune disease exhibiting diverse clinical responses to specific therapeutic agents. Such heterogeneity reflects variable activation of signaling pathways. Consequently, RA physiopathology has been linked to many immune cells and factors, with controversial observations for interferons (IFNs). In this opinion article, we review the roles of these cytokines and the cells that produce them in light of recent data: clinical observations showing that expression of IFN-dependent genes does not reflect RA activity and RA mouse models in which the stimulation of IFN-dependent pathways provided disease protection...
March 5, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Luis Varela, Tamas L Horvath
Melanocortin receptors play crucial roles in multiple physiological processes. Melanocortin receptor 4 (MC4R) is expressed in key brain regions, and MC4R gene mutations can cause severe obesity. However, the cellular biology of MC4R is less well understood owing to the lack of reliable methods to visualize its location. Recently, Siljee and colleagues localized MC4R to the cilia of the neurons within the hypothalamus and showed that cilial expression of MC4R is crucial for the control of metabolic phenotype...
February 28, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Khatuna Gagnidze, Violeta Rayon-Estrada, Sheila Harroch, Karen Bulloch, F Nina Papavasiliou
The transfer of genomic information from DNA to mRNA to protein usually occurs with high fidelity, but can also be subverted by a programmed RNA sequence alteration termed 'RNA editing', involving deamination of adenosine to inosine (decoded as guanosine), or of cytosine to uracil. These sequence changes can lead to cellular heterogeneity by generating variable sets of transcripts within otherwise identical cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that editing is most prevalent in cells and tissues with high propensity for plasticity...
February 23, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Luke A J O'Neill, Zbigniew Zaslona
In a recent study, Christ and colleagues identify a key role for NLRP3/IL-1beta in the induction of innate immune memory in monocytes by the Western diet, promoting atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases.
February 23, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Gunter Maubach, Ann-Christin Schmädicke, Michael Naumann
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 15, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Ivano Luigi Colao, Randolph Corteling, Daniel Bracewell, Ivan Wall
Extracellular vesicles, in particular the subclass exosomes, are rapidly emerging as a novel therapeutic platform. However, currently very few clinical validation studies and no clearly defined manufacturing process exist. As exosomes progress towards the clinic for treatment of a vast array of diseases, it is important to define the engineering basis for their manufacture early in the development cycle to ensure they can be produced cost-effectively at the appropriate scale. We hypothesize that transitioning to defined manufacturing platforms will increase consistency of the exosome product and improve their clinical advancement as a new therapeutic tool...
February 12, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Gayatri Arun, Sarah D Diermeier, David L Spector
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a significant population of the human transcriptome. Many lncRNAs exhibit cell- and/or tissue/tumor-specific expression, making them excellent candidates for therapeutic applications. In this review we discuss examples of lncRNAs that demonstrate the diversity of their function in various cancer types. We also discuss recent advances in nucleic acid drug development with a focus on oligonucleotide-based therapies as a novel approach to inhibit tumor progression. The increased success rates of nucleic acid therapeutics provide an outstanding opportunity to explore lncRNAs as viable therapeutic targets to combat various aspects of cancer progression...
February 12, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Melanie D White, Ziqing W Zhao, Nicolas Plachta
Live imaging has transformed biomedical sciences by enabling visualization and analysis of dynamic cellular processes as they occur in their native contexts. Here, we review key recent efforts applying in vivo optical imaging with single-cell resolution to mammalian systems ranging from embryos to adult tissues and organs. We highlight insights into active processes regulating cell fate and morphogenesis during embryonic development, how neuronal circuitry and non-neuronal cell types contribute to neurological functions, and how novel imaging-based approaches enable the dissection of neurological disorders and cancer with high spatio-temporal resolution...
February 10, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Vijay A K Rathinam, Francis Ka-Ming Chan
Organismal fitness demands proper response to neutralize the threat from infection or injury. At the mammalian intestinal epithelium barrier, the inflammasome coordinates an elaborate tissue repair response marked by the induction of antimicrobial peptides, wound-healing cytokines, and reparative proliferation of epithelial stem cells. The inflammasome in myeloid and intestinal epithelial compartments exerts these effects in part through maintenance of a healthy microbiota. Disease-associated mutations and elevated expression of certain inflammasome sensors have been identified...
February 9, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Helen M Heymann, Adriana M Gardner, Eric R Gross
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) screening frequently involves questionnaires complemented by laboratory work to monitor alcohol use and/or evaluate AUD-associated complications. Here we suggest that measuring aldehyde-induced DNA and protein adducts produced during alcohol metabolism may lead to earlier detection of AUD and AUD-associated complications compared with existing biomarkers. Use of aldehyde-induced adducts to monitor AUD may also be important when considering that approximately 540 million people bear a genetic variant of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) predisposing this population to aldehyde-induced toxicity with alcohol use...
February 5, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
James W Baurley, Christopher S McMahan, Carolyn M Ervin, Bens Pardamean, Andrew W Bergen
There are limited biomarkers for substance use disorders (SUDs). Traditional statistical approaches are identifying simple biomarkers in large samples, but clinical use cases are still being established. High-throughput clinical, imaging, and 'omic' technologies are generating data from SUD studies and may lead to more sophisticated and clinically useful models. However, analytic strategies suited for high-dimensional data are not regularly used. We review strategies for identifying biomarkers and biosignatures from high-dimensional data types...
February 3, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Emilis Bružas, Mikala Egeblad
Cancer cells can directly stimulate the generation and recruitment of tumor-supportive bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs), including neutrophils, via secreted factors. A new study demonstrates that lung tumors also remotely activate bone-residing osteoblasts, which in turn promote neutrophil production. This is a multistep mechanism of establishing a supportive tumor microenvironment.
February 2, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Marilyn A Huestis, Michael L Smith
Understanding cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid intake history is vital for treating drug dependence, investigating cannabinoid effects, and providing information to healthcare personnel, medical examiners, and public health officials; this is particularly relevant today with cannabis medicalization and legalization. Required information includes identifying exposure, time of use, frequency of use, relapse, withdrawal, and predicting cannabinoid effects. Recent controlled cannabinoid administration studies enable the development of models and markers to better identify patterns of intake and exposure...
February 2, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Feixiong Cheng, Joseph Loscalzo
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is caused by many disorders that affect the pulmonary vasculature. A recent study has provided evidence that pulmonary vascular remodeling and PH can be observed in lung cancer, and this may be associated with tumor cell-immune cell inflammatory crosstalk. These findings highlight the pressing need to understand better and manage pulmonary vascular comorbidities in lung cancer.
February 1, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Reza Ghanbari, Susan Sumner
Drug addiction has been associated with an increased risk for cancer, psychological complications, heart, liver, and lung disease, as well as infection. While genes have been identified that can mark individuals at risk for substance abuse, the initiation step of addiction is attributed to persistent metabolic disruptions occurring following the first instance of narcotic drug use. Advances in analytical technologies can enable the detection of thousands of signals in body fluids and excreta that can be used to define biochemical profiles of addiction...
January 31, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
Raoul Belzeaux, Laurence Lalanne, Brigitte L Kieffer, Pierre-Eric Lutz
Substance use disorders (SUD) and behavioral addictions are devastating conditions that impose a severe burden on all societies, and represent difficult challenges for clinicians. Therefore, biomarkers are urgently needed to help predict vulnerability, clinical course, and response to treatment. Here, we elaborate on the potential for addiction biomarker discovery of the opioid system, particularly within the emerging framework aiming to probe opioid function in peripheral tissues. Mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors all critically regulate neurobiological and behavioral processes that define addiction, and are also targeted by major pharmacotherapies used in the management of patients with SUD...
January 27, 2018: Trends in Molecular Medicine
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