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Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine

Jillian A Parker, Carla Mattos
Ras controls a multitude of cellular signaling processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Deregulation of Ras cycling often promotes tumorigenesis and various other developmental disorders, termed RASopothies. Although the structure of Ras has been known for many decades, it is still one of the most highly sought-after drug targets today, and is often referred to as "undruggable." At the center of this paradoxical protein is a lack of understanding of fundamental differences in the G domains between the highly similar Ras isoforms and common oncogenic mutations, despite the immense wealth of knowledge accumulated about this protein to date...
October 16, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Ming Chen, Pier Paolo Pandolfi
Men who develop metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) will invariably succumb to their disease. Thus there remains a pressing need for preclinical testing of new drugs and drug combinations for late-stage prostate cancer (PCa). Insights from the mCRPC genomic landscape have revealed that, in addition to sustained androgen receptor (AR) signaling, there are other actionable molecular alterations and distinct molecular subclasses of PCa; however, the rate at which this knowledge translates into patient care via current preclinical testing is painfully slow and inefficient...
October 16, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Michael Ittmann
The human and murine prostate glands have similar functional roles in the generation of seminal fluid to assist in reproduction. There are significant differences in the anatomy and histology of murine and human prostate and knowledge of the normal anatomy and histology of the murine prostate is essential to interpreting changes in genetically engineered mouse models. In this review, the normal anatomy and histology of both human and mouse prostate will be described.
October 16, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Marta Galán-Díez, Álvaro Cuesta-Domínguez, Stavroula Kousteni
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) interact dynamically with an intricate network of cells in the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment or niche. These interactions provide instructive cues that influence the production and lineage determination of different types of blood cells and maintenance of HSC quiescence. They also contribute to hematopoietic deregulation and hematological myeloid malignancies. Alterations in the BM niche are commonly observed in myeloid malignancies and contribute to the aberrant function of myelodysplastic and leukemia-initiating stem cells...
September 29, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Emma C Watson, Ralf H Adams
Blood vessels are essential for the distribution of oxygen, nutrients, and immune cells, as well as the removal of waste products. In addition to this conventional role as a versatile conduit system, the endothelial cells forming the innermost layer of the vessel wall also possess important signaling capabilities and can control growth, patterning, homeostasis, and regeneration of the surrounding organ. In the skeletal system, blood vessels regulate developmental and regenerative bone formation as well as hematopoiesis by providing vascular niches for hematopoietic stem cells...
September 11, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Agata Adelajda Krygowska, Esther Castellano
RAS proteins are key signaling switches essential for control of proliferation, differentiation, and survival of eukaryotic cells. RAS proteins are mutated in 30% of human cancers. In addition, mutations in upstream or downstream signaling components also contribute to oncogenic activation of the pathway. RAS proteins exert their functions through activation of several signaling pathways and dissecting the contributions of these effectors in normal cells and in cancer is an ongoing challenge. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge about how RAS regulates type I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), one of the main RAS effectors...
August 28, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Roberto Pacifici
Exposed surfaces of mammals are colonized with 100 trillion indigenous bacteria, fungi, and viruses, creating a diverse ecosystem known as the microbiome. The gastrointestinal tract harbors the greatest numbers of these microorganisms, which regulate human nutrition, metabolism, and immune system function. Moreover, the intestinal microbiota contains pro- and anti-inflammatory products that modulate immune responses and may play a role in maintaining gut barrier function. Therefore, the community composition of the microbiota has profound effects on the immune status of the host and impacts the development and/or progression of inflammatory diseases...
August 28, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Johannes L Bos
Our laboratory has studied Ras and Ras-like proteins since the discovery of the Ras oncogene 35 years ago. In this review, I will give an account of what we have done in these 35 years and indicate the main papers that have guided our research. Our efforts started with the early analysis of mutant Ras in human tumors followed by deciphering of the role of Ras in signal transduction pathways. In an attempt to interfere in Ras signaling we turned to Rap proteins. These proteins are the closest relatives of Ras and were initially identified as Ras antagonists...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Paula Mera, Mathieu Ferron, Ioanna Mosialou
Like many other organs, bone can act as an endocrine organ through the secretion of bone-specific hormones or "osteokines." At least two osteokines are implicated in the control of glucose and energy metabolism: osteocalcin (OCN) and lipocalin-2 (LCN2). OCN stimulates the production and secretion of insulin by the pancreatic β-cells, but also favors adaptation to exercise by stimulating glucose and fatty acid (FA) utilization by the muscle. Both of these OCN functions are mediated by the G-protein-coupled receptor GPRC6A...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Anica Wandler, Kevin Shannon
RAS genes are mutated in 5%-40% of a spectrum of myeloid and lymphoid cancers with NRAS affected 2-3 times more often than KRAS Genomic analysis indicates that RAS mutations generally occur as secondary events in leukemogenesis, but are integral to the disease phenotype. The tractable nature of the hematopoietic system has facilitated generating accurate mouse models of hematologic malignancies characterized by hyperactive Ras signaling. These strains provide robust platforms for addressing how oncogenic Ras expression perturbs proliferation, differentiation, and self-renewal programs in stem and progenitor cell populations, for testing potential therapies, and for investigating mechanisms of drug response and resistance...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Dehua Pei, Kuangyu Chen, Hui Liao
Activating Ras mutations are associated with ∼30% of all human cancers and the four Ras isoforms are highly attractive targets for anticancer drug discovery. However, Ras proteins are challenging targets for conventional drug discovery because they function through intracellular protein-protein interactions and their surfaces lack major pockets for small molecules to bind. Over the past few years, researchers have explored a variety of approaches and modalities, with the aim of specifically targeting oncogenic Ras mutants for anticancer treatment...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Marie Courbebaisse, Beate Lanske
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)23 is a phosphaturic hormone produced by osteocytes and osteoblasts that binds to FGF receptors in the presence of the transmembrane protein αKlotho. FGF23 mainly targets the renal proximal tubule to inhibit calcitriol production and the expression of the sodium/phosphate cotransporters NaPi2a and NaPi2c, thus inhibiting renal phosphate reabsorption. FGF23 also acts on the parathyroid glands to inhibit parathyroid hormone synthesis and secretion. FGF23 regulation involves many systemic and local factors, among them calcitriol, phosphate, and parathyroid hormone...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Matthias Drosten, Carmen Guerra, Mariano Barbacid
K-RAS signaling has been intensely studied for over 40 years. Yet, as of today, no drugs have been approved to treat K-RAS mutant cancers. Since the turn of the century, scientists have used genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models to reproduce K-RAS mutant cancers in a laboratory setting to elucidate those molecular events responsible for the onset and progression of these tumors and to identify suitable therapies. In this review, we outline a brief description of available GEM models for two tumor types known to be driven by K-RAS mutations: lung adenocarcinoma and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma...
August 4, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Gilbert Gallardo, David M Holtzman
The astonishing findings that active and passive immunization against amyloid-β (Aβ) in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dramatically decreased amyloid burden led to a rapid initiation of human clinical trials with much enthusiasm. However, methodological issues and adverse effects relating to these clinical trials arose, challenging the effectiveness and safety of these reagents. Efforts are now underway to develop safer immunotherapeutic approaches toward Aβ and the treatment of individuals at risk for AD before or in the earliest stages of cognitive decline with new hopes...
October 3, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
George K Tofaris, Michel Goedert, Maria Grazia Spillantini
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, with only partial symptomatic therapy and no mechanism-based therapies. The accumulation and aggregation of α-synuclein is causatively linked to the sporadic form of the disease, which accounts for 95% of cases. The pathology is a result of a gain of toxic function of misfolded α-synuclein conformers, which can template the aggregation of soluble monomers and lead to cellular dysfunction, at least partly by interfering with membrane fusion events at synaptic terminals...
September 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Lin Guo, James Shorter
Cytoplasmic TDP-43 mislocalization and aggregation is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. TDP-43 is an RNA-binding protein (RBP) with a prion-like domain (PrLD) that promotes TDP-43 misfolding. PrLDs possess compositional similarity to canonical prion domains of various yeast proteins, including Sup35. Strikingly, disease-causing TDP-43 mutations reside almost exclusively in the PrLD and can enhance TDP-43 misfolding and toxicity. Another ∼70 human RBPs harbor PrLDs, including FUS, TAF15, EWSR1, hnRNPA1, and hnRNPA2, which have surfaced in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases...
September 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Subramanian Venkatesan, Charles Swanton, Barry S Taylor, Joseph F Costello
Despite the great progress in our understanding of the molecular basis of human cancer, the heterogeneity of individual tumors and the evolutionary pressures imposed by therapy have hampered our ability to effectively eradicate and control this disease. How, therefore, do cancers evolve under the selective pressures of cancer therapy? Recent studies have linked both primary (or de novo) and acquired treatment resistance to intratumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution. Resistance to targeted therapies often includes mutation of the drug target itself and aberrations of pathways upstream of, downstream from, or parallel to the drug target...
August 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Robert L Bowman, Ross L Levine
The ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of enzymes were originally cloned from the translocation breakpoint of t(10;11) in infant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with subsequent genomic analyses revealing somatic mutations and suppressed expression of TET family members across a range of malignancies, particularly enriched in hematological neoplasms. The TET family of enzymes is responsible for the hydroxylation of 5-methylcytosines (5-mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), followed by active and passive mechanisms leading to DNA demethylation...
August 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Leslie I Grad, Guy A Rouleau, John Ravits, Neil R Cashman
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is primarily characterized by progressive loss of motor neurons, although there is marked phenotypic heterogeneity between cases. Typical, or "classical," ALS is associated with simultaneous upper motor neuron (UMN) and lower motor neuron (LMN) involvement at disease onset, whereas atypical forms, such as primary lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy, have early and predominant involvement in the UMN and LMN, respectively. The varying phenotypes can be so distinctive that they would seem to have differing biology...
August 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Sina Ghaemmaghami
Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by the misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a pathogenic conformation (PrP(Sc)). PrP(Sc) is capable of folding into multiple self-replicating prion strains that produce phenotypically distinct neurological disorders. Evidence suggests that the structural heterogeneity of PrP(Sc) is the molecular basis of strain-specific prion properties. The self-templating of PrP(Sc) typically ensures that prion strains breed true upon passage...
August 1, 2017: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
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