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Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine

Crystal A Tonnessen-Murray, Guillermina Lozano, James G Jackson
Transformed cells have properties that allow them to survive and proliferate inappropriately. These characteristics often arise as a result of mutations caused by DNA damage. p53 suppresses transformation by removing the proliferative or survival capacity of cells with DNA damage or inappropriate cell-cycle progression. Cellular senescence, marked by morphological and gene expression changes, is a critical component of p53-mediated tumor suppression. In response to stress, p53 can facilitate an arrest and senescence program in cells exposed to stresses such as DNA damage and oncogene activation, preventing transformation...
November 23, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Narsis Attar, Siavash K Kurdistani
p300 and CREB-binding protein (CBP), two homologous lysine acetyltransferases in metazoans, have a myriad of cellular functions. They exert their influence mainly through their roles as transcriptional regulators but also via nontranscriptional effects inside and outside of the nucleus on processes such as DNA replication and metabolism. The versatility of p300/CBP as molecular tools has led to their exploitation by viral oncogenes for cellular transformation and by cancer cells to achieve and maintain an oncogenic phenotype...
November 23, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Nitin Raj, Laura D Attardi
The p53 tumor suppressor is a transcriptional activator, with discrete domains that participate in sequence-specific DNA binding, tetramerization, and transcriptional activation. Mutagenesis and reporter studies have delineated two distinct activation domains (TADs) and specific hydrophobic residues within these TADs that are critical for their function. Knockin mice expressing p53 mutants with alterations in either or both of the two TADs have revealed that TAD1 is critical for responses to acute DNA damage, whereas both TAD1 and TAD2 participate in tumor suppression...
November 18, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Daniel N Weinberg, C David Allis, Chao Lu
Recurrent missense mutations in histone H3 were recently reported in pediatric gliomas and soft tissue tumors. Strikingly, these mutations only affected a minority of the total cellular H3 proteins and occurred at or near lysine residues at positions 27 and 36 on the amino-terminal tail of H3 that are subject to well-characterized posttranslational modifications. Here we review recent progress in elucidating the mechanisms by which these mutations perturb the chromatin landscape in cells through their effects on chromatin-modifying machinery, particularly through inhibition of specific histone lysine methyltransferases...
November 18, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Elamaran Meibalan, Matthias Marti
Understanding transmission biology at an individual level is a key component of intervention strategies that target the spread of malaria parasites from human to mosquito. Gametocytes are specialized sexual stages of the malaria parasite life cycle developed during evolution to achieve crucial steps in transmission. As sexual differentiation and transmission are tightly linked, a deeper understanding of molecular and cellular events defining this relationship is essential to combat malaria. Recent advances in the field are gradually revealing mechanisms underlying sexual commitment, gametocyte sequestration, and dynamics of transmissible stages; however, key questions on fundamental gametocyte biology still remain...
November 11, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Neil T Pfister, Carol Prives
TP53 missense mutations produce a mutant p53 protein that cannot activate the p53 tumor suppressive transcriptional response, which is the primary selective pressure for TP53 mutation. Specific codons of TP53, termed hotspot mutants, are mutated at elevated frequency. Hotspot forms of mutant p53 possess oncogenic properties in addition to being deficient in tumor suppression. Such p53 mutants accumulate to high levels in the cells they inhabit, causing transcriptional alterations that produce pro-oncogenic activities, such as increased pro-growth signaling, invasiveness, and metastases...
November 11, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Kenta Teruya, Katsumi Doh-Ura
Although an effective therapy for prion disease has not yet been established, many advances have been made toward understanding its pathogenesis, which has facilitated research into therapeutics for the disease. Several compounds, including flupirtine, quinacrine, pentosan polysulfate, and doxycycline, have recently been used on a trial basis for patients with prion disease. Concomitantly, several lead antiprion compounds, including compound B (compB), IND series, and anle138b, have been discovered. However, clinical trials are still far from yielding significantly beneficial results, and the findings of lead compound studies in animals have highlighted new challenges...
November 11, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Brandon B Holmes, Marc I Diamond
It is now established that numerous amyloid proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including tau and α-synuclein, have essential characteristics of prions, including the ability to create transmissible cellular pathology in vivo. We have developed cellular bioassays that report on the various features of prion activity using genetic engineering and quantitative fluorescence-based detection systems. We have exploited these biosensors to measure the binding and uptake of tau seeds into cells in culture and to quantify seeding activity in brain samples...
November 4, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Laxmi Silwal-Pandit, Anita Langerød, Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale
Breast and ovarian cancers are the second and fifth leading causes of cancer deaths among women. Both breast and ovarian cancers are highly heterogeneous and are presented with diverse morphology, natural history, and response to therapy. In recent years, international efforts have led to extensive molecular characterization of both breast and ovarian tumors and identified biologically and clinically relevant subtypes of the diseases based on these molecular features. The role of TP53 in tumor initiation and progression is context dependent, and abrogation of the TP53 pathway seems to be essential for the development of basal-like breast cancers and high-grade serous ovarian cancers...
November 4, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Robert G Will, James W Ironside
Human prion diseases are rare neurodegenerative diseases that have become the subject of public and scientific interest because of concerns about interspecies transmission and the unusual biological properties of the causal agents: prions. These diseases are unique in that they occur in sporadic, hereditary, and infectious forms that are characterized by an extended incubation period between exposure to infection and the development of clinical illness. Silent infection can be present in peripheral tissues during the incubation period, which poses a challenge to public health, especially because prions are relatively resistant to standard decontamination procedures...
October 28, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Cameron R Strachan, Julian Davies
The development and rapid dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens has tarnished the dream of a world without infectious diseases. However, our understanding of these processes, paired with sequence information from terrestrial bacterial populations, indicates that there is no shortage of novel natural products that could be developed into new medicines. Regardless, their therapeutic success in the clinic will depend on the introduction of mandatory controls and use restrictions.
October 28, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Robert A Bonomo
β-Lactamases, the enzymes that hydrolyze β-lactam antibiotics, remain the greatest threat to the usage of these agents. In this review, the mechanism of hydrolysis is discussed for both those enzymes that use serine at the active site and those that require divalent zinc ions for hydrolysis. The β-lactamases now include >2000 unique, naturally occurring amino acid sequences. Some of the clinically most important of these are the class A penicillinases, the extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), the AmpC cephalosporinases, and the carbapenem-hydrolyzing enzymes in both the serine and metalloenzyme groups...
October 14, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Susanne Paukner, Rosemarie Riedl
Pleuromutilins are antibiotics that selectively inhibit bacterial translation and are semisynthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring tricyclic diterpenoid pleuromutilin, which received its name from the pleuromutilin-producing fungus Pleurotus mutilus Tiamulin and valnemulin are two established derivatives in veterinary medicine for oral and intramuscular administration. As these early pleuromutilin drugs were developed at a time when companies focused on major antibacterial classes, such as the β-lactams, and resistance was not regarded as an issue, interest in antibiotic research including pleuromutilins was limited...
October 14, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Yuriy Shevchenko, Sherri Bale
Historically, sequencing has been the key technology to assess variation in the genetic code, and has been widely accepted in clinical diagnostics of genetic disease. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods increased the size of the analyzed target by several orders of magnitude, while at the same time drastically reducing the cost of sequencing. Current research allows sequencing of germline and tumor whole genomes. However, with the arrival of cutting-edge technology to the clinical diagnostic field, strict regulatory oversight is required to use the advances of the latest research when applied to routine clinical practice...
September 16, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Christie C Sze, Ali Shilatifard
During development, precise spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression are coordinately controlled by cis-regulatory modules known as enhancers. Their crucial role in development helped spur numerous studies aiming to elucidate the functional properties of enhancers within their physiological and disease contexts. In recent years, the role of enhancer malfunction in tissue-specific tumorigenesis is increasingly investigated. Here, we direct our focus to two primary players in enhancer regulation and their role in cancer pathogenesis: MLL3 and MLL4, members of the COMPASS family of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferases, and their complex-specific subunit UTX, a histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27) demethylase...
September 16, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
John D Martin, Dai Fukumura, Dan G Duda, Yves Boucher, Rakesh K Jain
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 1, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Chad Deisenroth, Derek A Franklin, Yanping Zhang
The progression of our understanding of ribosomal proteins as static building blocks of the ribosome to highly integrated sensors of p53 surveillance and function has achieved a tremendous rate of growth over the past several decades. As the workhorse of the cell, ribosomes are responsible for translating the genetic code into the functional units that drive cell growth and proliferation. The seminal identification of ribosomal protein binding to MDM2, the negative regulator of p53, has evolved into a paradigm for ribosomal protein-MDM2-p53 signaling that extends into processes as diverse as energy metabolism to proliferation...
December 1, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Jason C Bartz
Prion diseases affect a wide range of mammal species and are caused by a misfolded self-propagating isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the normal prion protein (PrP(C)). Distinct strains of prions exist and are operationally defined by differences in a heritable phenotype under controlled experimental transmission conditions. Prion strains can differ in incubation period, clinical signs of disease, tissue tropism, and host range. The mechanism by which a protein-only pathogen can encode strain diversity is only beginning to be understood...
December 1, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Magali De Koninck, Ana Losada
Cohesin is a large ring-shaped protein complex, conserved from yeast to human, which participates in most DNA transactions that take place in the nucleus. It mediates sister chromatid cohesion, which is essential for chromosome segregation and homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA repair. Together with architectural proteins and transcriptional regulators, such as CTCF and Mediator, respectively, it contributes to genome organization at different scales and thereby affects transcription, DNA replication, and locus rearrangement...
December 1, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
Maria Isabel Achatz, Gerard P Zambetti
A common criticism of studying rare diseases is the often-limited relevance of the findings to human health. Here, we review ∼15 years of research into an unusual germline TP53 mutation (p.R337H) that began with its detection in children with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), a remarkably rare childhood cancer that is associated with poor prognosis. We have come to learn that the p.R337H mutation exists at a very high frequency in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, occurring in one of 375 individuals within a total population of ∼100 million...
December 1, 2016: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine
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