Blogs for February 2018

Autophagy in the Tumor Microenvironment

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 13:32
Biogenesis Molecular

By Christina Towers, PhD.

The last 20 years of cancer research have taught us the vast complexities of this life-altering disease. In the last 5 years we have realized that those complexities might extend beyond the cancer cells.  The role of the tumor microenvironment (TME) is now front and center in almost every aspect of cancer biology, and autophagy is no exception.  The TME consists of a gamut of different cell types that include supporting stroma like fibroblasts and endothelial cells, as well as immune cells. Recent reports have indicated an important role for autophagy in the crosstalk between...

Cross-talk between proteasome degradation and lysosomal degradation

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 11:39
Autophagy Pathway

By Christina Towers, PhD.

Misfolded and damaged proteins are degraded by two canonical mechanisms in the cell including the ubiquitin-mediated proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy.  Proteins can be targeted for degradation by their N-terminal amino acid which can be modified to become an N-degron.  N-degrons allow for selective degradation first through the UPS, however, if the proteasome is not highly functional, these proteins may be degraded via autophagy, a lysosomal mediated form of proteolysis 1. While many studies have shown that...

Application Focus: New Methods for iPSC Differentiation, Inducing a Mammary Fate

Monday, February 12, 2018 - 15:51
Lactalbumin Antibody Immunohistochemistry Paraffin NBP1-87715

Discovery of the Key to Pluripotency

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may be generated from a wide range of fully differentiated cells, and under optimal conditions may be prompted to differentiate into virtually any fate. Induced stem-like cells not only provide an alternative to embryonic stem cells, but more importantly represent powerful tools for drug development and disease modeling.1

Methods for the induction of pluripotency were developed in 2006, when genes critical for cellular reprograming were identified by Yamanaka and Takahashi, including OCT4, SOX2,...

Stemness for Surviving Hypoxia: TGF-beta/Smad Signaling in Multiple Myeloma

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 13:06
TGF-B Pathway

By Jamshed Arslan Pharm.D.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells. The bone marrow (BM) of MM patients is hypoxic, and MM cells overexpress many cancerous genes that are regulated by hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). Cancer stem cells (CSCs) in the hypoxic BM regions are blamed for the incurability of MM, because CSCs are often resistant to drugs currently used against BM cancers (including proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents). Dr. Eishi Ashihara at the Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan, and colleagues, set out to characterize the biology of MM stem cells. They found that TGF-beta...

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