Blogs for February 2021

Pattern recognition receptors (PRR) expression and function in endothelial cells

Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 16:02
Banner image cartoon depicting a portion of the TLR signaling pathway.

By Victoria Osinski

What are Pattern recognition receptors?

Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize and respond to Pattern- and Damage-associated molecular patterns (PAMP and DAMPs) in a number of different cell types. The PRR family can be broken down into sub-families of receptors (Table 1). While first identified in the context of infection, these receptors and signaling pathways are involved in many disease contexts including ischemia, cancer, atherosclerosis, and autoimmunity.2,16,18 Broadly, PRR signaling can regulate cell death...

COVID-19 and the Cardiovascular System: Observed complications and potential mechanisms

Friday, February 12, 2021 - 13:55
Banner image showing COVID-19 virus with spike protein.

By Victoria Osinski

The outbreak of COVID-19 resulting from the transmission of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in many cases of illness typically manifesting in minor to severe respiratory symptoms. However, additional cardiovascular complications have been observed in a subset of patients as well, prompting further inquiry into the mechanisms of infection and response to SARS-CoV-2. While advancements have been made into answering these questions, it is still...

Autophagy and RAS signaling: Clinical implications

Monday, February 1, 2021 - 12:21
Immunocytochemical staining of fixed and permeabilized HeLa cells treated with chloroquine, incubated with LC3B (green) and tubulin (red) antibodies, and counterstained with DAPI to visualized DNA.

By Christina Towers, PhD

The cellular recycling process known as autophagy is currently being targeted in over 60 clinical trials focused on treating different types of cancer1. To date, the only autophagy-targeted agents used in patients are late stage autophagy inhibitors that target the lysosome, including chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Over the...


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