Targeting PAK4 to Reprogram the Vascular Microenvironment and Improve CAR-T Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma

PAK4 knockout induced adhesion protein re-expression in endothelial cells, reduced vascular abnormalities, improved T cell infiltration and inhibits glioblastoma growth in mice.
[Nature Cancer]
Ma, W., Wang, Y., Zhang, R., Yang, F., Zhang, D., Huang, M., Zhang, L., Dorsey, J. F., Binder, Z. A., O’Rourke, D. M., Fraietta, J. A., Gong, Y., & Fan, Y. (2020). Targeting PAK4 to reprogram the vascular microenvironment and improve CAR-T immunotherapy for glioblastoma. Nature Cancer, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-00147-8 Cite
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3D Bioprinting of Bicellular Liver Lobule-Mimetic Structures via Microextrusion of Cellulose Nanocrystal-Incorporated Shear-Thinning Bioink

By controlling the degree of substitution and polymer concentration, a GelMA bioink was designed to encapsulate hepatoma cells, as gelatin methacryloyl gel possesses the desired low mechanical stiffness matching that of human liver tissue.
[Scientific Reports]
Wu, Y., Wenger, A., Golzar, H., & Tang, X. (Shirley). (2020). 3D bioprinting of bicellular liver lobule-mimetic structures via microextrusion of cellulose nanocrystal-incorporated shear-thinning bioink. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 20648. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77146-3 Cite
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Bioinspired Functional Black Phosphorus Electrospun Fibers Achieving Recruitment and Biomineralization for Staged Bone Regeneration

A bioinspired staged bone regeneration strategy which loads bone morphogenetic protein2 (BMP2)‐modified black phosphorus nanosheets to a polylactic acid electrospun fibrous scaffold, with a combination of recruiting osteoblast precursor cells and biomineralization properties for bone regeneration, was constructed successfully by micro‐sol electrospinning technique.
[Small]
Cheng, L., Chen, Z., Cai, Z., Zhao, J., Lu, M., Liang, J., Wang, F., Qi, J., Cui, W., & Deng, L. (n.d.). Bioinspired Functional Black Phosphorus Electrospun Fibers Achieving Recruitment and Biomineralization for Staged Bone Regeneration. Small, n/a(n/a), 2005433. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202005433 Cite
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Legumain Is a Predictor of All-Cause Mortality and Potential Therapeutic Target in Acute Myocardial Infarction

Scientists explored the predictive role of legumain—which showed the ability in ECM degradation—in an acute myocardial infarction patient cohort and investigated the underlying mechanisms.
[Cell Death & Disease]
Yang, H., He, Y., Zou, P., Hu, Y., Li, X., Tang, L., Zhu, Z., Tai, S., Tu, T., Xiao, Y., Chen, M., Wu, C., & Zhou, S. (2020). Legumain is a predictor of all-cause mortality and potential therapeutic target in acute myocardial infarction. Cell Death & Disease, 11(11), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03211-4 Cite
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The Fibrotic and Immune Microenvironments as Targetable Drivers of Metastasis

Cancer cells do not exist in isolation: rather, they exist within a complex microenvironment composed of stromal cells and ECM. Within this tumor microenvironment exists an interplay between the two main stromal cell subtypes, cancer-associated fibroblasts and immune cells, that are important in controlling metastasis.
[British Journal of Cancer]
Boulter, L., Bullock, E., Mabruk, Z., & Brunton, V. G. (2020). The fibrotic and immune microenvironments as targetable drivers of metastasis. British Journal of Cancer, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01172-1 Cite
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Antagonistic Effects of Activin A and Tnf-α on the Activation of L929 Fibroblast Cells via Smad3-Independent Signaling

The authors revealed that TNF-α promoted the release of NO and IL-6 by L929 fibroblast cells, but co-treatment with activin A attenuated these effects. In contrast, activin A induced cell migration and increased the production of tissue fibrosis-related TGF-β1 and fibronectin, while TNF-α inhibited these function changes of L929 cells induced by activin A.
[Scientific Reports]
Jiang, L., Liu, B., Qi, Y., Zhu, L., Cui, X., & Liu, Z. (2020). Antagonistic effects of activin A and TNF-α on the activation of L929 fibroblast cells via Smad3-independent signaling. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 20623. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77783-8 Cite
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Systems Biology Analysis of Osteogenic Differentiation Behavior by Canine Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Bone Marrow and Dental Pulp

The authors illustrated that canine dental pulp stem cells contained superior osteogenicity comparing with canine bone marrow-derived MSCs regarding alkaline phosphatase activity, matrix mineralization, and osteogenic marker expression.
[Scientific Reports]
Nantavisai, S., Pisitkun, T., Osathanon, T., Pavasant, P., Kalpravidh, C., Dhitavat, S., Makjaroen, J., & Sawangmake, C. (2020). Systems biology analysis of osteogenic differentiation behavior by canine mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow and dental pulp. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 20703. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77656-0 Cite
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Fibrosis: From Mechanisms to Medicines

The authors discuss the transformative experimental strategies that are being leveraged to dissect the key cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate fibrosis, and the translational approaches that are enabling the emergence of precision medicine-based therapies for patients with fibrosis.
[Nature]
Henderson, N. C., Rieder, F., & Wynn, T. A. (2020). Fibrosis: from mechanisms to medicines. Nature, 587(7835), 555–566. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2938-9 Cite
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Catamaran Bio Launches with $42 Million Financing to Develop Off the Shelf CAR-NK Cell Therapies to Treat Solid Tumors

Catamaran Bio, Inc. has launched with $42 million in financing. Proceeds will be used to advance the company’s two lead chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-NK cell therapy programs. In addition, funding will expand the company’s TAILWIND™ Platform, an integrated and proprietary suite of technologies for designing, genetically engineering, and manufacturing allogeneic CAR-NK cell therapies to neutralize the hostile tumor microenvironment.
[Catamaran Bio, Inc.]
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Epic Sciences Enters into Exclusive Licensing Agreement and Collaboration with USC Michelson Center to Advance Next-Generation Liquid Biopsy Technology for Precision Oncology

Epic Sciences, Inc. has entered into an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Dr. Peter Kuhn and the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. The collaboration will improve Epic’s platform and enable more precise characterization of rare circulating tumor cells and cells from the tumor microenvironment, which Epic is developing into liquid-biopsy diagnostics used for characterizing a patient’s cancer to guide treatment decisions.
[Epic Sciences, Inc.]
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Aziyo Biologics Awarded Breakthrough Technology Contract with Premier Inc.

Aziyo Biologics, Inc. has been awarded a group purchasing agreement with Premier Inc., for Premier’s Technology Breakthroughs Program. The new agreement allows Premier members to take advantage of special pricing and terms pre-negotiated by Premier for Aziyo’s CanGaroo® Envelope – a 510(k) FDA-cleared and CE-Marked ECM envelope intended to securely hold a cardiac implantable electronic device or an implantable neurostimulator to create a stable environment when implanted in the body.
[Aziyo Biologics, Inc.]
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