The authors focus on TGFB1/INHBA homodimer/Nodal-SMAD2/3 signaling network in pancreatic cancer as a pivotal central node which regulates multiple key mechanisms involved in the development of chemoresistance, including enhancement of the stem cell-like properties and tumorigenicity of pancreatic cancer cells, mediating cooperative interactions between pancreatic cancer cells and the surrounding stroma as well as regulating the deposition of ECM proteins within the tumor microenvironment.
Scientists investigated freshly isolated, uncultured umbilical cord (UC)-MSCs by single-cell RNA sequencing and found two populations of UC-MSCs.
[Stem Cell Research & Therapy]
The local soft spots created by liver cancer stem cells could enhance stemness and drug resistance and provide a route of escape to facilitate hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis.
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Ng, K.-Y., Shea, Q. T., Wong, T.-L., Luk, S. T., Tong, M., Lo, C.-M., Man, K., Yun, J.-P., Guan, X.-Y., Lee, T. K., Zheng, Y.-P., & Ma, S. (n.d.). Chemotherapy-Enriched THBS2-Deficient Cancer Stem Cells Drive Hepatocarcinogenesis through Matrix Softness Induced Histone H3 Modifications. Advanced Science, n/a(n/a), 2002483. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.202002483 Cite
Investigators suggest that YAP/TAZ pathway inhibition may prevent Ewing sarcoma (EwS) cell dissemination and metastasis, justifying further preclinical development of YAP/TAZ inhibitors for EwS treatment.
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Bierbaumer, L., Katschnig, A. M., Radic-Sarikas, B., Kauer, M. O., Petro, J. A., Högler, S., Gurnhofer, E., Pedot, G., Schäfer, B. W., Schwentner, R., Mühlbacher, K., Kromp, F., Aryee, D. N. T., Kenner, L., Uren, A., & Kovar, H. (2021). YAP/TAZ inhibition reduces metastatic potential of Ewing sarcoma cells. Oncogenesis, 10(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41389-020-00294-8 Cite
Transcriptional profiling of IL-33-deficient kidneys 24 hours after ligation revealed enhanced expression of fibrogenic genes and enrichment of gene sets involved in ECM formation and remodeling.
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Gatti, F., Mia, S., Hammarström, C., Frerker, N., Fosby, B., Wang, J., Pietka, W., Sundnes, O., Hol, J., Kasprzycka, M., & Haraldsen, G. (2021). Nuclear IL-33 restrains the early conversion of fibroblasts to an extracellular matrix-secreting phenotype. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 108. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-80509-5 Cite
Electrospun fibrous scaffolds combined with bioactive factors can display impressive performance as an ideal wound dressing, since they can mimic the composition and physicochemical properties of the ECM. The authors fabricated a new composite biomaterial for wound healing, using a rat model for experimental evaluation.
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The authors describe that the stemness and differentiation potential of cancer stem cells were enhanced under hypoxic microenvironments, through hypoxia-induced epithelial-endothelial transition and extracellular matrix remodeling to form the specific mechanism of vasculogenic mimicry.
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Wei, X., Chen, Y., Jiang, X., Peng, M., Liu, Y., Mo, Y., Ren, D., Hua, Y., Yu, B., Zhou, Y., Liao, Q., Wang, H., Xiang, B., Zhou, M., Li, X., Li, G., Li, Y., Xiong, W., & Zeng, Z. (2021). Mechanisms of vasculogenic mimicry in hypoxic tumor microenvironments. Molecular Cancer, 20(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12943-020-01288-1 Cite
Investigators showed that the decline in myofibroblasts’ number through inhibition of PDGFRα signaling consequently promoted proliferation of the SCs and exhibited improved skeletal muscle remodeling.
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Scientists present an in vitro model of the peripheral nervous system by establishing a coculture model of motor neurons and Schwann cells in a 3D environment in a microengineered extracellular matrix hydrogel scaffold.
[NPG Asia Materials]
Researchers investigated the mechanism of metastasis in highly metastatic melanoma and breast cancer cells, and the mechanism of inhibition of metastasis by rhosin.
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Tsubaki, M., Genno, S., Takeda, T., Matsuda, T., Kimura, N., Yamashita, Y., Morii, Y., Shimomura, K., & Nishida, S. (2021). Rhosin Suppressed Tumor Cell Metastasis through Inhibition of Rho/YAP Pathway and Expression of RHAMM and CXCR4 in Melanoma and Breast Cancer Cells. Biomedicines, 9(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9010035 Cite
The authors review recent advances in identifying the stroma-dependent mechanisms that regulate cancer-associated inflammation and antitumor immunity, in particular, the interactions between fibroblasts and immune cells.