Targeting Transdifferentiated Hepatic Stellate Cells and Monitoring the Hepatic Fibrogenic Process by Means of IGF2R-Specific Peptides Designed In Silico

The structural information of the insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor (IGF2R), an overexpressed protein on activated hepatic stellate cells, were used for an in silico screening of novel IGF2R-specific peptide ligands.
[Journal of Materials Chemistry B]
Weber, F., Casalini, T., Valentino, G., Brülisauer, L., Andreas, N., Koeberle, A., Kamradt, T., Contini, A., & Luciani, P. (2021). Targeting transdifferentiated hepatic stellate cells and monitoring the hepatic fibrogenic process by means of IGF2R-specific peptides designed in silico. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0TB02372H Cite
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Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells as a Novel Strategy for the Treatment of Fetal and Neonatal Neurological Diseases

Investigators outline the results of preclinical research on fetal stem cell therapy, mainly involving human amniotic fluid stem cells, in the context of perinatal neurological diseases.
[Placenta]
Abe, Y., Ochiai, D., Sato, Y., Otani, T., Fukutake, M., Ikenoue, S., Kasuga, Y., & Tanaka, M. (2021). Amniotic fluid stem cells as a novel strategy for the treatment of fetal and neonatal neurological diseases. Placenta, 104, 247–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2021.01.009 Cite
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Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery in Niemann-Pick Type C1

Scientists present a review focusing on studies that have used iPSCs for disease modeling and drug discovery in NPC1 and draw a comparison to commonly used NPC1 models.
[International Journal of Molecular Sciences]
Völkner, C., Liedtke, M., Hermann, A., & Frech, M. J. (2021). Pluripotent Stem Cells for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery in Niemann-Pick Type C1. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(2), 710. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020710 Cite
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Zonal Human Hepatocytes Are Differentially Permissive to Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites

To understand specific host conditions that affect infectivity, the authors studied Plasmodium falciparum parasite liver stage development in relation to the metabolic heterogeneity of fresh human hepatocytes.
[EMBO Journal]
Yang, A. S. P., van Waardenburg, Y. M., van de Vegte-Bolmer, M., van Gemert, G.-J. A., Graumans, W., de Wilt, J. H. W., & Sauerwein, R. W. (2021). Zonal human hepatocytes are differentially permissive to Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. The EMBO Journal, n/a(n/a), e106583. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020106583 Cite
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Inhibition of Histone Methyltransferase G9a Attenuates Liver Cancer Initiation by Sensitizing DNA-Damaged Hepatocytes to p53-Induced Apoptosis

Using liver-specific G9a-deficient mice, scientists revealed that loss of G9a significantly attenuated liver tumor initiation caused by diethylnitrosamine.
[Cell Death & Disease]
Nakatsuka, T., Tateishi, K., Kato, H., Fujiwara, H., Yamamoto, K., Kudo, Y., Nakagawa, H., Tanaka, Y., Ijichi, H., Ikenoue, T., Ishizawa, T., Hasegawa, K., Tachibana, M., Shinkai, Y., & Koike, K. (2021). Inhibition of histone methyltransferase G9a attenuates liver cancer initiation by sensitizing DNA-damaged hepatocytes to p53-induced apoptosis. Cell Death & Disease, 12(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03381-1 Cite
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Single-Cell Analysis Reveals the Intra-Tumor Heterogeneity and Identifies MLXIPL as a Biomarker in the Cellular Trajectory of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Researchers profiled the gene expression of single cells from human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor and para-tumor tissues using the Smart-seq 2 sequencing method. Based on differentially expressed genes, they identified heterogeneous subclones in HCC tissues, including five HCC and two hepatocyte subclones.
[Cell Death Discovery]
Dong, X., Wang, F., Liu, C., Ling, J., Jia, X., Shen, F., Yang, N., Zhu, S., Zhong, L., & Li, Q. (2021). Single-cell analysis reveals the intra-tumor heterogeneity and identifies MLXIPL as a biomarker in the cellular trajectory of hepatocellular carcinoma. Cell Death Discovery, 7(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41420-021-00403-5 Cite
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Triglycerides in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Whether and how triglycerides promote hepatocyte injury remains unclear. Consequently, it is difficult to predict whether drugs designed to reduce hepatic triglycerides will prevent the most important complications of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
[Trends in Pharmacological Sciences]
Semova, I., & Biddinger, S. B. (2021). Triglycerides in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Guilty Until Proven Innocent. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2020.12.001 Cite
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Circular RNA circPSD3 Alleviates Hepatic Fibrogenesis by Regulating the miR-92b-3p/Smad7 Axis

In vitro loss-of-function and gain-of-function analyses suggested that circRNA derived from the Pleckstrin and Sec7 domain-containing 3 (circPSD3) inhibited the activation and proliferation of hepatic stellate cells.
[Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids]
Bu, F., Zhu, Y., Chen, X., Wang, A., Zhang, Y., You, H., Yang, Y., Yang, Y., Huang, C., & Li, J. (2021). Circular RNA circPSD3 alleviates hepatic fibrogenesis by regulating the miR-92b-3p/Smad7 axis. Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2021.01.007 Cite
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Modeling Human Bile Acid Transport and Synthesis in Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes with a Patient-Specific Mutation

The authors developed a human induced pluripotent stem cell-based model of isogenic bile salt export pump-deficient hepatocytes in a Transwell culture system. Induced hepatocytes exhibited defects in the apical export of bile acids but maintained a low intracellular bile acid concentration by inducing basolateral export.
[Stem Cell Reports]
Hayashi, H., Osaka, S., Sakabe, K., Fukami, A., Kishimoto, E., Aihara, E., Sabu, Y., Mizutani, A., Kusuhara, H., Naritaka, N., Zhang, W., Huppert, S. S., Sakabe, M., Nakamura, T., Hu, Y.-C., Mayhew, C., Setchell, K., Takebe, T., & Asai, A. (2021). Modeling Human Bile Acid Transport and Synthesis in Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes with a Patient-Specific Mutation. Stem Cell Reports, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.12.008 Cite
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Cholangiogenic Potential of Human Deciduous Pulp Stem Cell-Converted Hepatocyte-Like Cells

Stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth-derived hepatocytes were intrasplenically transplanted into chronically CCl4-treated liver fibrosis model mice, followed by the analysis of donor integration and hepatobiliary metabolism in vivo.
[Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy]
Yuniartha, R., Yamaza, T., Sonoda, S., Yoshimaru, K., Matsuura, T., Yamaza, H., Oda, Y., Ohga, S., & Taguchi, T. (2021). Cholangiogenic potential of human deciduous pulp stem cell-converted hepatocyte-like cells. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 12(1), 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-02113-8 Cite
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Prediction and Verification of Target of Helenalin against Hepatic Stellate Cell Activation Based on miR-200a-Mediated PI3K/Akt and NF-κB Pathways

Hepatic stellate cell (HSC)‐T6 cells were activated by interleukin-1 beta and then treated with helenalin. HSC‐T6 cells were transfected with miR-200a mimic or inhibitor, and the effect of helenalin on the miR-200a-mediated PI3K/Akt and NF-κB signaling pathways was investigated.
[International Immunopharmacology]
Fang, B., Wen, S., Li, Y., Bai, F., Wei, Y., Xiong, Y., Huang, Q., & Lin, X. (2021). Prediction and verification of target of helenalin against hepatic stellate cell activation based on miR-200a-mediated PI3K/Akt and NF-κB pathways. International Immunopharmacology, 92, 107208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2020.107208 Cite
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