Resistance to the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib has been attributed solely to mutations in BTK and related pathway molecules. Using whole-exome and deep-targeted sequencing, we dissect evolution of ibrutinib resistance in serial samples from five chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients. In two patients, we detect BTK-C481S mutation or multiple PLCG2 mutations. The other three patients exhibit an expansion of clones harbouring del(8p) with additional driver mutations (EP300, MLL2 and EIF2A), with one patient developing trans-differentiation into CD19-negative histiocytic sarcoma. Using droplet-microfluidic technology and growth kinetic analyses, we demonstrate the presence of ibrutinib-resistant subclones and estimate subclone size before treatment initiation. Haploinsufficiency of TRAIL-R, a consequence of del(8p), results in TRAIL insensitivity, which may contribute to ibrutinib resistance. These findings demonstrate that the ibrutinib therapy favours selection and expansion of rare subclones already present before ibrutinib treatment, and provide insight into the heterogeneity of genetic changes associated with ibrutinib resistance.
Semiconducting organic nanoparticles have recently attracted increasing attention in the chemical and biomedical fields. Such nanoparticles are mainly composed of π-conjugated compounds. They possess the properties of easy synthesis, facile tuning, less toxicity and more biocompatibility relative to the existing inorganic nanoparticles. In addition, they show advantages such as brighter fluorescence, higher photostability and higher biocompatibility, compared with classical fluorescent organic dyes. In this review, we summarize the latest advances in the development of organic nanoparticles made of π-conjugated compounds, including preparation methods, material design, nanoparticle fabrication and surface functionalization for chemical and biological applications. Especially, we focus on the applications of semiconducting organic nanoparticles in chemical and biological sensing by monitoring the fluorescence signal, as nanocarriers for drug/gene delivery, in photothermal and photodynamic therapy, and in photoacoustic imaging. Finally, the challenges and perspectives for the future development of organic nanoparticles based on π-conjugated compounds are also discussed. This feature article summarizes the recent applications of nanoparticles made of π-conjugated compounds in bio/chemo-sensing, disease therapy, and photoacoustic imaging.