Immunotherapy has recently emerged as the fourth pillar of cancer treatment, joining surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. While early immunotherapies focused on accelerating T-cell activity, current immune-checkpoint inhibitors take the brakes off the anti-tumor immune responses. Successful clinical trials with PD-1 monoclonal antibodies and other immune-checkpoint inhibitors have opened new avenues in cancer immunology. However, the failure of a large subset of cancer patients to respond to these new immunotherapies has led to intensified research on combination therapies and predictive biomarkers. Here we summarize the development of PD-1-blockade immunotherapy and current issues in its clinical use.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a major form of senile dementia, characterized by progressive memory and neuronal loss combined with cognitive impairment. AD is the most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide, affecting one-fifth of those aged over 85 years. Recent therapeutic approaches have been strongly influenced by five neuropathological hallmarks of AD: acetylcholine deficiency, glutamate excitotoxicity, extracellular deposition of amyloid-beta (A beta plague), formation of intraneuronal neurofibrillary tangles (NTFs), and neuroinflammation. The lowered concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh) in AD result in a progressive and significant loss of cognitive and behavioral function. Current AD medications, memantine and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs) alleviate some of these symptoms by enhancing cholinergic signaling, but they are not curative. Since 2003, no new drugs have been approved for the treatment of AD. This article focuses on the current research in clinical trials targeting the neuropathological findings of AD including acetylcholine response, glutamate transmission, A beta clearance, tau protein deposits, and neuroinflammation. These investigations include acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, agonists and antagonists of neurotransmitter receptors, beta-secretase (BACE) or gamma-secretase inhibitors, vaccines or antibodies targeting A beta clearance or tau protein, as well as anti-inflammation compounds. Ongoing Phase III clinical trials via passive immunotherapy against A beta peptides (crenezumab, gantenerumab, and aducanumab) seem to be promising. Using small molecules blocking 5-HT6 serotonin receptor (intepirdine), inhibiting BACE activity (E2609, AZD3293, and verubecestat), or reducing tau aggregation (TRx0237) are also currently in Phase III clinical trials. We here systemically review the findings from recent clinical trials to provide a comprehensive review of novel therapeutic compounds in the treatment and prevention of AD.
Hemodynamic shear stress, the blood flow-generated frictional force acting on the vascular endothelial cells, is essential for endothelial homeostasis under normal physiological conditions. Mechanosensors on endothelial cells detect shear stress and transduce it into biochemical signals to trigger vascular adaptive responses. Among the various shear-induced signaling molecules, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) have been implicated in vascular homeostasis and diseases. In this review, we explore the molecular, cellular, and vascular processes arising from shear-induced signaling (mechanotransduction) with emphasis on the roles of ROS and NO, and also discuss the mechanisms that may lead to excessive vascular remodeling and thus drive pathobiologic processes responsible for atherosclerosis. Current evidence suggests that NADPH oxidase is one of main cellular sources of ROS generation in endothelial cells under flow condition. Flow patterns and magnitude of shear determine the amount of ROS produced by endothelial cells, usually an irregular flow pattern (disturbed or oscillatory) producing higher levels of ROS than a regular flow pattern (steady or pulsatile). ROS production is closely linked to NO generation and elevated levels of ROS lead to low NO bioavailability, as is often observed in endothelial cells exposed to irregular flow. The low NO bioavailability is partly caused by the reaction of ROS with NO to form peroxynitrite, a key molecule which may initiate many pro-atherogenic events. This differential production of ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species) under various flow patterns and conditions modulates endothelial gene expression and thus results in differential vascular responses. Moreover, ROS/RNS are able to promote specific post-translational modifications in regulatory proteins (including S-glutathionylation, S-nitrosylation and tyrosine nitration), which constitute chemical signals that are relevant in cardiovascular pathophysiology. Overall, the dynamic interplay between local hemodynamic milieu and the resulting oxidative and S-nitrosative modification of regulatory proteins is important for ensuing vascular homeostasis. Based on available evidence, it is proposed that a regular flow pattern produces lower levels of ROS and higher NO bioavailability, creating an anti-atherogenic environment. On the other hand, an irregular flow pattern results in higher levels of ROS and yet lower NO bioavailability, thus triggering pro-atherogenic effects.
Neural tissue repair and regeneration strategies have received a great deal of attention because it directly affects the quality of the patient's life. There are many scientific challenges to regenerate nerve while using conventional autologous nerve grafts and from the newly developed therapeutic strategies for the reconstruction of damaged nerves. Recent advancements in nerve regeneration have involved the application of tissue engineering principles and this has evolved a new perspective to neural therapy. The success of neural tissue engineering is mainly based on the regulation of cell behavior and tissue progression through the development of a synthetic scaffold that is analogous to the natural extracellular matrix and can support three-dimensional cell cultures. As the natural extracellular matrix provides an ideal environment for topographical, electrical and chemical cues to the adhesion and proliferation of neural cells, there exists a need to develop a synthetic scaffold that would be biocompatible, immunologically inert, conducting, biodegradable, and infection-resistant biomaterial to support neurite outgrowth. This review outlines the rationale for effective neural tissue engineering through the use of suitable biomaterials and scaffolding techniques for fabrication of a construct that would allow the neurons to adhere, proliferate and eventually form nerves.
Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multilineage somatic progenitor/stem cells that have been shown to possess immunomodulatory properties in recent years. Initially met with much skepticism, MSC immunomodulation has now been well reproduced across tissue sources and species to be clinically relevant. This has opened up the use of these versatile cells for application as 3rd party/allogeneic use in cell replacement/tissue regeneration, as well as for immune-and inflammation-mediated disease entities. Most surprisingly, use of MSCs for in immune-/inflammation-mediated diseases appears to yield more efficacy than for regenerative medicine, since engraftment of the exogenous cell does not appear necessary. In this review, we focus on this non-traditional clinical use of a tissue-specific stem cell, and highlight important findings and trends in this exciting area of stem cell therapy.
Combinatorial phage library is a powerful research tool for high-throughput screening of protein interactions. Of all available molecular display techniques, phage display has proven to be the most popular approach. Screening phage-displayed random peptide libraries is an effective means of identifying peptides that can bind target molecules and regulate their function. Phage-displayed peptide libraries can be used for (i) B-cell and T-cell epitope mapping, (ii) selection of bioactive peptides bound to receptors or proteins, disease-specific antigen mimics, peptides bound to non-protein targets, cell-specific peptides, or organ-specific peptides, and (iii) development of peptide-mediated drug delivery systems and other applications. Targeting peptides identified using phage display technology may be useful for basic research and translational medicine. In this review article, we summarize the latest technological advancements in the application of phage-displayed peptide libraries to applied biomedical sciences.
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is a rate-limiting enzyme catalyzing oxidative degradation of cellular heme to liberate free iron, carbon monoxide (CO) and biliverdin in mammalian cells. In addition to its primary role in heme catabolism, HO-1 exhibits anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory functions via the actions of biliverdin and CO, respectively. HO-1 is highly induced in various disease states, including cancer. Several lines of evidence have supported the implication of HO-1 in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. HO-1 deficiency in normal cells enhances DNA damage and carcinogenesis. Nevertheless, HO-1 overexpression in cancer cells promotes proliferation and survival. Moreover, HO-1 induces angiogenesis through modulating expression of angiogenic factors. Although HO-1 is an endoplasmic reticulum resident protein, HO-1 nuclear localization is evident in tumor cells of cancer tissues. It has been shown that HO-1 is susceptible to proteolytic cleavage and translocates to nucleus to facilitate tumor growth and invasion independent of its enzymatic activity. HO-1 also impacts cancer progression through modulating tumor microenvironment. This review summarizes the current understanding of the protumorigenic role of HO-1 and its potential as a molecular target for cancer therapy.
Hypoxia is an important microenvironmental factor that induces cancer metastasis. Hypoxia/hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha) regulates many important steps of the metastatic processes, especially epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is one of the crucial mechanisms to cause early stage of tumor metastasis. To have a better understanding of the mechanism of hypoxia-regulated metastasis, various hypoxia/HIF-1 alpha-regulated target genes are categorized into different classes including transcription factors, histone modifiers, enzymes, receptors, kinases, small GTPases, transporters, adhesion molecules, surface molecules, membrane proteins, and microRNAs. Different roles of these target genes are described with regards to their relationship to hypoxia-induced metastasis. We hope that this review will provide a framework for further exploration of hypoxia/HIF-1 alpha-regulated target genes and a comprehensive view of the metastatic picture induced by hypoxia.
Low power laser irradiation (LPLI) promotes proliferation of multiple cells, which (especially red and near infrared light) is mainly through the activation of mitochondrial respiratory chain and the initiation of cellular signaling. Recently, the signaling proteins involved in LPLI-induced proliferation merit special attention, some of which are regulated by mitochondrial signaling. Hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-Met), a member of tyrosine protein kinase receptors (TPKR), is phosphorylated during LPLI-induced proliferation, but tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) receptor has not been affected. Activated TPKR could activate its downstream signaling elements, like Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, PI3K/Akt/eIF4E, PI3K/Akt/eNOS and PLC-gamma/PKC pathways. Other two pathways Delta Psi m/ATP/cAMP/JNK/AP-1 and ROS/Src, are also involved in LPLI-induced proliferation. LPLI-induced cell cycle progression can be regulated by the activation or elevated expressions of cell cycle-specific proteins. Furthermore, LPLI induces the synthesis or release of many molecules, like growth factors, interleukins, inflammatory cytokines and others, which are related to promotive effects of LPLI.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been long considered simply as harmful by-products of metabolism, which damage cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. ROS are also known as a weapon of phagocytes, employed against pathogens invading the host. However, during the last decade, an understanding has emerged that ROS also have important roles as signaling messengers in a multitude of pathways, in all cells, tissues, and organs. T lymphocytes are the key players of the adaptive immune response, which both coordinate other immune cells and destroy malignant and virus-infected cells. ROS have been extensively implicated in T-cell hyporesponsiveness, apoptosis, and activation. It has also become evident that the source, the kinetics, and the localization of ROS production all influence cell responses. Thus, the characterization of the precise mechanisms by which ROS are involved in the regulation of T-cell functions is important for our understanding of the immune response and for the development of new therapeutic treatments against immune-mediated diseases. This review summarizes the 30-year-long history of research on ROS in T lymphocytes, with the emphasis on the physiological roles of ROS.
Intracellular Ca2+ is one of the crucial signalings that modulate various cellular functions. The dysregulation of Ca2+ homeostasis has been suggested as an important event in driving the expression of the malignant phenotypes, such as proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis. Cell migration is an early prerequisite for tumor metastasis that has a significant impact on patient prognosis. During cell migration, the exquisite spatial and temporal organization of intracellular Ca2+ provides a rapid and robust way for the selective activation of signaling components that play a central role in cytoskeletal reorganization, traction force generation, and focal adhesion dynamics. A number of known molecular components involved in Ca2+ influx pathways, including stromal interaction molecule (STIM)/Orai-mediated store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and the Ca2+-permeable transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, have been implicated in cancer cell migration and tumor metastasis. The clinical significance of these molecules, such as STIM proteins and the TRPM7 channel, in tumor progression and their diagnostic and prognostic potentials have also been demonstrated in specific cancer types. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in understanding the important roles and regulatory mechanisms of these Ca2+ influx pathways on malignant behaviors of tumor cells. The clinical implications in facilitating current diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are also discussed.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous small non-coding RNAs that have been found highly conserved among species. MiRNAs are able to negatively regulate gene expression through base pairing of 3' UTRs of their target genes. Therefore, miRNAs have been shown to play an important role in regulating various cellular activities. Over the past decade, substantial evidences have been obtained to show that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in human malignancies and could act as "OncomiRs" or "Tumor suppressor miRs". In recent years, increasing number of studies have demonstrated the involvement of miRNAs in cancer metastasis. Many studies have shown that microRNAs could directly target genes playing a central role in epithelia-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), a cellular transformation process that allows cancer cells to acquire motility and invasiveness. EMT is considered an essential step driving the early phase of cancer metastasis. This review will summarize the recent findings and characterization of miRNAs that are involved in the regulation of EMT, migration, invasion and metastasis of cancer cells. Lastly, we will discuss potential use of miRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers as well as therapeutic targets for cancer.
Background: Insulin resistance (IR) is one of the major hallmark for pathogenesis and etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). IR is directly interlinked with various inflammatory responses which play crucial role in the development of IR. Inflammatory responses play a crucial role in the pathogenesis and development of IR which is one of the main causative factor for the etiology of T2DM. Methods: A comprehensive online English literature was searched using various electronic search databases. Different search terms for pathogenesis of IR, role of various inflammatory responses were used and an advanced search was conducted by combining all the search fields in abstracts, keywords, and titles. Results: We summarized the data from the searched articles and found that inflammatory responses activate the production of various pro-inflammatory mediators notably cytokines, chemokines and adipocytokines through the involvement of various transcriptional mediated molecular pathways, oxidative and metabolic stress. Overnutrition is one of the major causative factor that contributes to induce the state of low-grade inflammation due to which accumulation of elevated levels of glucose and/or lipids in blood stream occur that leads to the activation of various transcriptional mediated molecular and metabolic pathways. This results in the induction of various pro-inflammatory mediators that are decisively involved to provoke the pathogenesis of tissue-specific IR by interfering with insulin signaling pathways. Once IR is developed, it increases oxidative stress in beta-cells of pancreatic islets and peripheral tissues which impairs insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity in beta-cells of pancreatic islets and peripheral tissues, respectively. Moreover, we also summarized the data regarding various treatment strategies of inflammatory responses-induced IR. Conclusions: In this article, we have briefly described that how pro-inflammatory mediators, oxidative stress, transcriptional mediated molecular and metabolic pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of tissues-specific IR. Moreover, based on recent investigations, we have also described that to counterfeit these inflammatory responses is one of the best treatment strategy to prevent the pathogenesis of IR through ameliorating the incidences of inflammatory responses.
Neuroblastoma is an embryonic malignancy of early childhood originating from neural crest cells and showing heterogeneous biological, morphological, genetic and clinical characteristics. The correct stratification of neuroblastoma patients within risk groups (low, intermediate, high and ultra-high) is critical for the adequate treatment of the patients. High-throughput technologies in the Omics disciplines are leading to significant insights into the molecular pathogenesis of neuroblastoma. Nonetheless, further study of Omics data is necessary to better characterise neuroblastoma tumour biology. In the present review, we report an update of compounds that are used in preclinical tests and/or in Phase I-II trials for neuroblastoma. Furthermore, we recapitulate a number of compounds targeting proteins associated to neuroblastoma: MYCN (direct and indirect inhibitors) and downstream targets, Trk, ALK and its downstream signalling pathways. In particular, for the latter, given the frequency of ALK gene deregulation in neuroblastoma patients, we discuss on second-generation ALK inhibitors in preclinical or clinical phases developed for the treatment of neuroblastoma patients resistant to crizotinib. We summarise how Omics drive clinical trials for neuroblastoma treatment and how much the research of biological targets is useful for personalised medicine. Finally, we give an overview of the most recent druggable targets selected by Omics investigation and discuss how the Omics results can provide us additional advantages for overcoming tumour drug resistance.
Zinc finger proteins are the largest transcription factor family in human genome. The diverse combinations and functions of zinc finger motifs make zinc finger proteins versatile in biological processes, including development, differentiation, metabolism and autophagy. Over the last few decades, increasing evidence reveals the potential roles of zinc finger proteins in cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms of zinc finger proteins in cancer progression vary in different cancer types and even in the same cancer type under different types of stress. Here, we discuss general mechanisms of zinc finger proteins in transcription regulation and summarize recent studies on zinc finger proteins in cancer progression. In this review, we also emphasize the importance of further investigations in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of zinc finger proteins in cancer progression.
Background: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are subpopulations of cancer cells sharing similar characteristics as normal stem or progenitor cells such as self-renewal ability and multi-lineage differentiation to drive tumour growth and heterogeneity. Throughout the cancer progression, CSC can further be induced from differentiated cancer cells via the adaptation and cross-talks with the tumour microenvironment as well as a response from therapeutic pressures, therefore contributes to their heterogeneous phenotypes. Challengingly, conventional cancer treatments target the bulk of the tumour and are unable to target CSCs due to their highly resistance nature, leading to metastasis and tumour recurrence. Main body: This review highlights the roles of CSCs in tumour initiation, progression and metastasis with a focus on the cellular and molecular regulators that influence their phenotypical changes and behaviours in the different stages of cancer progression. We delineate the cross-talks between CSCs with the tumour microenvironment that support their intrinsic properties including survival, stemness, quiescence and their cellular and molecular adaptation in response to therapeutic pressure. An insight into the distinct roles of CSCs in promoting angiogenesis and metastasis has been captured based on in vitro and in vivo evidences. Conclusion: Given dynamic cellular events along the cancer progression and contributions of resistance nature by CSCs, understanding their molecular and cellular regulatory mechanism in a heterogeneous nature, provides significant cornerstone for the development of CSC-specific therapeutics.
Familial Hypercholesterolaemia is an autosomal, dominant genetic disorder that leads to elevated blood cholesterol and a dramatically increased risk of atherosclerosis. It is perceived as a rare condition. However it affects 1 in 250 of the population globally, making it an important public health concern. In communities with founder effects, higher disease prevalences are observed. We discuss the genetic basis of familial hypercholesterolaemia, examining the distribution of variants known to be associated with the condition across the exons of the genes LDLR, ApoB, PCSK9 and LDLRAP1. We also discuss screening programmes for familial hypercholesterolaemia and their cost-effectiveness. Diagnosis typically occurs using one of the Dutch Lipid Clinic Network (DCLN), Simon Broome Register (SBR) or Make Early Diagnosis to Prevent Early Death (MEDPED) criteria, each of which requires a different set of patient data. New cases can be identified by screening the family members of an index case that has been identified as a result of referral to a lipid clinic in a process called cascade screening. Alternatively, universal screening may be used whereby a population is systematically screened. It is currently significantly more cost effective to identify familial hypercholesterolaemia cases through cascade screening than universal screening. However, the cost of sequencing patient DNA has fallen dramatically in recent years and if the rate of progress continues, this may change.
Background: Non-healing ulcers are a major health problem worldwide and have great impact at personal, professional and social levels, with high cost in terms of human and material resources. Recalcitrant non-healing ulcers are inevitable and detrimental to the lower limb and are a major cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. Application of autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been a major breakthrough for the treatment of non-healing and diabetic foot ulcers, as it is an easy and cost-effective method, and provides the necessary growth factors that enhance tissue healing. PRP is a conglomeration of thrombocytes, cytokines and various growth factors which are secreted by alpha-granules of platelets that augment the rate of natural healing process with decrease in time. The purpose of this case series was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous platelet rich plasma for the treatment of chronic non-healing ulcers on the lower extremity. Methods: Autologous PRP was prepared from whole blood utilizing a rapid, intraoperative point-of-care system that works on the principle of density gradient centrifugation. Twenty Four (24) patients with non-healing ulcers of different etiologies, who met the inclusion criteria, were treated with single dose of subcutaneous PRP injections along with topical application of PRP gel under compassionate use. Results: The mean age of the treated patients was 62.5 +/- 13.53 years and they were followed-up for a period of 24 weeks. All the patients showed signs of wound healing with reduction in wound size, and the mean time duration to ulcer healing was 8.2 weeks. Also, an average five fold increase in the platelet concentrate was observed in the final PRP product obtained using the rapid point-of-care device, and the average platelet dose administered to the patients was 70.10 x 10(8). Conclusion: This case series has demonstrated the potential safety and efficacy of autologous platelet rich plasma for the treatment of chronic non-healing ulcers.
Autologous adipose stromal vascular fractions (SVFs) containing adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) are currently being used in clinical settings for various orthopedic applications for human patients. Due to its potential capability of regenerating cartilage, bone, and tendons, autologous adipose SVFs are being tried in treating patients with osteoarthritis (OA), chondromalacia, meniscus tear, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, and tendon injuries. Here, we have reviewed available human clinical studies with regard to patient applications of autologous adipose SVF containing ASCs, specifically assessing effectiveness and safety in the field of orthopedic disorders. All studies reviewed in this article presents potential benefits of autologous adipose SVF in various orthopedic applications without any serious side effects.
Salvianolic acids are the most abundant water-soluble compounds extracted from Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen). In China, Danshen has been wildly used to treat cardiovascular diseases for hundreds of years. Salvianolic acids, especially salvianolic acid A (Sal A) and salvianolic acid B (Sal B), have been found to have potent anti-oxidative capabilities due to their polyphenolic structure. Recently, intracellular signaling pathways regulated by salvianolic acids in vascular endothelial cells, aortic smooth muscle cells, as well as cardiomyocytes, have been investigated both in vitro and in vivo upon various cardiovascular insults. It is discovered that the cardiovascular protection of salvianolic acids is not only because salvianolic acids act as reactive oxygen species scavengers, but also due to the reduction of leukocyte-endothelial adherence, inhibition of inflammation and metalloproteinases expression from aortic smooth muscle cells, and indirect regulation of immune function. Competitive binding of salvianolic acids to target proteins to interrupt protein-protein interactions has also been found to be a mechanism of cardiovascular protection by salvianolic acids. In this article, we review a variety of studies focusing on the above mentioned mechanisms. Besides, the target proteins of salvianolic acids are also described. These results of recent advances have shed new light to the development of novel therapeutic strategies for salvianolic acids to treat cardiovascular diseases.