Cell therapy with autologous donor‐specific regulatory T cells (Tregs) is a promising strategy to minimize immunosuppression in transplant recipients. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology has recently been used successfully to generate donor‐specific Tregs and overcome the limitations of enrichment protocols based on repetitive stimulations with alloantigens. However, the ability of CAR‐Treg therapy to control alloreactivity in immunocompetent recipients is unknown.…
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Are Noncommunicable Diseases Communicable?

The past century has seen a profound decrease in mortality rates across the world, accompanied by a marked shift from communicable diseases (caused by infectious microbes) to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and respiratory diseases. NCDs—defined as diseases that are not transmissible directly from one person to another—account for more than 70% (41 million) of all deaths…
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Extravillous cytotrophoblasts (EVTs) invade into the uterine wall and remodel spiral arteries for proper placentation. Studies from us and others have demonstrated that the transforming growth factor‐β superfamily member bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) plays important roles in endometrial decidualization and trophoblast cell invasion. However, BMP2 has also been shown to regulate endothelial cell migration and capillary‐like tube formation, as has…
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Read the Publication This week we profile a recent publication in eLife from Dr. Parisa Asghari (pictured) the laboratory of Dr. Edwin Moore at UBC. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? The Moore lab is studying the mechanisms which control excitation-contraction coupling in muscle cells. What is the significance of the findings in this publication? Dysfunctional…
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The role of low oxygen in early placental development is controversial and inconclusive. The authors integrated advanced placental cell cultures exposed to low, moderate and high levels of oxygen with non-biased conventional transcriptomic and single-cell transcriptomic approaches. They showed that exposure to low oxygen conditions promoted the differentiation of primitive trophoblasts toward advanced invasive cell types, while culture in high oxygen conditions slowed this process.
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We and others recently showed that coordinated expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is essential for myeloid differentiation and that, in turn, deregulation of lncRNAs contributes to the pathogenesis of AML1. To better understand the relationship between lncRNAs that control granulopoiesis and the block of differentiation in AML blasts, we sequenced stranded, non-poly-A-enriched cDNA libraries that were prepared from healthy…
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When neurons extend their processes, they often make excessive number of neurites at early stages of development. Later, unnecessary neurites are removed by neurite pruning. The authors report that the neurite pruning is regulated by a secreted protein, Wnt, and its receptor protein, Frizzled. Using genetic approaches including CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology, they found that neurite pruning is induced only when the neurites are in close proximity to the cells expressing Wnt.
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The authors examined mesenchymal progenitors (MP) in skeletal muscle regeneration, showing that they play several critical roles important for muscle regeneration. They reported that MPs directly contribute to regeneration of various connective tissue structures, including the myotendinous junction, and identified a subpopulation of MPs that directly regenerates this structure. Collectively, the results in the paper define a number of important activities of MPs in skeletal muscle regeneration.
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High YAP activity is associated with poor prognosis human breast cancers, but its role during the initial stage of mammary cell transformation is unknown. To address this question, we designed experiments that exploit the ability of KRASG12D-transduced subsets of freshly isolated normal human mammary cells to form invasive tumors rapidly and efficiently when transplanted into immunodeficient mice. Initial examination of the…
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