Microglia are highly ramified cells that constantly extend and retract processes to probe their environment and respond to changes in homeostasis. In this project, the authors reveal that they interact with their neighbouring neurons and glial cells by using filopodia, or thin actin-rich protrusions located near the tip of the larger processes. They characterized the intracellular pathway directing the presence and growth of these filopodia, and show they allow microglia to more efficiently sense changes in the environment in the nanoscale.
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The Withers lab has been interested in using the technique of metagenomics to discover new enzymes for the removal of cell surface sugar antigens, such as those that define the A, B and O blood types. If the procedure described in this publication proves to be completely safe, it has the potential to broaden the supply of blood, since any A blood can be converted into universal donor O type. This could greatly assist inventory control in blood banks and help avoid the shortages that seem to happen all too often.
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Most treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) target the adaptive immune and may ameliorate the patients’ clinical symptoms, but they have little or no effect on disease onset and progression. The 12 genes harboring pathogenic mutations for MS identified in this study have biological functions in linked innate immune pathways, and suggest that the dysregulation of innate immunity, not adaptive, is the initial step towards the development of disease.
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This study focuses on the area surrounding a pathogenic polyglutamine repeat in patients with Huntington disease (HD), which is predominantly encoded in the DNA by CAG codons. In a subset of HD patients that presented significantly earlier than expected based on their polyglutamine length, the authors identified a genetic variant where this codon had undergone a single substitution from CAA to CAG, increasing the length of the uninterrupted CAG repeat.
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Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are actin-based membranous structures bridging distant cells for intercellular communication. We define roles for TNTs in stress adaptation and treatment resistance in prostate cancer (PCa). Androgen receptor (AR) blockade and metabolic stress induce TNTs, but not in normal prostatic epithelial or osteoblast cells. Co-culture assays reveal enhanced TNT formation between stressed and unstressed PCa cells as well…
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Prostatic small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (SC/NE) is well studied in metastatic CRPC, however, it is not well characterized in the primary setting. Herein, we used gene expression profiling of SC/NE PCa to develop a 212 gene signature to identify treatment‐naïve primary prostatic tumors that are molecularly analogous to SC/NE (SC/NE‐like PCa) .. The 212 gene signature was tested in several…
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This publication shows that mice with low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) (commonly known as the “good cholesterol”) in the blood have worsened brain vascular inflammation in a model of Alzheimer’s disease. Others have previously suggested that high blood levels of HDL reduces Alzheimer’s disease risk however it was not completely understood how this protective effect works. The findings in this publication suggest that one way that HDL protects against Alzheimer’s disease is by reducing vascular inflammation in the brain.
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Lung immaturity is a major cause of respiratory distress and mortality in premature newborns. In this publication, the authors identified a role for the protein Sash1 in driving perinatal lung maturation in mice via nitric oxide signalling. Their findings suggest that nitric oxide release by endothelial cells, upon the interaction of Sash1 with β-arrestin1, is an important step in preterm alveolar maturation to allow proper lung inflation at birth.
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Aberrant cholesterol metabolism is increasingly appreciated to be essential for prostate cancer (PCa) initiation and progression. Transcript expression of the high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol receptor scavenger receptor B1 (SR-B1) is elevated in primary PCa. Hypothesizing that SR-B1 expression may help facilitate malignant transformation, we document increased SR-B1 protein and transcript expression in PCa relative to normal prostate epithelium that persists in lethal…
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Bacteria identify and respond to DNA damage using the SOS response. LexA, a central repressor in the response, has been implicated in the regulation of lysogeny in various temperate bacteriophages. During infection of Bacillus thuringiensis with GIL01 bacteriophage, LexA represses the SOS response and the phage lytic cycle by binding DNA, an interaction further stabilized upon binding of a viral protein, gp7.…
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