The spliceosome has been implicated in genome maintenance for decades. Recently, a surge in discoveries in cancer has suggested that the oncogenic mechanism of spliceosomal defects may involve defective genome stability. The action of the core spliceosome prevents R-loop accumulation, and regulates the expression of genome stability factors. At the same time, specific spliceosomal components have non-canonical functions in genome…
Read More
This the most detailed study to date describing differences between human genomes. The findings are astounding: an average of 818,054 small insertions and deletions (genomic alterations that each affected less than 50 bases of DNA) and 27,622 SVs (genomic alterations that affected 50 bases or more of DNA) were identified per genome. Remarkably, an average of 156 polymorphic inversions were identified per...
Read More
The authors show that the majority of corals worldwide harbor an intracellular microbe, which they call “corallicolids”. They are tiny and hide inside the cells of the coral digestive system, so have hardly been noticed before. They found that corallicolids are the second most abundant microbial symbiont in coral tissue, and thus is a key member of the long sought-after coral microbiome. This largely overlooked microbe represents an unexplored component of coral biology, and its study will reveal further insights into coral symbiosis and, ultimately, the contribution of coral-microbe interactions to overall reef ecology.
Read More
Cell fate determination is influenced by interactions between master transcription factors (TFs) and cis‐regulatory elements. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4A), a liver‐enriched TF, acts as a master controller in specification of hepatic progenitor cells by regulating a network of TFs to control the onset of hepatocyte cell fate. Using analysis of genome‐wide histone modifications, DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in…
Read More
This study defines the molecular mechanism by which the RNA splicing factor SRRM4 modulates RNA splicing of the histone demethylase BHC80 to confer cancer cells growth advantages and promote NEPC progression. It links RNA splicing and epigenetic modification of histones that can trigger the immune responses of tumour cells to induce multiple tumour promoting cytokines. These studies provide insights on designing future therapeutic strategies to control NEPC development and progression.
Read More

ETS Transcription Factors As Emerging Drug Targets in Cancer

The ETS family of proteins consists of 28 transcription factors, many of which have been implicated in development and progression of a variety of cancers. While one family member, ERG, has been rigorously studied in the context of prostate cancer where it plays a critical role, other ETS factors keep emerging as potential hallmark oncodrivers. In recent years, numerous studies…
Read More
Epidemiological studies have shown sex differences in prevalence of non-allergic asthma. Recent reports demonstrated negative effects of androgen signaling on group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), explaining a potential mechanism behind sex bias in asthma prevalence. To further understand sex-related differences in ILC2 functions and ILC2 intrinsic or lung environmental mechanisms behind it, we have investigated the effects of sex…
Read More
The authors selected 72 genes that were potentially associated with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and on sequencing found a number of mutations associated with ion channelopathies that are well documented to be potentially associated with SCA. However, most surprising was that 10 infants (all of whom died within 24 months of age) harboured a variant in a contractile protein gene paralog that is only expressed in the human heart for the first 2 years of life. This variant is of unknown pathogenicity and not being a channelopathy precluded the use of conventional electrophysiological techniques.
Read More
The researchers developed a robust set of standard operating procedures that allowed them to obtain transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, cytokine/chemokine, and single cell immune phenotyping data from <1 ml of blood. This pilot work, the most comprehensive systems biology study yet performed during the first week of human life, identified profound and robust changes to the newborn immune system in this short time frame.
Read More
The ability to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from differentiated cell types has enabled researchers to engineer cell states. Although studies have identifed molecular networks that reprogram cells to pluripotency, the cellular dynamics of these processes remain poorly understood. Here, by combining cellular barcoding, mathematical modelling, and lineage tracing approaches, we demonstrate that reprogramming dynamics in heterogeneous populations are driven…
Read More