In almost all prostate cancer patients, the androgen receptor (AR) is essential for the growth and proliferation of the tumour. While it is well known that mutations to the AR protein can cause drug resistance or altered activity, the authors have shown that the DNA locations where the AR binds are themselves heavily mutated. While preliminary, these mutations can change how the AR work and potentially affect the growth of the cancer.
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A promising new type of cell-based cancer treatment called CAR T-cell therapy exploits the power of the immune system to fight cancer. To grow in a laboratory, T cells require a rich source of nutrients and a warm environment—conditions that are unfortunately ideal for the growth of bacteria. Prior methods for screening cell-based therapy products rely on replication of contaminating bacteria so that they can be seen under a microscope—a process that can take up to a month. A new method developed by the Holt lab can be done in a day.
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Once Listeria bacteria have entered a cell, these microbes hijack the host cell’s actin filament polymerization machinery to generate a rocket-like structure at one end of the bacteria. These rocket-like structures enable the bacteria to move within the cell, and that enable the cell-to-cell transfer of the microbes. Although the bacterial protrusions press into the neighbouring cells, this is not enough to allow for the bacteria to enter those neighbouring cells.
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Peptidyl-alpha amidating monooxgenase (PAM) is an enzyme that converts immature neuroendocrine peptides into amidated mature hormones. To understand why PAM variant carriers have impaired insulin secretion and increased diabetes risk, the authors examined the function of insulin-producing beta cells in a mouse model of diabetes and PAM insufficiency. Surprisingly, they found that PAM haploinsufficiency in mice did not accelerate the development of diabetes, even during the stress of diet-induced obesity or amyloid-induced diabetes.
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Men and women differ in the risk of developing diseases caused by abnormal fat storage, like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and also in how well the treatments for these diseases work. The Rideout lab has discovered one gene that plays a large part in how male and female flies store and metabolize fat differently. Normally, female flies have more fat than male flies, like in humans. But in flies missing the brummer gene, they found that the males store just as much fat as females.
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Purpose: Recent studies have demonstrated a benefit of adjuvant capecitabine in early breast cancer, particularly in patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). However, TNBC is heterogeneous and more precise predictive biomarkers are needed. Experimental Design: Tumor tissues collected from TNBC patients in the FinXX trial, randomized to adjuvant anthracycline-taxane based chemotherapy with or without capecitabine, were analyzed using a…
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The cardiac stroma contains multipotent mesenchymal progenitors. However, lineage relationships within cardiac stromal cells are poorly defined. Here, we identified heart-resident PDGFRa+ SCA-1+ cells as cardiac fibro/adipogenic progenitors (cFAPs) and show that they respond to ischemic damage by generating fibrogenic cells. Pharmacological blockade of this differentiation step with an anti-fibrotic tyrosine kinase inhibitor decreases post-myocardial infarction (post-MI) remodeling and leads to improvement…
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Sox9 is a developmental gene that plays a key role in the embryonic formation of the prostate gland. The authors have shown that prostate cancer cells upregulate Sox9 expression when treated with hormonal therapy, and that this protein facilitates the development of resistance to such treatments. They also found that Sox9 expression is associated with increased signalling through NFκB, and this appeared to be an effector of the transition to castration resistance.
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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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