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  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Fan Zou, Jialiang Wei, Jialang Zhuang, Yafang Liu, Jizhou Tan, Xianzhang Huang, Ting Liu

    CD39 serves as a crucial biomarker for neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells and is associated with antitumor activity and exhaustion. However, the relationship between CD39 expression levels and the function of chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells remains controversial. This study aimed to investigate the role of CD39 in the functional performance of CAR-T cells against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and explore the therapeutic potential of CD39 modulators, such as mitochondrial division inhibitor-1 (mdivi-1), or knockdown CD39 through short hairpin RNA. Our findings demonstrated that glypican-3-CAR-T cells with moderate CD39 expression exhibited a strong antitumor activity, while high and low levels of CD39 led to an impaired cellular function. Methods modulating the proportion of CD39 intermediate (CD39int)-phenotype CAR-T cells such as mdivi-1 and CD39 knockdown enhanced and impaired T cell function, respectively. The combination of mdivi-1 and CD39 knockdown in CAR-T cells yielded the highest proportion of infiltrated CD39int CAR-T cells and demonstrated a robust antitumor activity in vivo. In conclusion, this study revealed the crucial role of CD39 in CAR-T cell function, demonstrated the potential therapeutic efficacy of combining mdivi-1 with CD39 knockdown in HCC, and provided a novel treatment strategy for HCC patients in the field of cellular immunotherapy.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Rui Fu, Yuanyuan Xiong, Miao Cai, Fang Li, Rongrong Chen, Yilong Wu, Wenzhao Zhong

    Gene fusions and MET alterations are rare and difficult to detect in plasma samples. The clinical detection efficacy of molecular residual disease (MRD) based on circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with these mutations remains unknown. This prospective, non-intervention study recruited 49 patients with operable NSCLC with actionable gene fusions (ALK, ROS1, RET, and FGFR1), MET exon 14 skipping or de novo MET amplification. We analyzed 43 tumor tissues and 111 serial perioperative plasma samples using 1021- and 338-gene panels, respectively. Detectable MRD correlated with a significantly higher recurrence rate (P < 0.001), yielding positive predictive values of 100% and 90.9%, and negative predictive values of 82.4% and 86.4% at landmark and longitudinal time points, respectively. Patients with detectable MRD showed reduced disease-free survival (DFS) compared to those with undetectable MRD (P < 0.001). Patients who harbored tissue-derived fusion/MET alterations in their MRD had reduced DFS compared to those who did not (P = 0.05). To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study on ctDNA-MRD clinical detection efficacy in operable NSCLC patients with gene fusions and MET alterations. Patients with detectable tissue-derived fusion/MET alterations in postoperative MRD had worse clinical outcomes.

  • REVIEW
    Min Zhang, Ting Hu, Tianyu Ma, Wei Huang, Yan Wang

    Epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling, and RNA modifications complicate gene regulation and heredity and profoundly impact various physiological and pathological processes. In recent years, accumulating evidence indicates that epigenetics is vulnerable to environmental changes and regulates the growth, development, and diseases of individuals by affecting chromatin activity and regulating gene expression. Environmental exposure or induced epigenetic changes can regulate the state of development and lead to developmental disorders, aging, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, and so on. However, epigenetic modifications are reversible. The use of specific epigenetic inhibitors targeting epigenetic changes in response to environmental exposure is useful in disease therapy. Here, we provide an overview of the role of epigenetics in various diseases. Furthermore, we summarize the mechanism of epigenetic alterations induced by different environmental exposures, the influence of different environmental exposures, and the crosstalk between environmental variation epigenetics, and genes that are implicated in the body’s health. However, the interaction of multiple factors and epigenetics in regulating the initiation and progression of various diseases complicates clinical treatments. We discuss some commonly used epigenetic drugs targeting epigenetic modifications and methods to prevent or relieve various diseases regulated by environmental exposure and epigenetics through diet.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yingbin Wang, Yu Zhang, Guihua Yao, Hong Tang, Lixin Chen, Lixue Yin, Tiangang Zhu, Jianjun Yuan, Wei Han, Jun Yang, Xianhong Shu, Ya Yang, Yulin Wei, Yanli Guo, Weidong Ren, Dongmei Gao, Guilin Lu, Ji Wu, Hongning Yin, Yuming Mu, Jiawei Tian, Lijun Yuan, Xiaojing Ma, Hongyan Dai, Yunchuan Ding, Mingyan Ding, Qing Zhou, Hao Wang, Di Xu, Mei Zhang, Yun Zhang

    Current guidelines encourage large studies in a diverse population to establish normal reference ranges for three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography for different ethnic groups. This study was designed to establish the normal values of 3D-left ventricular (LV) and left atrial (LA) volume and function in a nationwide, population-based cohort of healthy Han Chinese adults. A total of 1117 healthy volunteers aged 18–89 years were enrolled from 28 collaborating laboratories in China. Two sets of 3D echocardiographic instruments were used, and full-volume echocardiographic images were recorded and transmitted to a core laboratory for image analysis with a vendor-independent off-line workstation. Finally, 866 volunteers (mean age of 48.4 years, 402 men) were qualified for final analysis. Most parameters exhibited substantial differences between different sex and age groups, even after indexation by body surface area. The normal ranges of 3D-LV and 3D-LA volume and function differed from those recommended by the American Society of Echocardiography and the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging guidelines, presented by the World Alliance Societies of Echocardiography (WASE) study, and from the 2D values in the EMINCA study. The normal reference values of 3D echocardiography-derived LV and LA volume and function were established for the first time in healthy Han Chinese adults. Normal ranges of 3D-LV and 3D-LA echocardiographic measurements stratified with sex, age, and race should be recommended for clinical applications.