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  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Mengping Xi, Shanshan Guo, Caicike Bayin, Lijun peng, Florent Chuffart, Ekaterina Bourova-Flin, Sophie Rousseaux, Saadi Khochbin, Jian-Qing Mi, Jin Wang

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is one of the most dangerous hematological malignancies, with high tumor heterogeneity and poor prognosis. More than 60% of T-ALL patients carry NOTCH1 gene mutations, leading to abnormal expression of downstream target genes and aberrant activation of various signaling pathways. We found that chidamide, an HDAC inhibitor, exerts an antitumor effect on T-ALL cell lines and primary cells including an anti-NOTCH1 activity. In particular, chidamide inhibits the NOTCH1-MYC signaling axis by down-regulating the level of the intracellular form of NOTCH1 (NICD1) as well as MYC, partly through their ubiquitination and degradation by the proteasome pathway. We also report here the preliminary results of our clinical trial supporting that a treatment by chidamide reduces minimal residual disease (MRD) in patients and is well tolerated. Our results highlight the effectiveness and safety of chidamide in the treatment of T-ALL patients, including those with NOTCH1 mutations and open the way to a new therapeutic strategy for these patients.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Zheng Zhang, Lu Liu, Yanyun Shen, Ziyuan Meng, Min Chen, Zhong Lu, Xuejun Zhang

    The pathological hallmarks of psoriasis involve alterations in T cell genes associated with transcriptional levels, which are determined by chromatin accessibility. However, to what extent these alterations in T cell transcriptional levels recapitulate the epigenetic features of psoriasis remains unknown. Here, we systematically profiled chromatin accessibility on Th1, Th2, Th1-17, Th17, and Treg cells and found that chromatin remodeling contributes significantly to the pathogenesis of the disease. The chromatin remodeling tendency of different subtypes of Th cells were relatively consistent. Next, we profiled chromatin accessibility and transcriptional dynamics on memory Th/Treg cells. In the memory Th cells, 803 increased and 545 decreased chromatin-accessible regions were identified. In the memory Treg cells, 713 increased and 1206 decreased chromatin-accessible regions were identified. A total of 54 and 53 genes were differentially expressed in the peaks associated with the memory Th and Treg cells. FOSL1, SPI1, ATF3, NFKB1, RUNX, ETV4, ERG, FLI1, and ETC1 were identified as regulators in the development of psoriasis. The transcriptional regulatory network showed that NFKB1 and RELA were highly connected and central to the network. NFKB1 regulated the genes of CCL3, CXCL2, and IL1RN. Our results provided candidate transcription factors and a foundational framework of the regulomes of the disease.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Chao Gao, Shenghao Wang, Weiqing Shao, Yu Zhang, Lu Lu, Huliang Jia, Kejin Zhu, Jinhong Chen, Qiongzhu Dong, Ming Lu, Wenwei Zhu, Lunxiu Qin

    Cabozantinib, mainly targeting cMet and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, is the second-line treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the lower response rate and resistance limit its enduring clinical benefit. In this study, we found that cMet-low HCC cells showed primary resistance to cMet inhibitors, and the combination of cabozantinib and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, rapamycin, exhibited a synergistic inhibitory effect on the in vitro cell proliferation and in vivo tumor growth of these cells. Mechanically, the combination of rapamycin with cabozantinib resulted in the remarkable inhibition of AKT, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases, mTOR, and common downstream signal molecules of receptor tyrosine kinases; decreased cyclin D1 expression; and induced cell cycle arrest. Meanwhile, rapamycin enhanced the inhibitory effects of cabozantinib on the migration and tubule formation of human umbilical vascular endothelial cells and human growth factor-induced invasion of cMet inhibitor-resistant HCC cells under hypoxia condition. These effects were further validated in xenograft models. In conclusion, our findings uncover a potential combination therapy of cabozantinib and rapamycin to combat cabozantinib-resistant HCC.

  • COMMENT
    Prathit A. Kulkarni, Vinay Prasad
  • REVIEW
    Ying Deng, Zhaowei Sun, Lei Wang, Minghui Wang, Jie Yang, Genxi Li

    Cancer imposes a severe threat to people’s health and lives, thus pressing a huge medical and economic burden on individuals and communities. Therefore, early diagnosis of cancer is indispensable in the timely prevention and effective treatment for patients. Exosome has recently become an attractive cancer biomarker in noninvasive early diagnosis because of the unique physiology and pathology functions, which reflects remarkable information regarding the cancer microenvironment, and plays an important role in the occurrence and evolution of cancer. Meanwhile, biosensors have gained great attention for the detection of exosomes due to their superior properties, such as convenient operation, real-time readout, high sensitivity, and remarkable specificity, suggesting promising biomedical applications in the early diagnosis of cancer. In this review, the latest advances of biosensors regarding the assay of exosomes were summarized, and the superiorities of exosomes as markers for the early diagnosis of cancer were evaluated. Moreover, the recent challenges and further opportunities of developing effective biosensors for the early diagnosis of cancer were discussed.

  • REVIEW
    Xin Yin, Azhar Anwar, Yanbo Wang, Huanhuan Hu, Gaoli Liang, Chenyu Zhang

    Studies of human and mammalian have revealed that environmental exposure can affect paternal health conditions as well as those of the offspring. However, studies that explore the mechanisms that meditate this transmission are rare. Recently, small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) in sperm have seemed crucial to this transmission due to their alteration in sperm in response to environmental exposure, and the methodology of microinjection of isolated total RNA or sncRNAs or synthetically identified sncRNAs gradually lifted the veil of sncRNA regulation during intergenerational inheritance along the male line. Hence, by reviewing relevant literature, this study intends to answer the following research concepts: (1) paternal environmental factors that can be passed on to offspring and are attributed to spermatozoal sncRNAs, (2) potential role of paternal spermatozoal sncRNAs during the intergenerational inheritance process, and (3) the potential mechanism by which spermatozoal sncRNAs meditate intergenerational inheritance. In summary, increased attention highlights the hidden wonder of spermatozoal sncRNAs during intergenerational inheritance. Therefore, in the future, more studies should focus on the origin of RNA alteration, the target of RNA regulation, and how sncRNA regulation during embryonic development can be sustained even in adult offspring.

  • REVIEW
    Sijin Li, Han Zhang, Yao Sun

    Bone and teeth are hard tissues. Hard tissue diseases have a serious effect on human survival and quality of life. Primary cilia are protrusions on the surfaces of cells. As antennas, they are distributed on the membrane surfaces of almost all mammalian cell types and participate in the development of organs and the maintenance of homeostasis. Mutations in cilium-related genes result in a variety of developmental and even lethal diseases. Patients with multiple ciliary gene mutations present overt changes in the skeletal system, suggesting that primary cilia are involved in hard tissue development and reconstruction. Furthermore, primary cilia act as sensors of external stimuli and regulate bone homeostasis. Specifically, substances are trafficked through primary cilia by intraflagellar transport, which affects key signaling pathways during hard tissue development. In this review, we summarize the roles of primary cilia in long bone development and remodeling from two perspectives: primary cilia signaling and sensory mechanisms. In addition, the cilium-related diseases of hard tissue and the manifestations of mutant cilia in the skeleton and teeth are described. We believe that all the findings will help with the intervention and treatment of related hard tissue genetic diseases.

  • COMMENT
    Elena Zocchi, Giuseppe Terrazzano
  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Sisi Wang, Lijun Peng, Wenqian Xu, Yuebo Zhou, Ziyan Zhu, Yushan Kong, Stewart Leung, Jin Wang, Xiaoqiang Yan, Jian-Qing Mi

    The CD19-targeting bispecific T-cell engager blinatumomab has shown remarkable efficacy in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. However, several studies showed that blinatumomab has a short plasma half-life due to its low molecular weight, and thus its clinical use is limited. Furthermore, multiple trials have shown that approximately 30% of blinatumomab-relapsed cases are characterized by CD19 negative leukemic cells. Here, we design and characterize two novel antibodies, A-319 and A-2019. Blinatumomab and A-319 are CD3/CD19 bispecific antibodies with different molecular sizes and structures, and A-2019 is a novel CD3/CD19/CD20 trispecific antibody with an additional anti-CD20 function. Our in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo experiments demonstrated that A-319 and A-2019 are potent antitumor agents and capable of recruiting CD3 positive T cells, enhancing T-cell function, mediating B-cell depletion, and eventually inhibiting tumor growth in Raji xenograft models. The two molecules are complementary in terms of efficacy and specificity profile. The activity of A-319 demonstrated superior to that of A-2019, whereas A-2019 has an additional capability to target CD20 in cells missing CD19, suggesting its potential function against CD19 weak or negative CD20 positive leukemic cells.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Yaxin Chen, Tianyi Yang, Xiaofeng Gao, Ajing Xu

    The fracture risk of patients with diabetes is higher than those of patients without diabetes due to hyperglycemia, usage of diabetes drugs, changes in insulin levels, and excretion, and this risk begins as early as adolescence. Many factors including demographic data (such as age, height, weight, and gender), medical history (such as smoking, drinking, and menopause), and examination (such as bone mineral density, blood routine, and urine routine) may be related to bone metabolism in patients with diabetes. However, most of the existing methods are qualitative assessments and do not consider the interactions of the physiological factors of humans. In addition, the fracture risk of patients with diabetes and osteoporosis has not been further studied previously. In this paper, a hybrid model combining XGBoost with deep neural network is used to predict the fracture risk of patients with diabetes and osteoporosis, and investigate the effect of patients’ physiological factors on fracture risk. A total of 147 raw input features are considered in our model. The presented model is compared with several benchmarks based on various metrics to prove its effectiveness. Moreover, the top 18 influencing factors of fracture risks of patients with diabetes are determined.