• MinireviewJune 30, 2018

    0 471 2290

    Abstract : The transcriptional regulation of genes determines the fate of animal cell differentiation and subsequent organ development. With the recent progress in genome-wide technologies, the genomic landscapes of enhancers have been broadly explored in mammalian genomes, which led to the discovery of novel specific subsets of enhancers, termed super-enhancers. Super-enhancers are large clusters of enhancers covering the long region of regulatory DNA and are densely occupied by transcription factors, active histone marks, and co-activators. Accumulating evidence points to the critical role that super-enhancers play in cell type-specific development and differentiation, as well as in the development of various diseases. Here, I provide a comprehensive description of the optimal approach for identifying functional units of super-enhancers and their unique chromatin features in normal development and in diseases, including cancers. I also review the recent updated knowledge on novel approaches of targeting super-enhancers for the treatment of specific diseases, such as small-molecule inhibitors and potential gene therapy. This review will provide perspectives on using super-enhancers as biomarkers to develop novel disease diagnostic tools and establish new directions in clinical therapeutic strategies.

  • MinireviewMay 31, 2018

    0 354 2223

    Abstract : Synapses and neural circuits form with exquisite specificity during brain development to allow the precise and appropriate flow of neural information. Although this property of synapses and neural circuits has been extensively investigated for more than a century, molecular mechanisms underlying this property are only recently being unveiled. Recent studies highlight several classes of cell-surface proteins as organizing hubs in building structural and functional architectures of specific synapses and neural circuits. In the present mini-review, we discuss recent findings on various synapse organizers that confer the distinct properties of specific synapse types and neural circuit architectures in mammalian brains, with a particular focus on the hippocampus and cerebellum.

  • MinireviewMay 31, 2018

    0 458 1630

    Regulatory Network of ARF in Cancer Development

    Aram Ko, Su Yeon Han, and Jaewhan Song

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(5): 381-389

    Abstract : ARF is a tumor suppressor protein that has a pivotal role in the prevention of cancer development through regulating cell proliferation, senescence, and apoptosis. As a factor that induces senescence, the role of ARF as a tumor suppressor is closely linked to the p53-MDM2 axis, which is a key process that restrains tumor formation. Thus, many cancer cells either lack a functional ARF or p53, which enables them to evade cell oncogenic stress-mediated cycle arrest, senescence, or apoptosis. In particular, the ARF gene is a frequent target of genetic and epigenetic alterations including promoter hyper-methylation or gene deletion. However, as many cancer cells still express ARF, pathways that negatively modulate transcriptional or post-translational regulation of ARF could be potentially important means for cancer cells to induce cellular proliferation. These recent findings of regulators affecting ARF protein stability along with its low levels in numerous human cancers indicate the significance of an ARF post-translational mechanism in cancers. Novel findings of regulators stimulating or suppressing ARF function would provide new therapeutic targets to manage cancer- and senescence-related diseases. In this review, we present the current knowledge on the regulation and alterations of ARF expression in human cancers, and indicate the importance of regulators of ARF as a prognostic marker and in potential therapeutic strategies.

  • MinireviewApril 30, 2018

    0 506 1378

    Abstract : Cells cope with diverse intrinsic and extrinsic stimuli in order to make adaptations for survival. The epigenetic landscape plays a crucial role in cellular adaptation, as it integrates the information generated from stimuli. Signaling pathways induced by stimuli communicate with chromatin to change the epigenetic landscape through regulation of epigenetic modifiers. Metabolic dynamics altered by these stimuli also affect the activity of epigenetic modifiers. Here, I review the current understanding of epigenetic regulation via signaling and metabolic pathways. In addition, I will discuss possible ways to achieve specificity of epigenetic modifications through the cooperation of stimuli-induced signal transduction and metabolic reprogramming.

  • MinireviewApril 30, 2018

    0 467 1335

    Abstract : Vertebrate organ development is accompanied by demarcation of tissue compartments, which grow coordinately with their neighbors. Hence, perturbing the coordinative growth of neighboring tissue compartments frequently results in organ malformation. The growth of tissue compartments is regulated by multiple intercellular and intracellular signaling pathways, including the Hippo signaling pathway that limits the growth of various organs. In the optic neuroepithelial continuum, which is partitioned into the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and ciliary margin (CM) during eye development, the Hippo signaling activity operates differentially, as it does in many tissues. In this review, we summarize recent studies that have explored the relationship between the Hippo signaling pathway and growth of optic neuroepithelial compartments. We will focus particularly on the roles of a tumor suppressor, neurofibromin 2 (NF2), whose expression is not only dependent on compartment-specific transcription factors, but is also subject to regulation by a Hippo-Yap feedback signaling circuit.

  • MinireviewMarch 31, 2018

    0 385 1601

    Abstract : Chloroplasts are present in organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. These organelles are thought to have originated from photosynthetic cyanobacteria through endosymbiosis. During endosymbiosis, most cyanobacterial genes were transferred to the host nucleus. Therefore, most chloroplast proteins became encoded in the nuclear genome and must return to the chloroplast after translation. The N-terminal cleavable transit peptide (TP) is necessary and sufficient for the import of nucleus-encoded interior chloroplast proteins. Over the past decade, extensive research on the TP has revealed many important characteristic features of TPs. These studies have also shed light on the question of how the many diverse TPs could have evolved to target specific proteins to the chloroplast. In this review, we summarize the characteristic features of TPs. We also highlight recent advances in our understanding of TP evolution and provide future perspectives about this important research area.

  • MinireviewMarch 31, 2018

    0 748 1681

    New Insights into the Role of E2s in the Pathogenesis of Diseases: Lessons Learned from UBE2O

    Daniel Hormaechea-Agulla, Youngjo Kim, Min Sup Song, and Su Jung Song

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(3): 168-178

    Abstract : Intracellular communication via ubiquitin (Ub) signaling impacts all aspects of cell biology and regulates pathways critical to human development and viability; therefore aberrations or defects in Ub signaling can contribute to the pathogenesis of human diseases. Ubiquitination consists of the addition of Ub to a substrate protein via coordinated action of E1-activating, E2-conjugating and E3-ligating enzymes. Approximately 40 E2s have been identified in humans, and most are thought to be involved in Ub transfer; although little information is available regarding the majority of them, emerging evidence has highlighted their importance to human health and disease. In this review, we focus on recent insights into the pathogenetic roles of E2s (particularly the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2O [UBE2O]) in debilitating diseases and cancer, and discuss the tantalizing prospect that E2s may someday serve as potential therapeutic targets for human diseases.

  • MinireviewFebruary 28, 2018

    0 834 3287

    Cancer Prevention with Green Tea and Its Principal Constituent, EGCG: from Early Investigations to Current Focus on Human Cancer Stem Cells

    Hirota Fujiki, Tatsuro Watanabe, Eisaburo Sueoka, Anchalee Rawangkan, and Masami Suganuma

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(2): 73-82

    Abstract : Cancer preventive activities of green tea and its main constituent, (?)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have been extensively studied by scientists all over the world. Since 1983, we have studied the cancer chemopreventive effects of EGCG as well as green tea extract and underlying molecular mechanisms. The first part of this review summarizes ground-breaking topics with EGCG and green tea extract: 1) Delayed cancer onset as revealed by a 10-year prospective cohort study, 2) Prevention of colorectal adenoma recurrence by a double-blind randomized clinical phase II trial, 3) Inhibition of metastasis of B16 melanoma cells to the lungs of mice, 4) Increase in the average value of Young’s moduli, i.e., cell stiffness, for human lung cancer cell lines and inhibition of cell motility and 5) Synergistic enhancement of anticancer activity against human cancer cell lines with the combination of EGCG and anticancer compounds. In the second part, we became interested in cancer stem cells (CSCs). 1) Cancer stem cells in mouse skin carcinogenesis by way of introduction, after which we discuss two subjects from our review on human CSCs reported by other investigators gathered from a search of PubMed, 2) Expression of stemness markers of human CSCs compared with their parental cells, and 3) EGCG decreases or increases the expression of mRNA and protein in human CSCs. On this point, EGCG inhibited self-renewal and expression of pluripotency-maintaining transcription factors in human CSCs. Human CSCs are thus a target for cancer prevention and treatment with EGCG and green tea catechins.

  • MinireviewFebruary 28, 2018

    0 790 4110

    The Role of Hippo Pathway in Cancer Stem Cell Biology

    Jae Hyung Park, Ji Eun Shin, and Hyun Woo Park

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(2): 83-92

    Abstract : The biological significance and deregulation of the Hippo pathway during organ growth and tumorigenesis have received a surge of interest in the past decade. The Hippo pathway core kinases, MST1/2 and LATS1/2, are tumor suppressors that inhibit the oncogenic nuclear function of YAP/TAZ and TEAD. In addition to earlier studies that highlight the role of Hippo pathway in organ size control, cell proliferation, and tumor development, recent evidence demonstrates its critical role in cancer stem cell biology, including EMT, drug resistance, and self-renewal. Here we provide a brief overview of the regulatory mechanisms of the Hippo pathway, its role in cancer stem cell biology, and promising therapeutic interventions.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 488 1610

    Autophagy Dysregulation and Obesity-Associated Pathologies

    Sim Namkoong, Chun-Seok Cho, Ian Semple, and Jun Hee Lee

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(1): 3-10

    Abstract : Autophagy is one of the major degradative mechanisms that can eliminate excessive nutrients, toxic protein aggregates, damaged organelles and invading microorganisms. In response to obesity and obesity-associated lipotoxic, proteotoxic and oxidative stresses, autophagy plays an essential role in maintaining physiological homeostasis. However, obesity and its associated stress insults can often interfere with the autophagic process through various mechanisms, which result in further aggravation of obesity-related metabolic pathologies in multiple metabolic organs. Paradoxically, inhibition of autophagy, within specific contexts, indirectly produces beneficial effects that can alleviate several detrimental consequences of obesity. In this minireview, we will provide a brief discussion about our current understanding of the impact of obesity on autophagy and the role of autophagy dysregulation in modulating obesity-associated pathological outcomes.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 733 1778

    Mechanisms and Physiological Roles of Mitophagy in Yeast

    Tomoyuki Fukuda, and Tomotake Kanki

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(1): 35-44

    Abstract : Mitochondria are responsible for supplying of most of the cell’s energy via oxidative phosphorylation. However, mitochondria also can be deleterious for a cell because they are the primary source of reactive oxygen species, which are generated as a byproduct of respiration. Accumulation of mitochondrial and cellular oxidative damage leads to diverse pathologies. Thus, it is important to maintain a population of healthy and functional mitochondria for normal cellular metabolism. Eukaryotes have developed defense mechanisms to cope with aberrant mitochondria. Mitochondria autophagy (known as mitophagy) is thought to be one such process that selectively sequesters dysfunctional or excess mitochondria within double-membrane autophagosomes and carries them into lysosomes/vacuoles for degradation. The power of genetics and conservation of fundamental cellular processes among eukaryotes make yeast an excellent model for understanding the general mechanisms, regulation, and function of mitophagy. In budding yeast, a mitochondrial surface protein, Atg32, serves as a mitochondrial receptor for selective autophagy that interacts with Atg11, an adaptor protein for selective types of autophagy, and Atg8, a ubiquitin-like protein localized to the isolation membrane. Atg32 is regulated transcriptionally and post-translationally to control mitophagy. Moreover, because Atg32 is a mitophagy-specific protein, analysis of its deficient mutant enables investigation of the physiological roles of mitophagy. Here, we review recent progress in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms and functional importance of mitophagy in yeast at multiple levels.

  • MinireviewJanuary 31, 2018

    0 398 2414

    Abstract : Atg5 and Atg7 have long been considered as essential molecules for autophagy. However, we found that cells lacking these molecules still form autophagic vacuoles and perform autophagic protein degradation when subjected to certain stressors. During this unconventional autophagy pathway, autophagosomes appeared to be generated in a Rab9-dependent manner by the fusion of vesicles derived from the trans-Golgi and late endosomes. Therefore, mammalian autophagy can occur via at least two different pathways; the Atg5/Atg7-dependent conventional pathway and an Atg5/Atg7-independent alternative pathway.

Mol. Cells
Jul 31, 2022 Vol.45 No.7, pp. 435~512
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells capable of differentiating into mesodermal lineages like adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic. Alcian blue-positive extracellular matrix secreted by chondrocytes in the lacuna confirmed the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs (Bashyal et al., pp. 479-494).

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