• MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 853 1325

    The Role of Lozenge in Drosophila Hematopoiesis

    Ferdinand Koranteng , Nuri Cha , Mingyu Shin , and Jiwon Shim

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 114-120

    Abstract : Drosophila hematopoiesis is comparable to mammalian differentiation of myeloid lineages, and therefore, has been a useful model organism in illustrating the molecular and genetic basis for hematopoiesis. Multiple novel regulators and signals have been uncovered using the tools of Drosophila genetics. A Runt domain protein, lozenge, is one of the first players recognized and closely studied in the hematopoietic lineage specification. Here, we explore the role of lozenge in determination of prohemocytes into a special class of hemocyte, namely the crystal cell, and discuss molecules and signals controlling the lozenge function and its implication in immunity and stress response. Given the highly conserved nature of Runt domain in both invertebrates and vertebrates, studies in Drosophila will enlighten our perspectives on Runx-mediated development and pathologies.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 809 1039

    The RUNX1 Enhancer Element eR1: A Versatile Marker for Adult Stem Cells

    Linda Shyue Huey Chuang , Motomi Osato , and Yoshiaki Ito

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 121-125

    Abstract : The identification of adult stem cells is challenging because of the heterogeneity and plasticity of stem cells in different organs. Within the same tissue, stem cells may be highly proliferative, or maintained in a quiescent state and only to be activated after tissue damage. Although various stem cell markers have been successfully identified, there is no universal stem cell marker, which is exclusively expressed in all stem cells. Here, we discuss the roles of master developmental regulator RUNX1 in stem cells and the development of a 270 base pair fragment of the Runx1 enhancer (eR1) for use as stem cell marker. Using eR1 to identify stem cells offers a distinct advantage over gene promoters, which might not be expressed exclusively in stem cells. Moreover, RUNX1 has been strongly implicated in various cancer types, such as leukemia, breast, esophageal, prostate, oral, skin, and ovarian cancers?it has been suggested that RUNX1 dysfunction promotes stem cell dysfunction and proliferation. As tissue stem cells are potential candidates for cancer cells-of-origin and cancer stem cells, we will also discuss the use of eR1 to target oncogenic gene manipulations in stem cells and to track subsequent neoplastic changes.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 1375 1829

    RUNX1 Dosage in Development and Cancer

    Michael Lie-a-ling , Renaud Mevel , Rahima Patel , Karen Blyth , Esther Baena , Valerie Kouskoff , and Georges Lacaud

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 126-138

    Abstract : The transcription factor RUNX1 first came to prominence due to its involvement in the t(8;21) translocation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Since this discovery, RUNX1 has been shown to play important roles not only in leukemia but also in the ontogeny of the normal hematopoietic system. Although it is currently still challenging to fully assess the different parameters regulating RUNX1 dosage, it has become clear that the dose of RUNX1 can greatly affect both leukemia and normal hematopoietic development. It is also becoming evident that varying levels of RUNX1 expression can be used as markers of tumor progression not only in the hematopoietic system, but also in non-hematopoietic cancers. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of the effects of RUNX1 dosage in normal development of both hematopoietic and epithelial tissues and their associated cancers.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 882 1229

    Abstract : Somatic RUNX1 mutations are found in approximately 10% of patients with de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but are more common in secondary forms of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or AML. Particularly, this applies to MDS/AML developing from certain types of leukemia-prone inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. How these RUNX1 mutations contribute to the pathobiology of secondary MDS/AML is still unknown. This mini-review focusses on the role of RUNX1 mutations as the most common secondary leukemogenic hit in MDS/AML evolving from severe congenital neutropenia (SCN).

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 1546 1884

    The Clinical, Molecular, and Mechanistic Basis of RUNX1 Mutations Identified in Hematological Malignancies

    Asumi Yokota , Li Huo , Fengli Lan , Jianqiang Wu , and Gang Huang

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 145-152

    Abstract : RUNX1 plays an important role in the regulation of normal hematopoiesis. RUNX1 mutations are frequently found and have been intensively studied in hematological malignancies. Germline mutations in RUNX1 cause familial platelet disorder with predisposition to acute myeloid leukemia (FPD/AML). Somatic mutations of RUNX1 are observed in various types of hematological malignancies, such as AML, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML), and congenital bone marrow failure (CBMF). Here, we systematically review the clinical and molecular characteristics of RUNX1 mutations, the mechanisms of pathogenesis caused by RUNX1 mutations, and potential therapeutic strategies to target RUNX1-mutated cases of hematological malignancies.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 948 1157

    The Role of RUNX1 in NF1-Related Tumors and Blood Disorders

    Youjin Na , Gang Huang , and Jianqiang Wu

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 153-159

    Abstract : Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant disorder. NF1 patients are predisposed to formation of several type solid tumors as well as to juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Loss of NF1 results in dysregulation of MAPK, PI3K and other signaling cascades, to promote cell proliferation and to inhibit cell apoptosis. The RUNX1 gene is associated with stem cell function in many tissues, and plays a key role in the fate of stem cells. Aberrant RUNX1 expression leads to context-dependent tumor development, in which RUNX1 may serve as a tumor suppressor or an oncogene in specific tissue contexts. The co-occurrence of mutation of NF1 and RUNX1 is detected rarely in several cancers and signaling downstream of RAS-MAPK can alter RUNX1 function. Whether aberrant RUNX1 expression contributes to NF1-related tumorigenesis is not fully understood. This review focuses on the role of RUNX1 in NF1-related tumors and blood disorders, and in sporadic cancers.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 1258 1251

    Post-Translational Regulations of Transcriptional Activity of RUNX2

    Hyun-Jung Kim , Woo-Jin Kim , and Hyun-Mo Ryoo

    Mol. Cells 2020; 43(2): 160-167

    Abstract : Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) is a key transcription factor for bone formation and osteoblast differentiation. Various signaling pathways and mechanisms that regulate the expression and transcriptional activity of RUNX2 have been thoroughly investigated since the involvement of RUNX2 was first reported in bone formation. As the regulation of Runx2 expression by extracellular signals has recently been reviewed, this review focuses on the regulation of post-translational RUNX2 activity. Transcriptional activity of RUNX2 is regulated at the post-translational level by various enzymes including kinases, acetyl transferases, deacetylases, ubiquitin E3 ligases, and prolyl isomerases. We describe a sequential and linear causality between post-translational modifications of RUNX2 by these enzymes. RUNX2 is one of the most important osteogenic transcription factors; however, it is not a suitable drug target. Here, we suggest enzymes that directly regulate the stability and/or transcriptional activity of RUNX2 at a post-translational level as effective drug targets for treating bone diseases.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 2662 2842

    Abstract : Runx2 is an essential transcription factor for skeletal development. It is expressed in multipotent mesenchymal cells, osteoblast-lineage cells, and chondrocytes. Runx2 plays a major role in chondrocyte maturation, and Runx3 is partly involved. Runx2 regulates chondrocyte proliferation by directly regulating Ihh expression. It also determines whether chondrocytes become those that form transient cartilage or permanent cartilage, and functions in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Runx2 is essential for osteoblast differentiation and is required for the proliferation of osteoprogenitors. Ihh is required for Runx2 expression in osteoprogenitors, and hedgehog signaling and Runx2 induce the differentiation of osteoprogenitors to preosteoblasts in endochondral bone. Runx2 induces Sp7 expression, and Runx2, Sp7, and canonical Wnt signaling are required for the differentiation of preosteoblasts to immature osteoblasts. It also induces the proliferation of osteoprogenitors by directly regulating the expression of Fgfr2 and Fgfr3. Furthermore, Runx2 induces the proliferation of mesenchymal cells and their commitment into osteoblast-lineage cells through the induction of hedgehog (Gli1, Ptch1, Ihh), Fgf (Fgfr2, Fgfr3), Wnt (Tcf7, Wnt10b), and Pthlh (Pth1r) signaling pathway gene expression in calvaria, and more than a half-dosage of Runx2 is required for their expression. This is a major cause of cleidocranial dysplasia, which is caused by heterozygous mutation of RUNX2. Cbfb, which is a co-transcription factor that forms a heterodimer with Runx2, enhances DNA binding of Runx2 and stabilizes Runx2 protein by inhibiting its ubiquitination. Thus, Runx2/Cbfb regulates the proliferation and differentiation of chondrocytes and osteoblast-lineage cells by activating multiple signaling pathways and via their reciprocal regulation.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 933 971

    Abstract : The RUNX transcription factors serve as master regulators of development and are frequently dysregulated in human cancers. Among the three family members, RUNX3 is the least studied, and has long been considered to be a tumor-suppressor gene in human cancers. This idea is mainly based on the observation that RUNX3 is inactivated by genetic/epigenetic alterations or protein mislocalization during the initiation of tumorigenesis. Recently, this paradigm has been challenged, as several lines of evidence have shown that RUNX3 is upregulated over the course of tumor development. Resolving this paradox and understanding how a single gene can exhibit both oncogenic and tumor-suppressive properties is essential for successful drug targeting of RUNX. We propose a simple explanation for the duality of RUNX3: p53 status. In this model, p53 deficiency causes RUNX3 to become an oncogene, resulting in aberrant upregulation of MYC.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 592 510

    Abstract : When cells are stimulated by growth factors, they make a critical choice in early G1 phase: proceed forward to S phase, remain in G1, or revert to G0 phase. Once the critical decision is made, cells execute a fixed program independently of extracellular signals. The specific stage at which the critical decision is made is called the restriction point or R-point. The existence of the R-point raises a major question: what is the nature of the molecular machinery that decides whether or not a cell in G1 will continue to advance through the cell cycle or exit from the cell cycle? The R-point program is perturbed in nearly all cancer cells. Therefore, exploring the nature of the R-point decision-making machinery will provide insight into how cells consult extracellular signals and intracellular status to make an appropriate R-point decision, as well into the development of cancers. Recent studies have shown that expression of a number of immediate early genes is associated with the R-point decision, and that the decision-making program constitutes an oncogene surveillance mechanism. In this review, we briefly summarize recent findings regarding the mechanisms underlying the context-dependent R-point decision.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 1170 961

    Abstract : Cells are designed to be sensitive to a myriad of external cues so they can fulfil their individual destiny as part of the greater whole. A number of well-characterised signalling pathways dictate the cell’s response to the external environment and incoming messages. In healthy, well-ordered homeostatic systems these signals are tightly controlled and kept in balance. However, given their powerful control over cell fate, these pathways, and the transcriptional machinery they orchestrate, are frequently hijacked during the development of neoplastic disease. A prime example is the Wnt signalling pathway that can be modulated by a variety of ligands and inhibitors, ultimately exerting its effects through the β-catenin transcription factor and its downstream target genes. Here we focus on the interplay between the three-member family of RUNX transcription factors with the Wnt pathway and how together they can influence cell behaviour and contribute to cancer development. In a recurring theme with other signalling systems, the RUNX genes and the Wnt pathway appear to operate within a series of feedback loops. RUNX genes are capable of directly and indirectly regulating different elements of the Wnt pathway to either strengthen or inhibit the signal. Equally, β-catenin and its transcriptional co-factors can control RUNX gene expression and together they can collaborate to regulate a large number of third party co-target genes.

  • MinireviewFebruary 29, 2020

    0 729 895

    Abstract : Comprehensive inhibition of RUNX1, RUNX2, and RUNX3 led to marked cell suppression compared with inhibition of RUNX1 alone, clarifying that the RUNX family members are important for proliferation and maintenance of diverse cancers, and “cluster regulation of RUNX (CROX)” is a very effective strategy to suppress cancer cells. Recent studies reported by us and other groups suggested that wild-type RUNX1 is needed for survival and proliferation of certain types of leukemia, lung cancer, gastric cancer, etc. and for their one of metastatic target sites such as born marrow endothelial niche, suggesting that RUNX1 often functions oncogenic manners in cancer cells. In this review, we describe the significance and paradoxical requirement of RUNX1 tumor suppressor in leukemia and even solid cancers based on recent our findings such as “genetic compensation of RUNX family transcription factors (the compensation mechanism for the total level of RUNX family protein expression)”, “RUNX1 inhibition-induced inhibitory effects on leukemia cells and on solid cancers through p53 activation”, and “autonomous feedback loop of RUNX1-p53-CBFB in acute myeloid leukemia cells”. Taken together, these findings identify a crucial role for the RUNX cluster in the maintenance and progression of cancers and suggest that modulation of the RUNX cluster using the pyrrole-imidazole polyamide gene-switch technology is a potential novel therapeutic approach to control cancers.

Mol. Cells
Feb 28, 2023 Vol.46 No.2, pp. 69~129
The bulk tissue is a heterogeneous mixture of various cell types, which is depicted as a skein of intertwined threads with diverse colors each of which represents a unique cell type. Single-cell omics analysis untangles efficiently the skein according to the color by providing information of molecules at individual cells and interpretation of such information based on different cell types. The molecules that can be profiled at the individual cell by single-cell omics analysis includes DNA (bottom middle), RNA (bottom right), and protein (bottom left). This special issue reviews single-cell technologies and computational methods that have been developed for the single-cell omics analysis and how they have been applied to improve our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of biological and pathological phenomena at the single-cell level.

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