• MinireviewDecember 31, 2018

    0 459 740

    BC200 RNA: An Emerging Therapeutic Target and Diagnostic Marker for Human Cancer

    Heegwon Shin, Youngmi Kim, Meehyein Kim, and Younghoon Lee

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(12): 993-999

    Abstract : One of the most interesting findings from genome-wide expression analysis is that a considerable amount of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) is present in the cell. Recent studies have identified diverse biological functions of ncRNAs, which are expressed in a much wider array of forms than proteins. Certain ncRNAs associated with diseases, in particular, have attracted research attention as novel therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers. BC200 RNA, a 200-nucleotide ncRNA originally identified as a neuron-specific transcript, is abnormally over-expressed in several types of cancer tissue. A number of recent studies have suggested mechanisms by which abnormal expression of BC200 RNA contributes to the development of cancer. In this article, we first provide a brief review of a recent progress in identifying functions of BC200 RNA in cancer cells, and then offer examples of other ncRNAs as new therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers for human cancer. Finally, we discuss future directions of studies on BC200 RNA for new cancer treatments.

  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2018

    0 401 3338

    Abstract : Traditionally, small-molecule or antibody-based therapies against human diseases have been designed to inhibit the enzymatic activity or compete for the ligand binding sites of pathological target proteins. Despite its demonstrated effectiveness, such as in cancer treatment, this approach is often limited by recurring drug resistance. More importantly, not all molecular targets are enzymes or receptors with druggable ‘hot spots’ that can be directly occupied by active site-directed inhibitors. Recently, a promising new paradigm has been created, in which small-molecule chemicals harness the naturally occurring protein quality control machinery of the ubiquitin-proteasome system to specifically eradicate disease-causing proteins in cells. Such ‘chemically induced protein degradation’ may provide unprecedented opportunities for targeting proteins that are inherently undruggable, such as structural scaffolds and other non-enzymatic molecules, for therapeutic purposes. This review focuses on surveying recent progress in developing E3-guided proteolysis-targeting chimeras (PROTACs) and small-molecule chemical modulators of deubiquitinating enzymes upstream of or on the proteasome.

  • MinireviewNovember 30, 2018

    0 370 2519

    Abstract : The discovery and mechanistic understanding of target-specific genome engineering technologies has led to extremely effective and specific genome editing in higher organisms. Target-specific genetic modification technology is expected to have a leading position in future gene therapy development, and has a ripple effect on various basic and applied studies. However, several problems remain and hinder efficient and specific editing of target genomic loci. The issues are particularly critical in precise targeted insertion of external DNA sequences into genomes. Here, we discuss some recent efforts to overcome such problems and present a perspective of future genome editing technologies.

  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2018

    0 477 6740

    Brain Somatic Mutations in Epileptic Disorders

    Hyun Yong Koh, and Jeong Ho Lee

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(10): 881-888

    Abstract : During the cortical development, cells in the brain acquire somatic mutations that can be implicated in various neurodevelopmental disorders. There is increasing evidence that brain somatic mutations lead to sporadic form of epileptic disorders with previously unknown etiology. In particular, malformation of cortical developments (MCD), ganglioglioma (GG) associated with intractable epilepsy and non-lesional focal epilepsy (NLFE) are known to be attributable to brain somatic mutations in mTOR pathway genes and others. In order to identify such somatic mutations presenting as low-level in epileptic brain tissues, the mutated cells should be enriched and sequenced with high-depth coverage. Nevertheless, there are a lot of technical limitations to accurately detect low-level of somatic mutations. Also, it is important to validate whether identified somatic mutations are truly causative for epileptic seizures or not. Furthermore, it will be necessary to understand the molecular mechanism of how brain somatic mutations disturb neuronal circuitry since epilepsy is a typical example of neural network disorder. In this review, we overview current genetic techniques and experimental tools in neuroscience that can address the existence and significance of brain somatic mutations in epileptic disorders as well as their effect on neuronal circuitry.

  • MinireviewOctober 31, 2018

    0 362 1013

    Abstract : Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are highly unorthodox proteins that do not form three-dimensional structures under physiological conditions. The discovery of IDPs has destroyed the classical structure-function paradigm in protein science, 3-D structure = function, because IDPs even without well-folded 3-D structures are still capable of performing important biological functions and furthermore are associated with fatal diseases such as cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and viral pandemics. Pre-structured motifs (PreSMos) refer to transient local secondary structural elements present in the target-unbound state of IDPs. During the last two decades PreSMos have been steadily acknowledged as the critical determinants for target binding in dozens of IDPs. To date, the PreSMo concept provides the most convincing structural rationale explaining the IDP-target binding behavior at an atomic resolution. Here we present a brief developmental history of PreSMos and describe their common characteristics. We also provide a list of newly discovered PreSMos along with their functional relevance.

  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2018

    0 1057 3113

    RNA-Binding Proteins in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Melody Zhao, Jihye Rachel Kim, Rebekah van Bruggen, and Jeehye Park

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(9): 818-829

    Abstract : Significant research efforts are ongoing to elucidate the complex molecular mechanisms underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which may in turn pinpoint potential therapeutic targets for treatment. The ALS research field has evolved with recent discoveries of numerous genetic mutations in ALS patients, many of which are in genes encoding RNA binding proteins (RBPs), including TDP-43, FUS, ATXN2, TAF15, EWSR1, hnRNPA1, hnRNPA2/B1, MATR3 and TIA1. Accumulating evidence from studies on these ALS-linked RBPs suggests that dysregulation of RNA metabolism, cytoplasmic mislocalization of RBPs, dysfunction in stress granule dynamics of RBPs and increased propensity of mutant RBPs to aggregate may lead to ALS pathogenesis. Here, we review current knowledge of the biological function of these RBPs and the contributions of ALS-linked mutations to disease pathogenesis.

  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2018

    0 397 1407

    Abstract : Discovery of the naturally evolved fluorescent proteins and their genetically engineered biosensors have enormously contributed to current bioimaging techniques. These reporters to trace dynamic changes of intracellular protein activities have continuously transformed according to the various demands in biological studies. Along with that, light-inducible optogenetic technologies have offered scientists to perturb, control and analyze the function of intracellular machineries in spatiotemporal manner. In this review, we present an overview of the molecular strategies that have been exploited for producing genetically encoded protein reporters and various optogenetic modules. Finally, in particular, we discuss the current efforts for combined use of these reporters and optogenetic modules as a powerful tactic for the control and imaging of signaling events in cells and tissues.

  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2018

    0 1022 4302

    Abstract : The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a critical organelle for protein synthesis, folding and modification, and lipid synthesis and calcium storage. Dysregulation of ER functions leads to the accumulation of misfolded- or unfolded-protein in the ER lumen, and this triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR), which restores ER homeostasis. The UPR is characterized by three distinct downstream signaling pathways that promote cell survival or apoptosis depending on the stressor, the intensity and duration of ER stress, and the cell type. Mammalian cells express the UPR transducers IRE1, PERK, and ATF6, which control transcriptional and translational responses to ER stress. Direct links between ER stress and immune responses are also evident, but the mechanisms by which UPR signaling cascades are coordinated with immunity remain unclear. This review discusses recent investigations of the roles of ER stress in immune responses that lead to differentiation, maturation, and cytokine expression in immune cells. Further understanding of how ER stress contributes to the pathogenesis of immune disorders will facilitate the development of novel therapies that target UPR pathways.

  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2018

    0 519 3562

    Abstract : Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, an emerging immunotherapy, has demonstrated promising clinical results in hematological malignancies including B-cell malignancies. However, accessibility to this transformative medicine is highly limited due to the complex process of manufacturing, limited options for target antigens, and insufficient anti-tumor responses against solid tumors. Advances in gene-editing technologies, such as the development of Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs), and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9), have provided novel engineering strategies to address these limitations. Development of next-generation CAR-T cells using gene-editing technologies would enhance the therapeutic potential of CAR-T cell treatment for both hematologic and solid tumors. Here we summarize the unmet medical needs of current CAR-T cell therapies and gene-editing strategies to resolve these challenges as well as safety concerns of gene-edited CAR-T therapies.

  • MinireviewJuly 31, 2018

    0 460 2403

    Abstract : The capacity of differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), which include both embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, into cardiomyocytes (CMs) in vitro provides an unlimited resource for human CMs for a wide range of applications such as cell based cardiac repair, cardiac drug toxicology screening, and human cardiac disease modeling. However, their applicability is significantly limited by immature phenotypes. It has been well known that currently available CMs derived from hPSCs (hPSC-CMs) represent immature embryonic or fetal stage CMs and are functionally and structurally different from mature human CMs. To overcome this critical issue, several new approaches aiming to generate more mature hPSC-CMs have been developed. This review describes recent approaches to generate more mature hPSC-CMs including their scientific principles, advantages, and limitations.

  • MinireviewJuly 31, 2018

    0 497 1257

    Structural Basis for LAR-RPTP?Mediated Synaptogenesis

    Seoung Youn Won, and Ho Min Kim

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(7): 622-630

    Abstract : Leukocyte common antigen-related protein tyrosine phosphatases (LAR-RPTPs) are cellular receptors of heparan sulfate (HS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) proteoglycans that regulate neurite outgrowth and neuronal regeneration. LAR-RPTPs have also received particular attention as the major presynaptic hubs for synapse organization through selective binding to numerous postsynaptic adhesion partners. Recent structural studies on LAR-RPTP?mediated trans-synaptic adhesion complexes have provided significant insight into the molecular basis of their specific interactions, the key codes for their selective binding, as well as the higher-order clustering of LAR-RPTPs necessary for synaptogenic activity. In this review, we summarize the structures of LAR-RPTPs in complex with various postsynaptic adhesion partners and discuss the molecular mechanisms underlying LAR-RPTP?mediated synaptogenesis.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2018

    0 685 5425

    Current Challenges of Streptococcus Infection and Effective Molecular, Cellular, and Environmental Control Methods in Aquaculture

    Anshuman Mishra, Gyu-Hwi Nam, Jeong-An Gim, Hee-Eun Lee, Ara Jo, and Heui-Soo Kim

    Mol. Cells 2018; 41(6): 495-505

    Abstract : Several bacterial etiological agents of streptococcal disease have been associated with fish mortality and serious global economic loss. Bacterial identification based on biochemical, molecular, and phenotypic methods has been routinely used, along with assessment of morphological analyses. Among these, the molecular method of 16S rRNA sequencing is reliable, but presently, advanced genomics are preferred over other traditional identification methodologies. This review highlights the geographical variation in strains, their relatedness, as well as the complexity of diagnosis, pathogenesis, and various control methods of streptococcal infections. Several limitations, from diagnosis to control, have been reported, which make prevention and containment of streptococcal disease difficult. In this review, we discuss the challenges in diagnosis, pathogenesis, and control methods and suggest appropriate molecular (comparative genomics), cellular, and environmental solutions from among the best available possibilities.

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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