• MinireviewOctober 31, 2021

    0 363 98

    Generation and Fates of Supernumerary Centrioles in Dividing Cells

    Byungho Shin , Myung Se Kim , Yejoo Lee , Gee In Jung , and Kunsoo Rhee

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(10): 699-705

    Abstract : The centrosome is a subcellular organelle from which a cilium assembles. Since centrosomes function as spindle poles during mitosis, they have to be present as a pair in a cell. How the correct number of centrosomes is maintained in a cell has been a major issue in the fields of cell cycle and cancer biology. Centrioles, the core of centrosomes, assemble and segregate in close connection to the cell cycle. Abnormalities in centriole numbers are attributed to decoupling from cell cycle regulation. Interestingly, supernumerary centrioles are commonly observed in cancer cells. In this review, we discuss how supernumerary centrioles are generated in diverse cellular conditions. We also discuss how the cells cope with supernumerary centrioles during the cell cycle.

  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2021

    0 185 282

    Visualizing Live Chromatin Dynamics through CRISPR-Based Imaging Techniques

    Narendra Chaudhary , Jae-Kyeong Im , Si-Hyeong Nho , and Hajin Kim

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(9): 627-636

    Abstract : The three-dimensional organization of chromatin and its time-dependent changes greatly affect virtually every cellular function, especially DNA replication, genome maintenance, transcription regulation, and cell differentiation. Sequencing-based techniques such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, and Hi-C provide abundant information on how genomic elements are coupled with regulatory proteins and functionally organized into hierarchical domains through their interactions. However, visualizing the time-dependent changes of such organization in individual cells remains challenging. Recent developments of CRISPR systems for site-specific fluorescent labeling of genomic loci have provided promising strategies for visualizing chromatin dynamics in live cells. However, there are several limiting factors, including background signals, off-target binding of CRISPR, and rapid photobleaching of the fluorophores, requiring a large number of target-bound CRISPR complexes to reliably distinguish the target-specific foci from the background. Various modifications have been engineered into the CRISPR system to enhance the signal-to-background ratio and signal longevity to detect target foci more reliably and efficiently, and to reduce the required target size. In this review, we comprehensively compare the performances of recently developed CRISPR designs for improved visualization of genomic loci in terms of the reliability of target detection, the ability to detect small repeat loci, and the allowed time of live tracking. Longer observation of genomic loci allows the detailed identification of the dynamic characteristics of chromatin. The diffusion properties of chromatin found in recent studies are reviewed, which provide suggestions for the underlying biological processes.

  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2021

    2 302 773

    iPSC-Derived Natural Killer Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

    Peter Karagiannis and Shin-Il Kim

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(8): 541-548

    Abstract : The discovery of human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) at the turn of the century opened the door to a new generation of regenerative medicine research. Among PSCs, the donors available for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are greatest, providing a potentially universal cell source for all types of cell therapies including cancer immunotherapies using natural killer (NK cells). Unlike primary NK cells, those prepared from iPSCs can be prepared with a homogeneous quality and are easily modified to exert a desired response to tumor cells. There already exist several protocols to genetically modify and differentiate iPSCs into NK cells, and each has its own advantages with regards to immunotherapies. In this short review, we detail the benefits of using iPSCs in NK cell immunotherapies and discuss the challenges that must be overcome before this approach becomes mainstream in the clinic.

  • MinireviewAugust 31, 2021

    0 151 220

    Abstract : Decoding the molecular mechanisms underlying axon guidance is key to precise understanding of how complex neural circuits form during neural development. Although substantial progress has been made over the last three decades in identifying numerous axon guidance molecules and their functional roles, little is known about how these guidance molecules collaborate to steer growth cones to their correct targets. Recent studies in Drosophila point to the importance of the combinatorial action of guidance molecules, and further show that selective fasciculation and defasciculation at specific choice points serve as a fundamental strategy for motor axon guidance. Here, I discuss how attractive and repulsive guidance cues cooperate to ensure the recognition of specific choice points that are inextricably linked to selective fasciculation and defasciculation, and correct pathfinding decision-making.

  • MinireviewJuly 31, 2021

    0 151 395

    Integrative Multi-Omics Approaches in Cancer Research: From Biological Networks to Clinical Subtypes

    Yong Jin Heo , Chanwoong Hwa , Gang-Hee Lee , Jae-Min Park , and Joon-Yong An

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(7): 433-443

    Abstract : Multi-omics approaches are novel frameworks that integrate multiple omics datasets generated from the same patients to better understand the molecular and clinical features of cancers. A wide range of emerging omics and multi-view clustering algorithms now provide unprecedented opportunities to further classify cancers into subtypes, improve the survival prediction and therapeutic outcome of these subtypes, and understand key pathophysiological processes through different molecular layers. In this review, we overview the concept and rationale of multi-omics approaches in cancer research. We also introduce recent advances in the development of multi-omics algorithms and integration methods for multiple-layered datasets from cancer patients. Finally, we summarize the latest findings from large-scale multi-omics studies of various cancers and their implications for patient subtyping and drug development.

  • MinireviewJuly 31, 2021

    0 108 534

    Combinatorial Approach Using Caenorhabditis elegans and Mammalian Systems for Aging Research

    Gee-Yoon Lee , Jooyeon Sohn , and Seung-Jae V. Lee

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(7): 425-432

    Abstract : Aging is associated with functional and structural declines in organisms over time. Organisms as diverse as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals share signaling pathways that regulate aging and lifespan. In this review, we discuss recent combinatorial approach to aging research employing C. elegans and mammalian systems that have contributed to our understanding of evolutionarily conserved aging-regulating pathways. The topics covered here include insulin/IGF-1, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and sirtuin signaling pathways; dietary restriction; autophagy; mitochondria; and the nervous system. A combinatorial approach employing high-throughput, rapid C. elegans systems, and human model mammalian systems is likely to continue providing mechanistic insights into aging biology and will help develop therapeutics against age-associated disorders.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2021

    3 218 1185

    Abstract : The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has not only affected human health but also diverted the focus of research and derailed the world economy over the past year. Recently, vaccination against COVID-19 has begun, but further studies on effective therapeutic agents are still needed. The severity of COVID-19 is attributable to several factors such as the dysfunctional host immune response manifested by uncontrolled viral replication, type I interferon suppression, and release of impaired cytokines by the infected resident and recruited cells. Due to the evolving pathophysiology and direct involvement of the host immune system in COVID-19, the use of immune-modulating drugs is still challenging. For the use of immune-modulating drugs in severe COVID-19, it is important to balance the fight between the aggravated immune system and suppression of immune defense against the virus that causes secondary infection. In addition, the interplaying events that occur during virus-host interactions, such as activation of the host immune system, immune evasion mechanism of the virus, and manifestation of different stages of COVID-19, are disjunctive and require thorough streamlining. This review provides an update on the immunotherapeutic interventions implemented to combat COVID-19 along with the understanding of molecular aspects of the immune evasion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which may provide opportunities to develop more effective and promising therapeutics.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2021

    1 157 1175

    Abstract : It has been more than a year since severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first emerged. Many studies have provided insights into the various aspects of the immune response in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Especially for antibody treatment and vaccine development, humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has been studied extensively, though there is still much that is unknown and controversial. Here, we introduce key discoveries on the humoral immune responses in COVID-19, including the immune dynamics of antibody responses and correlations with disease severity, neutralizing antibodies and their cross-reactivity, how long the antibody and memory B-cell responses last, aberrant autoreactive antibodies generated in COVID-19 patients, and the efficacy of currently available therapeutic antibodies and vaccines against circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, and highlight gaps in the current knowledge.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2021

    4 139 717

    Abstract : The recent appearance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected millions of people around the world and caused a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It has been suggested that uncontrolled, exaggerated inflammation contributes to the adverse outcomes of COVID-19. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the innate immune response elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection and the hyperinflammation that contributes to disease severity and death. We also discuss the immunological determinants behind COVID-19 severity and propose a rationale for the underlying mechanisms.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2021

    1 283 729

    Phenotypes and Functions of SARS-CoV-2-Reactive T Cells

    Min Kyung Jung and Eui-Cheol Shin

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(6): 401-407

    Abstract : Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is an ongoing pandemic disease. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses have been detected and characterized not only in COVID-19 patients and convalescents, but also unexposed individuals. Here, we review the phenotypes and functions of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells in COVID-19 patients and the relationships between SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses and COVID-19 severity. In addition, we describe the phenotypes and functions of SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells after recovery from COVID-19 and discuss the presence of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells in unexposed individuals and SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses elicited by COVID-19 vaccines. A better understanding of T-cell responses is important for effective control of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

  • MinireviewJune 30, 2021

    1 148 537

    Experimental Models for SARS-CoV-2 Infection

    Taewoo Kim , Jeong Seok Lee , and Young Seok Ju

    Mol. Cells 2021; 44(6): 377-383

    Abstract : Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To understand the identity, functional characteristics and therapeutic targets of the virus and the diseases, appropriate infection models that recapitulate the in vivo pathophysiology of the viral infection are necessary. This article reviews the various infection models, including Vero cells, human cell lines, organoids, and animal models, and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. This knowledge will be helpful for establishing an efficient system for defense against emerging infectious diseases.

  • MinireviewMay 31, 2021

    0 92 618

    Abstract : An increasing number of studies have revealed an interaction between gut microbiota and tumors. The enrichment of specific bacteria strains in the intestines has been found to modulate tumor growth and influence the mechanisms of tumor treatment. Various bacteria are involved in modulating the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs currently used to treat patients with cancer, and they affect not only gastrointestinal tract tumors but also distant organ tumors. In addition, changes in the gut microbiota are known to be involved in the antitumor immune response as well as the modulation of the intestinal immune system. As a result, the gut microbiota plays an important role in modulating the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, gut microbiota could be considered as an adjuvant treatment option with other cancer treatment or as another marker for predicting treatment response. In this review, we examine how gut microbiota affects cancer treatments.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2021 Vol.44 No.11, pp. 781~860
3D quantitative images of the vesicular structure and the nucleolus using label free optical diffraction tomography (Kim et al., pp. 851-860).

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