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  • MinireviewSeptember 30, 2019

    0 4183 4691

    Past, Present, and Future of Brain Organoid Technology

    Bonsang Koo, Baekgyu Choi, Hoewon Park, and Ki-Jun Yoon

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 617-627

    Abstract : Brain organoids are an exciting new technology with the potential to significantly change our understanding of the development and disorders of the human brain. With step-by-step differentiation protocols, three-dimensional neural tissues are self-organized from pluripotent stem cells, and recapitulate the major millstones of human brain development in vitro. Recent studies have shown that brain organoids can mimic the spatiotemporal dynamicity of neurogenesis, the formation of regional neural circuitry, and the integration of glial cells into a neural network. This suggests that brain organoids could serve as a representative model system to study the human brain. In this review, we will overview the development of brain organoid technology, its current progress and applications, and future prospects of this technology.

  • Research ArticleSeptember 30, 2019

    0 1380 2010

    Knockdown of Pyruvate Kinase M Inhibits Cell Growth and Migration by Reducing NF-kB Activity in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

    Chaobing Ma, Xueyin Zu, Kangdong Liu, Ann M. Bode, Zigang Dong, Zhenzhen Liu, and Dong Joon Kim

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 628-636

    Abstract : Altered genetic features in cancer cells lead to a high rate of aerobic glycolysis and metabolic reprogramming that is essential for increased cancer cell viability and rapid proliferation. Pyruvate kinase muscle (PKM) is a rate-limiting enzyme in the final step of glycolysis. Herein, we report that PKM is a potential therapeutic target in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. We found that PKM1 or PKM2 is highly expressed in TNBC tissues or cells. Knockdown of PKM significantly suppressed cell proliferation and migration, and strongly reduced S phase and induced G2 phase cell cycle arrest by reducing phosphorylation of the CDC2 protein in TNBC cells. Additionally, knockdown of PKM significantly suppressed NF-κB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) activity by reducing the phosphorylation of p65 at serine 536, and also decreased the expression of NF-κB target genes. Taken together, PKM is a potential target that may have therapeutic implications for TNBC cells.

  • Research ArticleSeptember 30, 2019

    0 1130 1019

    Pi5 and Pii Paired NLRs Are Functionally Exchangeable and Confer Similar Disease Resistance Specificity

    Kieu Thi Xuan Vo, Sang-Kyu Lee, Morgan K. Halane, Min-Young Song, Trung Viet Hoang, Chi-Yeol Kim, Sook-Young Park, Junhyun Jeon, Sun Tae Kim, Kee Hoon Sohn, and Jong-Seong Jeon

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 637-645

    Abstract : Effector-triggered immunity (ETI) is an effective layer of plant defense initiated upon recognition of avirulence (Avr) effectors from pathogens by cognate plant disease resistance (R) proteins. In rice, a large number of R genes have been characterized from various cultivars and have greatly contributed to breeding programs to improve resistance against the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. The extreme diversity of R gene repertoires is thought to be a result of co-evolutionary history between rice and its pathogens including M. oryzae. Here we show that Pii is an allele of Pi5 by DNA sequence characterization and complementation analysis. Pii-1 and Pii-2 cDNAs were cloned by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from the Pii-carrying cultivar Fujisaka5. The complementation test in susceptible rice cultivar Dongjin demonstrated that the rice blast resistance mediated by Pii, similar to Pi5, requires the presence of two nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat genes, Pii-1 and Pii-2. Consistent with our hypothesis that Pi5 and Pii are functionally indistinguishable, the replacement of Pii-1 by Pi5-1 and Pii-2 by Pi5-2, respectively, does not change the level of disease resistance to M. oryzae carrying AVR-Pii. Surprisingly, Exo70F3, required for Pii-mediated resistance, is dispensable for Pi5-mediated resistance. Based on our results, despite similarities observed between Pi5 and Pii, we hypothesize that Pi5 and Pii pairs require partially distinct mechanisms to function.

  • Research ArticleSeptember 30, 2019

    0 1305 1123

    Arabidopsis Raf-Like Kinase Raf10 Is a Regulatory Component of Core ABA Signaling

    Quy Thi Cam Nguyen, Sun-ji Lee, Seo-wha Choi, Yeon-ju Na, Mi-ran Song, Quyen Thi Ngoc Hoang, Seo Young Sim, Min-Sik Kim, Jeong-Il Kim, Moon-Soo Soh, and Soo Young Kim

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 646-660

    Abstract : Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone essential for seed development and seedling growth under unfavorable environmental conditions. The signaling pathway leading to ABA response has been established, but relatively little is known about the functional regulation of the constituent signaling components. Here, we present several lines of evidence that Arabidopsis Raf-like kinase Raf10 modulates the core ABA signaling downstream of signal perception step. In particular, Raf10 phosphorylates subclass III SnRK2s (SnRK2.2, SnRK2.3, and SnRK2.6), which are key positive regulators, and our study focused on SnRK2.3 indicates that Raf10 enhances its kinase activity and may facilitate its release from negative regulators. Raf10 also phosphorylates transcription factors (ABI5, ABF2, and ABI3) critical for ABA-regulted gene expression. Furthermore, Raf10 was found to be essential for the in vivo functions of SnRK2s and ABI5. Collectively, our data demonstrate that Raf10 is a novel regulatory component of core ABA signaling.

  • Research ArticleSeptember 30, 2019

    0 1110 909

    Small Molecule-Based Strategy Promotes Nucleus Pulposus Specific Differentiation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    Jianming Hua, Ning Shen, Jingkai Wang, Yiqing Tao, Fangcai Li, Qixin Chen, and Xiaopeng Zhou

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 661-671

    Abstract : Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) are promising for regenerating degenerated intervertebral discs (IVDs), but the low efficiency of nucleus pulposus (NP)-specific differentiation limits their clinical applications. The Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway is important in NP-specific differentiation of ADSCs, and Smoothened Agonist (SAG) is a highly specific and effective agonist of Shh signaling. In this study, we proposed a new differentiation strategy with the use of the small molecule SAG. The NP-specific differentiation and extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis of ADSCs were measured in vitro, and the regenerative effects of SAG pretreated ADSCs in degenerated IVDs were verified in vivo. The results showed that the combination of SAG and transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3) is able to increase the ECM synthesis of ADSCs. In addition, the gene and protein expression levels of NP-specific markers were increased by treatment with SAG and TGF-β3. Furthermore, SAG pretreated ADSCs can also improve the disc height, water content, ECM content, and structure of degenerated IVDs in vivo. Our new differentiation scheme has high efficiency in inducing NP-specific differentiation of ADSCs and is promising for stem cell-based treatment of degenerated IVDs.

  • Research ArticleSeptember 30, 2019

    0 930 758

    Upregulation of Carbonyl Reductase 1 by Nrf2 as a Potential Therapeutic Intervention for Ischemia/ Reperfusion Injury during Liver Transplantation

    Jae Hyun Kwon, Jooyoung Lee, Jiye Kim, Varvara A. Kirchner, Yong Hwa Jo, Takeshi Miura, Nayoung Kim, Gi-Won Song, Shin Hwang, Sung-Gyu Lee, Young-In Yoon, and Eunyoung Tak

    Mol. Cells 2019; 42(9): 672-685

    Abstract : Currently, liver transplantation is the only available remedy for patients with end-stage liver disease. Conservation of transplanted liver graft is the most important issue as it directly related to patient survival. Carbonyl reductase 1 (CBR1) protects cells against oxidative stress and cell death by inactivating cellular membrane-derived lipid aldehydes. Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury during living-donor liver transplantation is known to form reactive oxygen species. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate whether CBR1 transcription might be increased during liver I/R injury and whether such increase might protect liver against I/R injury. Our results revealed that transcription factor Nrf2 could induce CBR1 transcription in liver of mice during I/R. Pre-treatment with sulforaphane, an activator of Nrf2, increased CBR1 expression, decreased liver enzymes such as aspartate aminotransferase and alanine transaminase, and reduced I/R-related pathological changes. Using oxygen-glucose deprivation and recovery model of human normal liver cell line, it was found that oxidative stress markers and lipid peroxidation products were significantly lowered in cells overexpressing CBR1. Conversely, CBR1 knockdown cells expressed elevated levels of oxidative stress proteins compared to the parental cell line. We also observed that Nrf2 and CBR1 were overexpressed during liver transplantation in clinical samples. These results suggest that CBR1 expression during liver I/R injury is regulated by transcription factor Nrf2. In addition, CBR1 can reduce free radicals and prevent lipid peroxidation. Taken together, CBR1 induction might be a therapeutic strategy for relieving liver I/R injury during liver transplantation.

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2023 Vol.46 No.11, pp. 655~725
Kim et al. (pp. 710-724) demonstrated that a pathogen-derived Ralstonia pseudosolanacearum type III effector RipL delays flowering time and enhances susceptibility to bacterial infection in Arabidopsis thaliana. Shown is the RipL-expressing Arabidopsis plant, which displays general dampening of the transcriptional program during pathogen infection, grown in long-day conditions.


Molecules and Cells

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