This article investigates differences in gene expression in the brains of patients with and without Parkinson's disease. The authors identify a crucial transcriptional regulator may be a relevant target for future therapeutic treatment for Parkinson's disease.
Engineered bacteria that degrade oil are currently being considered as a safe option for the treatment of oil spills. For this approach to be successful, the bacteria must effectively express oil-degrading genes they uptake as part of an external genoming vehicle called a "plasmid". Using a computational approach, the authors investigate plasmid-bacterium compatibility to find pairs that ensure high levels of gene expression.
Treatments inhibiting Notch signaling pathways have been explored by researchers as a new approach for the treatment of glioblastoma tumors, which is a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor. Recently, retinoic acid (RA) therapy, which inhibits Notch signaling, has shown a promising effect on inhibiting glioblastoma progression. RA, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, is very important in embryonic cellular development, which includes the regulation of multiple developmental processes, such as brain neurogenesis. However, high doses of RA treatment caused many side effects such as headaches, nausea, redness around the injection site, or allergic reactions. Therefore, we hypothesized that a combination treatment of RA and siRNA targeting NOTCH1 (siNOTCH1), the essential gene that activates Notch signaling, would effectively inhibit brain cancer cell proliferation. The aim of the study was to determine whether inhibiting NOTCH1 would inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells by cell viability assay. We found that the combination treatment of siNOTCH1 and RA in low concentration effectively decreased the NOTCH1 expression level compared to the individual treatments. However, the combination treatment condition significantly decreased the number of live brain cancer cells only at a low concentration of RA. We anticipate that this novel combination treatment can provide a solution to the side effects of chemotherapy.
Here, seeking to better understand the genetic associations underlying non-small cell lung cancer, the authors screened hundreds of genes, identifying that KCNMB2 upregulation was significantly correlated with poor prognoses in lung cancer patients. Based on this, they used small interfering RNA to decrease the expression of KCNMB2 in A549 lung cancer cells, finding decreased cell proliferation and increased lung cancer cell death. They suggest this could lead to a new potential target for lung cancer therapies.
The authors looked at biomarkers in glioblastoma patients they hypothesized to be correlated with survival rate. Ultimately they did not find hMSH2 or hMSH6, genes involved in mismatch repair, to be significantly associated with outcomes related to increased survival.
Uveal melanoma (UM) is a rare subtype of melanoma but the most frequent primary cancer of the eye in adults. The goal of this study was to research the genetic causes of UM through a comprehensive frequency analysis of base-pair mismatches in patient genomes. Results showed a total of 130 genetic mutations, including seven recurrent mutations, with most mutations occurring in chromosomes 3 and X. Recurrent mutations varied from 8.7% to 17.39% occurrence in the UM patient sample, with all mutations identified as missense. These findings suggest that UM is a recessive heterogeneous disease with selective homozygous mutations. Notably, this study has potential wider significance because the seven genes targeted by recurrent mutations are also involved in other cancers.
In an extensive study of gene mutations, and their resulting effect on protein-protein interactions, Desai and Stork found that HTT-PRPF40B-MECP2 interactions are weakened with progression of Lopes-Maciel-Rodan syndrome.