Cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin are platinum-based drugs that are widely used in cancer chemotherapy. Platinum-DNA adducts, which are formed following uptake of the drug into the nucleus of cells, activate several cellular processes that mediate the cytotoxicity of these platinum drugs. This review focuses on recently discovered cellular pathways that are activated in response to cisplatin, including those involved in regulating drug uptake, the signalling of DNA damage, cell-cycle checkpoints and arrest, DNA repair and cell death. Such knowledge of the cellular processing of cisplatin adducts with DNA provides valuable clues for the rational design of more efficient platinum-based drugs as well as the development of new therapeutic strategies.
SummaryPrevious studies have suggested that breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) mediate metastasis, are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, and contribute to relapse. Although several BCSC markers have been described, it is unclear whether these markers identify the same or independent BCSCs. Here, we show that BCSCs exist in distinct mesenchymal-like (epithelial-mesenchymal transition [EMT]) and epithelial-like (mesenchymal-epithelial transition [MET]) states. Mesenchymal-like BCSCs characterized as CD24−CD44+ are primarily quiescent and localized at the tumor invasive front, whereas epithelial-like BCSCs express aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), are proliferative, and are located more centrally. The gene-expression profiles of mesenchymal-like and epithelial-like BCSCs are remarkably similar across different molecular subtypes of breast cancer, and resemble those of distinct basal and luminal stem cells found in the normal breast. We propose that the plasticity of BCSCs that allows them to transition between EMT- and MET-like states endows these cells with the capacity for tissue invasion, dissemination, and growth at metastatic sites.
New structures of RNA polymerase II (pol II) transcribing complexes reveal a likely key to transcription. The trigger loop swings beneath a correct nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) in the nucleotide addition site, closing off the active center and forming an extensive network of interactions with the NTP base, sugar, phosphates, and additional pol II residues. A histidine side chain in the trigger loop, precisely positioned by these interactions, may literally "trigger" phosphodiester bond formation. Recognition and catalysis are thus coupled, ensuring the fidelity of transcription.
Mammalian genomes are populated with thousands of transcriptional enhancers that orchestrate cell type-specific gene expression programs1-4, but how those enhancers are exploited to institute alternative, signal-dependent transcriptional responses remains poorly understood. Here we present evidence that cell lineage-specific factors, such as FoxA1, can simultaneously facilitate and restrict key regulated transcription factors, exemplified by the androgen receptor (AR), to act on structurally- and functionally-distinct classes of enhancers. Consequently, FoxA1 down-regulation, an unfavorable prognostic sign in certain advanced prostate tumors, triggers dramatic reprogramming of the hormonal response by causing a massive switch in AR binding to a distinct cohort of pre-established enhancers. These enhancers are functional, as evidenced by the production of enhancer-templated non-coding RNA (eRNA5) based on global nuclear-on (GRO-seq) analysis6, with a unique class apparently requiring no nucleosome remodeling to induce specific enhancer-promoter looping and gene activation. GRO-seq data also suggest that liganded AR induces both transcription initiation and elongation. Together, these findings reveal a large repository of active enhancers that can be dynamically tuned to elicit alternative gene expression programs, which may underlie many sequential gene expression events in development, cell differentiation and disease progression.
A polymer with a rigid, randomly contorted molecular structure (see Figure), incorporating fused rings connected by spiro‐centres, may be precipitated or cast from solution to give microporous powders and membranes stable up to temperatures of 350 °C, with apparent surface areas > 600 m2 g–1. Organophilic membranes may be formed, as demonstrated by the separation of phenol from water by pervaporation.
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