Advance online publication:

This section includes articles accepted for publication in Cell Stress, which have not been released in a regular issue, yet. Please note that the PDF versions of advance publication articles are generally paginated starting with page 1. This does not correspond to the final pagination upon release of the issue it will appear in.

 

Targeting the TGFβ pathway in uterine carcinosarcoma

Shailendra Kumar Dhar Dwivedi, Geeta Rao, Anindya Dey, Megan Buechel, Yushan Zhang, Min Zhang, Da Yang, Priyabrata Mukherjee, Resham Bhattacharya

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Uterine carcinosarcoma (UCS) is a relatively infrequent, but extremely aggressive endometrial malignancy. Although surgery and chemotherapy have improved outcomes, overall survival (OS) remains dismal due to the lack of targeted therapy and biphasic (epithelial and mesenchymal) nature that renders the tumor aggressive and difficult to manage. Here we report a role of transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) in maintaining epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype and aggressiveness in UCS. Using a 3D-culture system, we evaluated the efficacy of the transforming growth factor-β receptor-I (TGFβR1) kinase inhibitor Galunisertib (GLT), alone and in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs used for the management of UCS. We demonstrate that GLT by inhibiting canonical and non-canonical signaling emanating from transforming growth factor-β1 (TGFβ1) reduces cellular viability, invasion, clonal growth and differentiation. Interestingly, GLT sensitizes UCS cells to chemotherapy both in vitro and in in vivo preclinical tumor model. Hence, targeting TGFβ signaling, in combination with standard chemotherapy, may be exploited as an important strategy to manage the clinically challenging UCS.

PDF | Published online: 25/08/2020 | In press

Endocytosis in the adaptation to cellular stress

Tania López-Hernández, Volker Haucke and Tanja Maritzen

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Cellular life is challenged by a multitude of stress conditions, triggered for example by alterations in osmolarity, oxygen or nutrient supply. Hence, cells have developed sophisticated stress responses to cope with these challenges. Some of these stress programs such as the heat shock response are understood in great detail, while other aspects remain largely elusive including potential stress-dependent adaptations of the plasma membrane proteome. The plasma membrane is not only the first point of encounter for many types of environmental stress, but given the diversity of receptor proteins and their associated molecules also represents the site at which many cellular signal cascades originate. Since these signaling pathways affect virtually all aspects of cellular life, changes in the plasma membrane proteome appear ideally suited to contribute to the cellular adaptation to stress. The most rapid means to alter the cell surface proteome in response to stress is by alterations in endocytosis. Changes in the overall endocytic flux or in the endocytic regulation of select proteins conceivably can help to counteract adverse environmental conditions. In this review we summarize recent data regarding stress-induced changes in endocytosis and discuss how these changes might contribute to the cellular adaptation to stress in different systems. Future studies will be needed to uncover the underlying mechanisms in detail and to arrive at a coherent picture.

PDF | Published online: 18/08/2020 | In press

Targeting immune-checkpoint inhibitor resistance mechanisms by MEK inhibitor and agonist anti-CD40 antibody combination therapy

Daniel Baumann and Rienk Offringa

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The widespread application of immune-checkpoint blockade (ICB) has resulted in unprecedented response rates in patients with immunogenic cancers, such as melanoma and lung cancer. However, sub-groups of patients with these indications do not respond to ICB, and the same applies to patients with other cancer types. Mechanisms of resistance to ICB include low tumor immunogenicity associated with low T cell infiltration (‘cold’ tumors), suppression of anti-tumor immunity by immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), lack of antigen-presentation and immune escape (e.g. by downregulation of MHC-I on tumor cells) as well as oncologic pathways that suppress immune responses. Combination strategies, involving cytostatic drugs, harbor the potential to overcome refractoriness to immunotherapy. However, suppression of immune cell function by cytostatic drugs may limit the efficacy. In our study, we show that combination treatment of targeted inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK) and agonist immunostimulatory anti-CD40 antibody (Ab) is particularly suitable in counteracting aforementioned ICB resistance mechanisms (Fig. 1).

PDF | Published online: 06/08/2020 | In press

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