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Discoveries Category

New Revelations from Single-Cell Cytomic Data

Dec. 12, 2018—Cytomics, the “omics” of cell identity, offers the opportunity to systematically identify all cells in a tissue or patient sample, and the recent advent of high-dimensional flow and mass cytometry to the cytomics arsenal has markedly increased its power. Cytomics is particularly valuable in the detailed analysis of immune cell populations, which are frequently complex...

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A Close Look at β-Cell Transcription Factor Function

Dec. 4, 2018—Over 27 million people in the United States are living with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. In most cases, type 2 diabetes results from a mixture of multiple genetic and environmental factors. However, in a small subgroup of patients, mutation of a single gene leads to the form of type 2 diabetes known as maturity...

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How Cancer Cell Death Can Thwart Therapy

Dec. 4, 2018—Apoptosis is a mechanism of cell death that occurs in normal tissues as part of natural cell turnover and remodeling. Apoptotic cells are cleared by efforcytosis, a specialized form of phagocytosis mediated by MerTK, a receptor tyrosine kinase expressed by many phagocytic cells. MerTK recognizes a combination of ligands, such as Gas6, in combination with...

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Exploring Single Cell Data with sc-UniFrac

Oct. 25, 2018—Our growing ability to acquire data at the level of single cells in complex samples provides exciting new opportunities to understand physiological and pathophysiological processes; however, it also presents daunting challenges for the statistical evaluation of the resultant huge datasets. To date, most experimental approaches have focused on identifying the cell populations that are present...

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A New Approach to RAS Inhibition

Oct. 10, 2018—A New Approach to RAS Inhibition RAS is a small protein that acts as a molecular on/off switch to modulate numerous signaling pathways that control cell proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Activating mutations of RAS contribute to the malignant behavior of many kinds of cancers. Thus, there is a major ongoing effort to find drugs that...

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Promoting Immune-Mediated Therapy in Breast Cancer

Oct. 10, 2018—Promoting Immune-Mediated Therapy in Breast Cancer Despite major progress in early diagnosis and treatment, breast cancer (BC) remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the U.S. A promising new approach to cancer therapy is immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), antibodies that block receptors on immune cells that suppress the adaptive immune response....

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Elongating Microvilli in the Intestine

Oct. 10, 2018—Elongating Microvilli in the Intestine Enterocytes, the epithelial cells lining the lumen of the intestine, develop a dense lawn of microvilli (MV) on their apical surface as they differentiate from stem cells in the intestinal crypt. We know that MV are membrane protrusions supported by a bundle of actin filaments, but we understand very little...

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A Path to Insulin Resistance in Diet-Induced Obesity

Oct. 10, 2018—A Path to Insulin Resistance in Diet-Induced Obesity Increasing evidence indicates that inflammation in adipose tissue (AT) contributes to insulin resistance and other metabolic abnormalities frequently observed in obesity. We know that macrophages in AT play an important role in obesity-associated inflammation and that obese AT can activate proinflammatory CD8+cytotoxic T cells. Now, Vanderbilt Basic...

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New Target for Treatment of Schizophrenia

Sep. 10, 2018—New Target for Treatment of Schizophrenia Although today’s antipsychotic medications provide effective relief from some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, not all symptoms are improved, and most patients suffer significant drug-related side effects. In the search for better drugs, recent attention has focused on the M4muscarinic acetylcholine receptordue to its ability to suppress excessive dopamine...

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Methylglyoxal-Histone Adducts

Aug. 29, 2018—​Methylglyoxal-Histone Adducts As the primary protein component of the nucleosome, histones play a critical role in packaging DNA and regulating chromatin dynamics. Histones contain an unusually large number of lysine and arginine residues, particularly in their N-terminal tail. These residues serve as sites of numerous enzymatically controlled post-translational modifications (PTMs) that alter the histone-DNA interaction...

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