Targeting Autophagy in Prostate Cancer: Preclinical and Clinical Evidence for Therapeutic Response

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and new estimates revealed prostate cancer as the leading cause of death in men in 2021. Therefore, new strategies are pertinent in the treatment of this malignant disease. Macroautophagy/autophagy is a “self-degradation” mechanism capable of facilitating the turnover of long-lived and toxic macromolecules and organelles. Recently, attention has been drawn towards…
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In yeast, at least seven proteins (Ice2p, Ist2p, Scs2/22p, Tcb1-Tcb3p) affect cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tethering and contact with the plasma membrane (PM). In Δ-super-tether (Δ-s-tether) cells that lack these tethers, cortical ER-PM association is all but gone. Yeast OSBP homologue (Osh) proteins are also implicated in membrane contact site (MCS) assembly, perhaps as subunits for multicomponent tethers, though their…
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Proteoglycans are proteins that are modified with glycosaminoglycan chains. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are currently being exploited as targets for drug-delivery in various cancer indications, however basic knowledge on how CSPGs are internalized in tumor cells is lacking. In this study we took advantage of a recombinant CSPG-binding lectin VAR2CSA (rVAR2) to track internalization and cell fate of CSPGs in…
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Dr. William Lockwood's lab is focused on studying the biological basis of lung cancer initiation, progression and response to therapy. They utilize different approaches to address this, from sequencing patient tumours to performing functional screens in cell lines and genetically engineered mouse model systems.
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through capillaries as small as 2 μm in order to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body. The loss of this capability is associated with the pathology of many diseases, and is therefore a potential biomarker for disease status and treatment efficacy. Measuring RBC deformability is a difficult problem because of the minute forces (∼pN) that must be exerted…
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Dr. Gregg Morin's group uses an instrument technology called mass spectrometry to measure the abundance levels of proteins in cancer cells. This information allows them and their clinician scientist and research lab collaborators to identify proteins that are aberrantly expressed in cancers. Aberrant proteins in cancers could be diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers in clinical assays, as candidates for new drug development, or illuminate the cellular level events that lead to cancers.
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NAFLD and the Gut-Liver Axis: Exploring an Undernutrition Perspective

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic condition affecting one quarter of the global population. Although primarily linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome, undernutrition and the altered (dysbiotic) gut microbiome influence NAFLD progression. Both undernutrition and NAFLD prevalence are predicted to considerably rise, but how the undernourished gut microbiome contributes to hepatic pathophysiology remains far less studied. Here, we…
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Read the Publication This week we profile a recent publication in Nature Communications from the lab of Dr. James Johnson (pictured) at the Diabetes Research Group, Life Sciences Institute, and Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences. Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus? Our lab doesn’t really have a ‘focus’. Instead there is a plethora…
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Central Nervous System Macrophages in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Relationship to Neurodegeneration and Therapeutics

There are over 15 disease-modifying drugs that have been approved over the last 20 years for the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), but there are limited treatment options available for progressive MS. The development of new drugs for the treatment of progressive MS remains challenging as the pathophysiology of progressive MS is poorly understood.
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A Platform for Oncogenomic Reporting and Interpretation

This week we profile a recent publication in Nature Communications from the lab of Dr. Steven Jones (pictured, center) at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre. His team uses bioinformatics to investigate the landscape of mutations present in cancer genomes and the early genomic events that give rise to and promote the progression of cancer. To achieve these goals, the lab analyzes Next Generation Sequencing data and develops novel computational approaches and methodologies.
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