Members of the Notch family of transmembrane receptors play an important role in cell fate determination. Over the past decade, a role for Notch in the pathogenesis of hematologic and solid malignancies has become apparent. Numerous cellular functions and microenvironmental cues associated with tumorigenesis are modulated by Notch signaling, including proliferation, apoptosis, adhesion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and angiogenesis. It is becoming increasingly evident that Notch signaling can be both oncogenic and tumor suppressive. This review highlights recent findings regarding the molecular and functional aspects of Notch-mediated neoplastic transformation. In addition, cellular mechanisms that potentially explain the complex role of Notch in tumorigenesis are discussed.
Current treatment options in oncology, 2005
Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), the most common thyroid malignancy, is associated with cervical lymph node metastases in 30% to 90% of patients. While surgery is the primary treatment modality for PTC, radioactive iodine and thyroid hormone suppression often complement the treatment plan. Although thyroid hormone suppression may decrease the incidence of recurrent disease and radioactive iodine may diagnose and treat metastases, lymph node dissection (LND) is the mainstay treatment for clinically evident cervical lymph node metastases. The surgical treatment options published in the literature include the traditional radical LND, the modified radical LND, the selective LND (compartment-based resection based on documented lymph node metastases), and a 'berry picking' resection (in which only the grossly abnormal lymph nodes are excised). At the University of California, San Francisco, we prefer the modified radical LND with preservation of the cervical sensory nerves for the first lymph node dissection with the 'berry picking' procedure limited to surgical treatment of recurrent nodal metastases in previously resected lymph node basins. Some centers are evaluating the potential role of sentinel lymph node biopsies for PTC. While the extent of lymphadenectomy is debated, most physicians treating patients with PTC agree that clinical evidence of lymphatic metastases should be surgically exercised and there is no role for prophylactic LND.
Science (New York, N.Y.), 2003
We sequenced the 29,751-base genome of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus known as the Tor2 isolate. The genome sequence reveals that this coronavirus is only moderately related to other known coronaviruses, including two human coronaviruses, HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. Phylogenetic analysis of the predicted viral proteins indicates that the virus does not closely resemble any of the three previously known groups of coronaviruses. The genome sequence will aid in the diagnosis of SARS virus infection in humans and potential animal hosts (using polymerase chain reaction and immunological tests), in the development of antivirals (including neutralizing antibodies), and in the identification of putative epitopes for vaccine development.
Science (New York, N.Y.), 2002
Anopheles gambiae is the principal vector of malaria, a disease that afflicts more than 500 million people and causes more than 1 million deaths each year. Tenfold shotgun sequence coverage was obtained from the PEST strain of A. gambiae and assembled into scaffolds that span 278 million base pairs. A total of 91% of the genome was organized in 303 scaffolds; the largest scaffold was 23.1 million base pairs. There was substantial genetic variation within this strain, and the apparent existence of two haplotypes of approximately equal frequency ("dual haplotypes") in a substantial fraction of the genome likely reflects the outbred nature of the PEST strain. The sequence produced a conservative inference of more than 400,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms that showed a markedly bimodal density distribution. Analysis of the genome sequence revealed strong evidence for about 14,000 protein-encoding transcripts. Prominent expansions in specific families of proteins likely involved in cell adhesion and immunity were noted. An expressed sequence tag analysis of genes regulated by blood feeding provided insights into the physiological adaptations of a hematophagous insect.
Science (New York, N.Y.), 1997
Catalytic protein subunits of telomerase from the ciliate Euplotes aediculatus and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae contain reverse transcriptase motifs. Here the homologous genes from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe and human are identified. Disruption of the S. pombe gene resulted in telomere shortening and senescence, and expression of mRNA from the human gene correlated with telomerase activity in cell lines. Sequence comparisons placed the telomerase proteins in the reverse transcriptase family but revealed hallmarks that distinguish them from retroviral and retrotransposon relatives. Thus, the proposed telomerase catalytic subunits are phylogenetically conserved and represent a deep branch in the evolution of reverse transcriptases.