The paper of the week is An isoform of Dicer protects mammalian stem cells against multiple RNA viruses published in Science. The take-home from the abstract is that the data, “demonstrate that mammalian stem cells can protect themselves from some RNA viruses by expressing an alternatively spliced isoform of the enzyme Dicer called aviD, which potentiates antiviral RNA interference.”
It’s easy to see why protecting stem cells from viruses is so important. Since they populate and repair tissues, if they are virally-infected or killed, it can have magnified impact on health. This reminds me a bit of CRISPR-Cas systems used by bacteria to fend off viral infections.
More great papers on stem cells and cancer
- Obesity accelerates hair thinning by stem cell-centric converging mechanisms, Nature. See Figure 1d above. The whole mount staining is really striking in this paper. This is an intriguing pub. with implications for baldness treatments.
- Single cell RNA sequencing of AML initiating cells reveals RNA-based evolution during disease progression, Leukemia. Cancer evolution is an important element of most kinds of tumors. Are there any cancers that are not heterogeneous even from the get-go? Some blood cancers are at least partially or fully clonal, but maybe that’s a later development?
- BANP opens chromatin and activates CpG-island-regulated genes, Nature
- Transcriptional profiling of mESC-derived tendon and fibrocartilage cell fate switch, Nature Comm
- Three-dimensional human placenta-like bud synthesized from induced pluripotent stem cells, Sci Reports
- Niche stiffening compromises hair follicle stem cell potential during ageing by reducing bivalent promoter accessibility, Nat Cell Bio
Prostate Development and Cancer
Both of these papers have implications for prostate cancer in different ways, including for treatment. You can read more about my own experience with prostate cancer.