Published February 2008
Since the discovery in 1998 that gene expression could be silenced by RNA interference (RNAi), RNAi has become a routine tool for investigating the function of individual genes and gene products in the laboratory. This Review Series highlights some of the challenges that remain to be overcome if the medicinal promise of post-transcriptional gene silencing with short-interfering RNA and other molecules capable of inducing RNAi is to be fulfilled.
Published December 2007
In 1960, Peter C. Nowell described an unusual small chromosome present in leukocytes from patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia that was thereafter designated the Philadelphia chromosome. This Review series includes contributions from individuals who performed critical experiments in the wake of the description of the Philadelphia chromosome, reflecting the nearly 50 years of work inspired by Nowell’s initial finding.
Published August 2007
As discussed in this Review Series, it is now well accepted that components of both the innate and adaptive immune system can recognize and destroy nascent tumors. Therefore much effort is being put into the design of immunological approaches to treating cancer. However, the development of such approaches is hampered by the fact that tumors co-opt immune suppressive mechanisms to combat the host antitumor response.
Published May 2007
After a tissue is damaged or injured a highly orchestrated tissue repair process is initiated, resulting in restoration of the tissue to its pre-injury state. If any step in this process becomes deregulated or if the tissue is repeatedly exposed to the damaging or injurious stimulus, the tissue repair process continues unchecked, resulting in tissue scarring or fibrosis. Fibrosis can affect any organ or tissue in the body and fibroproliferative disorders, such as liver cirrhosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and systemic sclerosis, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Despite this, therapies are relatively ineffective; in part, because they do not directly target the mechanism(s) of fibrosis. The articles in this Review series describe some of the major fibrotic diseases and highlight mechanisms that are important for the development of fibrosis in these diseases, with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets for their treatment.
Published March 2007
The gastrointestinal tract consists of a diverse set of organs that are often thought to simply function to receive, digest, absorb, and eliminate ingested substances. However, the gastrointestinal tract is a highly sophisticated organ system that coordinates these functions, and the many other automated functions that it performs, with the largest collection of endocrine and immune cells in the body, as well as the second largest collection of neural cell bodies. Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are therefore diverse and can result from the altered homeostasis of any of these gastrointestinal tract components. The articles in this series discuss different aspects by which the endocrine, neural, and/or immune components of the gastrointestinal tract regulate gastrointestinal function in homeostasis and disease.
Published January 2007
With the prediction that over 300 million people will develop type 2 diabetes in the next 25 years, it is important to understand the pathogenesis of this condition and develop new approaches to prevention and treatment. This series aims to provide insight into the new and rapidly changing areas of research at the heart of T2D pathogenesis.
Published July 2006
Published May 2006
This series focuses on the biologic roles of members of the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-dependent transcription factors involved in the regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, immunity, inflammation, and wound repair. The study of these receptors, including estrogen receptors, PPARs, and liver X receptors, has provided great insight into the pathogenesis of diseases including obesity, diabetes, and atherosclerosis, and has the potential to accelerate the development of new, safer treatment strategies.
Published March 2006
This series highlights the current ideas about the production of megakaryocytes from undifferentiated hematopoietic precursors, the steps by which megakaryocytes produce platelets, and the molecular mechanisms within platelets that make hemostasis possible. This complex system that keeps us from bleeding to death at the same time exposes us to increased risk of thrombosis and vascular disease.
Published December 2005