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This Week in Cell: Feb 16, 2012

In a recent Cell Reports article, a team led by investigators at the San Raffaele Institute in Milan, Italy, shows that endogenous microRNAs, like miR-511-3p, "may operate to establish thresholds for inflammatory cell activation in tumors." In its paper, team says that "miR-511-3p modulates genetic programs of tumor-associated macrophages," and identifies direct targets of the miRNA. "Enhancing miR-511-3p activity in TAMs [tumor-associated macrophages] may represent a therapeutic strategy to reprogram them from a protumoral to an antitumoral phenotype," the authors write.

Elsewhere in Cell Reports, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Adrian Krainer and his colleagues show that "MYC and SRSF1 are significantly coexpressed in lung and breast cancers," and that the former directly targets the latter. The team also reports that "SRSF1 knockdown reduces MYC-mediated transformation," and hence its oncogenic activity.

Over in Molecular Cell, an international team led by investigators at Spain's University of Córdoba shows that in Arabidopsis, the "DNA phosphatase ZDP removes the blocking 3' phosphate, allowing subsequent DNA polymerization and ligation steps needed to complete the repair reactions" downstream of ROS1. As such, the Córdoba-led team says ZDP functions as part of an active DNA demethylation pathway in the model plant.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.