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PNAS Studies Look at Lung Cancer LncRNA, Hi-C Clustering, and More

A team from China describes potential ties between lung adenocarcinoma and a long, non-coding RNA called LINC00673-v4. Starting with a luciferase assay, insights gleaned from the Cancer Genome Atlas transcriptome sequencing efforts, and a rapid amplification of cDNA ends experiment, the researchers found a LINC00673 isoform that appeared to influence WNT/beta-catenin signaling in lung adenocarcinoma cells. With a series of follow-up experiments, together with data from the Atlas of Noncoding RNAs in Cancer, they found that LINC00673-v4 was not only found at higher-than-usual levels in lung adenocarcinoma cells, but also appeared to influence the invasiveness of lung cancer cell lines as well as the progression and metastatic potential of lung cancers in a mouse model. "Together," they write, "our data suggest that LINC00673-v4 is a driver molecule for metastasis via constitutively activating WNT/beta-catenin signaling in [lung adenocarcinoma] and may represent a potential therapeutic target against the metastasis of [lung adenocarcinoma]."

Researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign present an algorithm called scHiCluster for imputing and clustering Hi-C interaction profiles from single cells. The approach is designed to profile cell type-specific chromosome structures, the team says, and the approach includes imputations made with the help of linear convolution and random walk. By applying scHiCluster to simulated and real single-cell Hi-C data, for example, the authors demonstrate that the approach can bump up the Hi-C clustering accuracy of low-coverage datasets, making it possible to pick up topologically-associating domain-like structures in individual cells.

A Stanford University-led team present epigenetic profiles for self-renewing, stem-like CD8 T immune cells that express both PD-1 and TCF1 proteins, which have been previously documented in mice and humans with chronic infections or certain cancers. Using ATAC-seq, the researchers assessed chromatin accessibility patterns in these stem-like CD8 T cells and in exhausted CD8 T cells, uncovering several apparent regulatory differences between the those immune cell types. From these and other results, including epigenetic profiles in CD8 T cells from mice with chronic infections, the authors conclude that "the chronic stem-like CD8 T cell program represents a specific adaptation of the T cell response to persistent antigenic stimulation."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.