Experimental & Molecular Medicine

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1226-3613 / 2092-6413
Published by: Springer Nature (10.1038)
Total articles ≅ 2,262
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Junyoung Seo, Jae Do Yoo, Minseong Kim, Gayong Shim, Yu-Kyoung Oh, Rang-Woon Park, Byungheon Lee, In-San Kim, Soyoun Kim
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-10; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00688-7

Fibrin, one of the components of the extracellular matrix (ECM), acts as a transport barrier within the core of tumors by constricting the blood vessels and forming clots, leading to poor intratumoral distribution of anticancer drugs. Our group previously developed a microplasmin-based thrombolytic ferritin nanocage that efficiently targets and dissolves clots without causing systemic fibrinolysis or disrupting hemostatic clots. We hypothesized that the thrombolytic nanocage-mediated degradation of fibrin clots in the tumor ECM can lead to enhanced intratumoral drug delivery, especially for nanosized anticancer drugs. Fibrin clot deposition worsens after surgery and chemotherapy, further hindering drug delivery. Moreover, the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) also increases. Here, we used thrombolytic nanocages with multivalent clot-targeting peptides and fibrin degradation enzymes, such as microplasmin, to dissolve fibrin in the tumor microenvironment and named them fibrinolytic nanocages (FNCs). These FNCs target tumor clots specifically and effectively. FNCs efficiently dissolve fibrin clots inside of the tumor vessels, suggesting that they can mitigate the risk of VTE in cancer patients. Coadministration of FNC and doxorubicin led to improved chemotherapeutic activity in a syngeneic mouse melanoma model. Furthermore, the FNCs increased the distribution of Doxil/doxorubicin nanoparticles within mouse tumors. These results suggest that fibrinolytic cotherapy might help improve the therapeutic efficacy of anticancer nanomedicines. Thus, microplasmin-based fibrinolytic nanocages are promising candidates for this strategy due to their hemostatic safety and ability to home in on the tumor.
Carmen Aguilar, Marta Alves da Silva, Margarida Saraiva, Mastura Neyazi, I. Anna S. Olsson,
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00629-4

Infectious diseases are a major threat worldwide. With the alarming rise of antimicrobial resistance and emergence of new potential pathogens, a better understanding of the infection process is urgently needed. Over the last century, the development of in vitro and in vivo models has led to remarkable contributions to the current knowledge in the field of infection biology. However, applying recent advances in organoid culture technology to research infectious diseases is now taking the field to a higher level of complexity. Here, we describe the current methods available for the study of infectious diseases using organoid cultures.
Ilya Lukonin, Marietta Zinner, Prisca Liberali
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-8; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00641-8

Image-based phenotypic screening relies on the extraction of multivariate information from cells cultured under a large variety of conditions. Technical advances in high-throughput microscopy enable screening in increasingly complex and biologically relevant model systems. To this end, organoids hold great potential for high-content screening because they recapitulate many aspects of parent tissues and can be derived from patient material. However, screening is substantially more difficult in organoids than in classical cell lines from both technical and analytical standpoints. In this review, we present an overview of studies employing organoids for screening applications. We discuss the promises and challenges of small-molecule treatments in organoids and give practical advice on designing, running, and analyzing high-content organoid-based phenotypic screens.
Therese Seidlitz,
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00654-3

Cancer is a major health problem and a leading cause of death worldwide. Early cancer detection and continuous changes in treatment strategies have improved overall patient survival. The recent development of targeted drugs offers new opportunities for personalized cancer treatment. Nevertheless, individualized treatment is accompanied by the need for biomarkers predicting the response of a patient to a certain drug. One of the most promising breakthroughs in recent years that might help to overcome this problem is the organoid technology. Organoid cultures exhibit self-renewal capacity, self-organization, and long-term proliferation, while recapitulating many aspects of their primary tissue. Generated patient-derived organoid (PDO) libraries constitute “living” biobanks, allowing the in-depth analysis of tissue function, development, tumor initiation, and cancer pathobiology. Organoids can be derived from all gastrointestinal tissues, including esophageal, gastric, liver, pancreatic, small intestinal and colorectal tissues, and cancers of these tissues. PDOs are amenable to various techniques, including sequencing analyses, drug screening, targeted therapy testing, tumor microenvironment studies, and genetic engineering capabilities. In this review, we discuss the different applications of gastrointestinal organoids in basic cancer biology and clinical translation.
Francesca Perrone,
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-8; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00606-x

The development of human organoid culture models has led to unprecedented opportunities to generate self-organizing, three-dimensional miniature organs that closely mimic in vivo conditions. The ability to expand, culture, and bank such organoids now provide researchers with the opportunity to generate next-generation living biobanks, which will substantially contribute to translational research in a wide range of areas, including drug discovery and testing, regenerative medicine as well as the development of a personalized treatment approach. However, compared to traditional tissue repositories, the generation of a living organoid biobank requires a much higher level of coordination, additional resources, and scientific expertise. In this short review, we discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the generation of a living organoid biobank. Focusing on human intestinal organoids, we highlight some of the key aspects that need to be considered and provide an outlook for future development in this exciting field.
Weng Chuan Peng, Lianne J. Kraaier, Thomas A. Kluiver
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-17; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00579-x

Historically, primary hepatocytes have been difficult to expand or maintain in vitro. In this review, we will focus on recent advances in establishing hepatocyte organoids and their potential applications in regenerative medicine. First, we provide a background on the renewal of hepatocytes in the homeostatic as well as the injured liver. Next, we describe strategies for establishing primary hepatocyte organoids derived from either adult or fetal liver based on insights from signaling pathways regulating hepatocyte renewal in vivo. The characteristics of these organoids will be described herein. Notably, hepatocyte organoids can adopt either a proliferative or a metabolic state, depending on the culture conditions. Furthermore, the metabolic gene expression profile can be modulated based on the principles that govern liver zonation. Finally, we discuss the suitability of cell replacement therapy to treat different types of liver diseases and the current state of cell transplantation of in vitro-expanded hepatocytes in mouse models. In addition, we provide insights into how the regenerative microenvironment in the injured host liver may facilitate donor hepatocyte repopulation. In summary, transplantation of in vitro-expanded hepatocytes holds great potential for large-scale clinical application to treat liver diseases.
Jeonghwan Youk, Hyun Woo Kwon, Ryul Kim,
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-9; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00680-1

The revolution in genome sequencing technologies has enabled the comprehensive detection of genomic variations in human cells, including inherited germline polymorphisms, de novo mutations, and postzygotic mutations. When these technologies are combined with techniques for isolating and expanding single-cell DNA, the landscape of somatic mosaicism in an individual body can be systematically revealed at a single-cell resolution. Here, we summarize three strategies (whole-genome amplification, microdissection of clonal patches in the tissue, and in vitro clonal expansion of single cells) that are currently applied for single-cell mutational analyses. Among these approaches, in vitro clonal expansion, particularly via adult stem cell-derived organoid culture technologies, yields the most sensitive and precise catalog of somatic mutations in single cells. Moreover, because it produces living mutant cells, downstream validation experiments and multiomics profiling are possible. Through the synergistic combination of organoid culture and genome sequencing, researchers can track genome changes at a single-cell resolution, which will lead to new discoveries that were previously impossible.
Constantin Menche,
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00609-8

Organoid technology allows the expansion of primary epithelial cells from normal and diseased tissues, providing a unique model for human (patho)biology. In a three-dimensional environment, adult stem cells self-organize and differentiate to gain tissue-specific features. Accessibility to genetic manipulation enables the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate regulation, cell differentiation and cell interactions. In recent years, powerful methodologies using lentiviral transgenesis, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, and single-cell readouts have been developed to study gene function and carry out genetic screens in organoids. However, the multicellularity and dynamic nature of stem cell-derived organoids also present challenges for genetic experimentation. In this review, we focus on adult gastrointestinal organoids and summarize the state-of-the-art protocols for successful transgenesis. We provide an outlook on emerging genetic techniques that could further increase the applicability of organoids and enhance the potential of organoid-based techniques to deepen our understanding of gene function in tissue biology.
Jin Won Kim, Hyung Wook Kim, Sun Ah Nam, Jong Young Lee, Hae Jin Cho, , Yong Kyun Kim
Experimental & Molecular Medicine pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1038/s12276-021-00683-y

Fabry disease is an X-linked lysosomal storage disease caused by a mutation in the galactosidase alpha (GLA) gene. Despite advances in therapeutic technologies, the lack of humanized experimental models of Fabry disease has limited the development of new therapies to cure the disease. Herein, we modeled Fabry disease using human inducible pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived kidney organoids and the CRISPR–Cas9 genome-editing system. GLA-mutant human kidney organoids revealed deformed podocytes and tubular cells with accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3). Ultrastructural analysis showed abundant electron-dense granular deposits and electron-dense lamellate lipid-like deposits that formed concentric bodies (zebra bodies) in the cytoplasm of podocytes and tubules. The oxidative stress level was increased in GLA-mutant kidney organoids, and the increase was accompanied by apoptosis. Enzyme replacement treatment (ERT) with recombinant human α-Gal A decreased the Gb3 accumulation and oxidative stress, which resulted in amelioration of the deformed cellular structure of the GLA-mutant kidney organoids. Transcription profile analyses showed decreased glutathione (GSH) metabolism in GLA-mutant kidney organoids. GSH replacement treatment decreased oxidative stress and attenuated the structural deformity of the GLA-mutant kidney organoids. GSH treatment also increased the expression of podocyte and tubular markers and decreased apoptosis. In conclusion, GLA-mutant kidney organoids derived from human iPSCs are valuable tools for studying the mechanisms and developing novel therapeutic alternatives for Fabry disease.
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