Genes & Diseases

Genes & Diseases is an international journal for molecular and translational medicine. It publishes rigorously peer-reviewed and high quality original articles and authoritative reviews that focus on investigations on the molecular bases and experimental therapeutics of human diseases. Emphasis will be placed on hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies relevant to pathogenesis and/or experimental therapeutics of human diseases.

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Genes & Diseases

 

About the Journal


Genes & Diseases is an international journal for molecular and translational medicine. The journal primarily focuses on publishing investigations on the molecular bases and experimental therapeutics of human diseases. Publication formats include full length research article, review article, short communication, correspondence, perspectives, commentary, views on news, and research watch.

 

 

Aims and Scopes

 

Genes & Diseases publishes rigorously peer-reviewed and high quality original articles and authoritative reviews that focus on the molecular bases of human diseases. Emphasis will be placed on hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies relevant to pathogenesis and/or experimental therapeutics of human diseases. The journal has worldwide authorship, and a broad scope in basic and translational biomedical research of molecular biology, molecular genetics, and cell biology, including but not limited to cell proliferation and apoptosis, signal transduction, stem cell biology, developmental biology, gene regulation and epigenetics, cancer biology, immunity and infection, neuroscience, disease-specific animal models, gene and cell-based therapies, and regenerative medicine.

 

 

Open access journal

 

This journal is a peer reviewed, subsidized open access journal where Chongqing Medical University pays the OA fee. Authors do not have to pay any open access publication fee.
Peer review under the responsibility of Chongqing Medical University.

 

Access Rights

All articles published open access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read, download, copy and distribute.

 

User Rights

Permitted third party reuse is defined by the following user license:

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND):

Allows users to copy and distribute the Article, provided this is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the Article if it is changed or edited in any way, and provided the user gives appropriate credit (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI), provides a link to the license, and that the licensor is not represented as endorsing the use made of the work. The full details of the license are available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.

 

Author Rights

For open access publishing, this journal uses an exclusive licensing agreement. Authors will transfer copyright to Chongqing Medical University, but will have the right to share their article in the same way permitted to third parties under the relevant user license, as well as certain scholarly usage rights.

 

Publishing Schedule

This journal is published quarterly; March, June, September, and December.

 

Learn More about:

 

 

Editor-in-Chief

 

  • Tong-Chuan He, MD, PhD

    • The University of Chicago Medical Center Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Chicago, United States of America
  • Ailong Huang

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

 

Deputy Editor-in-Chief

  • John Wang, PhD

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Xiaodong Zhao, MD, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

 

Executive Managing Editor

  • Ping Luo

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

 

Assistant Managing Editors

  • Qiushan Tang

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Huijie Zhang

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

 

Senior Associate Editors

  • Ronald A. Conlon, PhD

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Fei Li, MD, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, China
  • Zhenkun Lou, PhD

    • Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, United States of America
  • Gloria H. Su, PhD

    • Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, United States of America
  • Ni Tang, MD, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Lin Zhang, PhD

    • UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Shadyside, Pittsburgh, United States of America
  • Peter B. Zhou, MD, PhD

    • Markey Cancer Center, Lexington, United States of America

 

Associate Editors

  • Andreas Bikfalvi, MD, PhD

    • Angiogenesis and Cancer Microenvironment Laboratory, Talence, France
  • Youquan Bu, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Tao-sheng Chen

    • St Jude Children's Research Hospital Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Memphis, United States of America
  • Gerald W Dorn II, MD

    • Washington University in St Louis School of Medicine, Saint Louis, United States of America
  • Hicham Drissi, Ph.D.

    • Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, United States of America
  • Nancy Du, PhD

    • Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, United States of America
  • Nickolai Dulin, PhD

    • University of Chicago Department of Medicine, Chicago, United States of America
  • Richard Finnell, PhD, DABMGG

    • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States of America
  • Haian Fu, PhD

    • Emory University, Atlanta, United States of America
  • Jim Hu, PhD

    • The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada
  • Aishun Jin, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Xi Li, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Yong Li, PhD

    • Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Yong Liao, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Jun Liu

    • Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, United States of America
  • Hua Lu, MD, PhD

    • Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, United States of America
  • Adam Marcus, PhD

    • Emory University, Atlanta, United States of America
  • Sergey Orlov, MD, PhD

    • Department of Medical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moskva, Russian Federation
  • Xiongzhong Ruan, MD, PhD

    • University College London Department of Renal Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  • Jun Sun, PhD, AGAF

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Man-Sun Sy

    • Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Gopal Thinakaran, PhD

    • University of South Florida, Tampa, United States of America
  • Ronald JA Wanders, PhD

    • University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Da-Zhi Wang, PhD

    • Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States of America
  • Andre van Wijnen, PhD

    • Mayo Clinic Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rochester, United States of America
  • Geng-Sheng Wu, MD, PhD

    • Wayne State University, Detroit, United States of America
  • Yaguang Xi, MD, PhD

    • LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER, New Orleans, United States of America
  • Tingxiu Xiang, MD, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Jingwu Xie, PhD

    • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, United States of America
  • Qingbo Xu, MD, PhD

    • King's College London James Black Centre, London, United Kingdom
  • Jian Yu, PhD

    • UPMC Hillman Cancer Center Shadyside, Pittsburgh, United States of America
  • Xingxing Zang, PhD

    • Yeshiva University Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, United States of America
  • Wei Zhou, PhD

    • Emory University, Atlanta, United States of America

 

Editorial Board Members

  • Giuseppe Altavilla, MD, DSc

    • University of Messina Department of Human Pathology in Adulthood and Childhood, Messina, Italy
  • Sergey Anisimov, MD, DSc

    • Almazov National Medical Research Centre, Sankt Peterburg, Russian Federation
  • Jesus Avila, PhD

    • Autonomous University of Madrid Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre, Madrid, Spain
  • Anita Bellail, PhD

    • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, United States of America
  • Marcelo Bonini, PhD

    • Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, United States of America
  • Vittorio Calabrese, PhD

    • University of Catania Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Catania, Italy
  • Timothy Chan, MD, PhD

    • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, United States of America
  • Guojun Chen, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Jianjun Chen, PhD

    • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Duarte, Duarte, United States of America
  • Shiyuan Cheng, PhD

    • Northwestern University - Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • Fabrizio Chiti, PhD

    • University of Florence, Firenze, Italy
  • Hueng-Sik Choi, PhD

    • Chonnam National University Hormone Research Center, Gwangju, South Korea
  • Junho Chung, MD, PhD

    • Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
  • Cristian Coarfa, PhD

    • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, United States of America
  • Mushui Dai, PhD

    • Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, United States of America
  • Aiko P.J De Vries, MD

    • Leiden University Medical Center Department of Nephrology, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Danny N. Dhanasekaran, PhD

    • Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, United States of America
  • Zhifang Dong, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Mingqing Du, PhD

    • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Y. Murat ELÇİN, PhD

    • Ankara University and Turkish Academy of Sciences, Ankara, Turkey
  • Matthias Eckhardt, PhD

    • University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • Guo-Chang Fan, PhD, FAHA

    • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, United States of America
  • Rong Fan, PhD

    • Yale University, New Haven, United States of America
  • Zhaohui Feng, PhD

    • Rutgers University New Brunswick, United States of America
  • Jiliang Gao, PhD

    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, United States of America
  • Leonard Girnita, MD, PhD

    • Karolinska Institute Cancer Research KI, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Nicholas D.E. Greene, PhD

    • University College London, London, United Kingdom
  • Deliang Guo, PhD

    • OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, Columbus, United States of America
  • Vsevolod V Gurevich, PhD

    • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States of America
  • Chunhai Charlie Hao, MD, PhD, FRCPC

    • IU SIMON CANCER CENTER, Indianapolis, United States of America
  • Vasif Hasirci, PhD

    • Acibadem University, İstanbul, Turkey
  • Ming-Liang He, PhD

    • City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Xin He, PhD

    • University of Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Yu-Ying He, PhD

    • The University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, United States of America
  • Wenwei Hu, MD

    • Rutgers University New Brunswick, , United States of America
  • George Huang, DDS, DSc

    • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Center for Cancer Research, Memphis, TN, United States of America
  • Esmaiel Jabbari, PhD

    • University of South Carolina, Columbia,, United States of America
  • Hyeong-Reh Choi Kim, PhD

    • Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, United States of America
  • Lucia Languino

    • Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, United States of America
  • Irena Levitan, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, United States of America
  • Min Li, PhD

    • The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, United States of America
  • Wan-Ju Li, PhD

    • University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, United States of America
  • Wei Li, PhD

    • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, United States of America
  • Jie Liang, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Bioengineering, Chicago, United States of America
  • Chuanju Liu, PhD

    • NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, New York, United States of America
  • Pentao Liu, PhD

    • University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • Xiaoqi Liu, PhD

    • Purdue University Center for Cancer Research,
  • Jun Lu, PhD

    • Yale University Department of Genetics, New Haven, United States of America
  • Avudai Maran, PhD

    • Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rochester, United States of America
  • Valentina Massa, PhD

    • University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • Kimford Jay Meador, MD, FAAN, FRCPE

    • Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, United States of America
  • Le Min, MD, PhD

    • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, United States of America
  • Eiji Miyoshi, MD, PhD

    • Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
  • John F Moorhead, MD

    • University College London Department of Renal Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  • Hammad Naveed, PhD

    • National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Dietbert Neumann, PhD

    • Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Heyu Ni

    • St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Canada
  • Ming Pei, MD, PhD

    • West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, United States of America
  • Russell Kirk Pirlo, PhD

    • US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, United States of America
  • Karen E. Pollok, PhD

    • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, United States of America
  • Zhijian Qian, PhD

    • University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, United States of America
  • Nader Rahimi, PhD

    • Boston University, Boston, United States of America
  • Brian B. Rudkin, PhD

    • Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute, Bron, France
  • Roger Schneiter, PhD

    • University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Hiroshi Shibuya, PhD

    • Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Jinglin Song, DDS, PhD

    • Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Massimo Stefani, PhD

    • University of Florence, Firenze, Italy
  • Zhongjie Sun, MD, PhD

    • University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Memphis, Memphis, United States of America
  • Young-Joon Surh, PhD

    • Seoul National University College of Pharmacy, Seoul, South Korea
  • Xiaodi Tan, MD

    • Northwestern University - Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
  • Qian Tao, PhD

    • The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
  • Wei Seong Toh, PhD

    • National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
  • Ratna K. Vadlamudi, PhD

    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, United States of America
  • Donald Vander Griend, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Zac Varghese, PhD

    • University College London Department of Renal Medicine, London, United Kingdom
  • Alexander Vorotnikov, PhD

    • Nacional'nyj issledovatel'skij tehnologiceskij universitet MISiS Gornyj institut, Moskva, Russian Federation
  • Gang Wang, MD, PhD

    • Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  • Jing Wang, PhD

    • UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER, Omaha, United States of America
  • Qien Wang, PhD

    • OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, Columbus, United States of America
  • Tian-Li Wang, PhD

    • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States of America
  • Qiou Wei, MD, PhD

    • Markey Cancer Center, Lexington, United States of America
  • Erxi Wu, PhD

    • Texas A&M University Kingsville, Kingsville, United States of America
  • Lizi Wu, PhD

    • University of Florida, Gainesville, United States of America
  • Wen-Shu Wu, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Zhaohui Wu, MD, PhD

    • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, United States of America
  • Shuli Xia, PhD

    • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States of America
  • Yin Xiao, PhD

    • Queensland University of Technology Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Brisbane, Australia
  • Zhongjian Xie, MD, PhD

    • University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, United States of America
  • Wei Xu, PhD

    • University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, United States of America
  • Ying Xu, PhD

    • The University of Georgia, Athens, United States of America
  • Chunhong Yan, PhD

    • Augusta University Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, United States of America
  • Jun Yan, MD, PhD

    • University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, United States of America
  • Peter Yun-zhi Yang, PhD

    • Stanford University Yang Laboratory, Stanford, United States of America
  • Xiaolu Yang, PhD

    • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States of America
  • Kiyotsugu Yoshida, MD, PhD

    • Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato-Ku, Japan
  • Jiwang Zhang, MD

    • Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, United States of America
  • Rugang Zhang, PhD

    • Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, United States of America
  • Ruiwen Zhang, MD, PhD

    • University of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, United States of America
  • Yuanyuan Zhang, MD, PhD

    • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, United States of America
  • Zhiqian Zhang, MD, PhD

    • Peking University Health Science Centre, Beijing, China
  • Wenge Zhu, PhD

    • The George Washington University, Washington, United States of America
  • Hui Zong, PhD

    • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States of America
  • Wei-xing Zong, PhD

    • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, United States of America

 

Statistics Editors

  • Dezheng Hou, MD, PhD

    • University of Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Xiaoyan Iris Leng, MD, PhD

    • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, United States of America
  • Yinglin Xia, PhD

    • University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, United States of America

 

Senior Advisory Board

  • Xuetao Cao, MD, PhD

    • Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China
  • Jing Cheng, PhD

    • Tsinghua University academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing, China
  • Wafik S El-Deiry, MD, PhD, FACP

    • Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, United States of America
  • Charis Eng, MD, PhD, FACP

    • Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Daiming Fan, PhD

    • Xijing Hospital, Xian, China
  • Eric Fearon, PhD

    • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States of America
  • Wei Gu, PhD

    • Columbia University Institute for Cancer Genetics, New York, United States of America
  • Chuan He

    • University of Chicago, Chicago, United States of America
  • Kenneth W. Kinzler, PhD

    • Johns Hopkins Medicine Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, United States of America
  • Lanjuan Li, MD

    • First Hospital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China
  • Guido Marcucci, MD

    • Beckman Research Institute, Duarte, United States of America
  • Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD

    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, United States of America
  • Markus Müschen, MD, PhD

    • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Duarte, Duarte, United States of America
  • Anil Rustgi

    • Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, United States of America
  • Xiao-Fan Wang

    • Duke University, Durham, United States of America
  • Zheng-guo Wang, MD

    • Army Medical University, Chongqing, China
  • Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD

    • Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA, Cleveland Ohio, United States of America
  • Huangming Yang, PhD

    • Third Military Medical University academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chongqing, China
  • Susheng Zheng, MD

    • Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • Nan-Shan Zhong, MD

    • Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou, China
  • Honghao Zhou, MD

    • Central South University, Hunan, China

 

Link to the Special Issue:

Focus on the Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. 

Genes & Diseases. Volume 7, Issue 1. March 2020.

 

Cover Story

Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDDs) are a group of the most clinically challenging diseases in children. They are heterogeneous disorders caused by inborn errors in one or more components of the immune system. With the increased awareness and applications of next generation sequencing technology in recent years, over 350 distinct disorders have been discovered. However, a large number of PIDDs are believed to be unidentified. Mechanistically, PIDDs may affect both innate immunity and/or adaptive immunity. In this special issue, the guest editors Dr. Surjit Singh, Dr. Adrian Thrasher and Dr. Xiaodong Zhao invited a panel of physician investigators to discuss the pathogenesis and clinical management of PIDDS.  Due to the impaired host defense and aberrant immunity, PIDDs clinically manifest as infections, as well as features of immune dysregulation such as autoimmunity, lymphoproliferation, autoinflammation and malignancy. In many cases, PIDDs are treatable and curable. Immunoglobulin G replacement is the cornerstone of therapy for antibody deficiency. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation provides a cure for many forms of PIDDs. Gene therapy has also shown promising results in a couple of disorders. More efforts should be devoted to the improvement of their clinical management and newborn screening. An artistic rendition in the cover image reveals that the immune system (the umbrella and belts) of a baby may be attacked by pathogens (rains) and cause alterations at DNA level, leading to the production of defective immune cells.

 

 

 

Link to the cover story:

Sreedhar A. et al. Enzymatic and metabolic regulation of lysine succinylation. Genes & Diseases. 2020, 7(2):166-171.

 

Cover Story

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are covalent modifications introduced to certain amino acid residues of many proteins enzymatically or non-enzymatically. Such modifications usually cause protein conformational changes  and modulate the stability, localization, and activity of the modified proteins. PTMs  are tightly regulated in cells for  transient or lasting effects on cell structure and functions. So far, hundreds of PTMs have been identified; ,  and succinylation is one of the most common PTMs. Lysine is an essential amino acid for mammalian cells and one of the three amino acids with a positively charged side chain at physiological pH. Thus, lysine side chains can be involved in noncovalent interactions, such as van der Waals interactions, hydrogen bonds, and electrostatic interactions with negatively charged residues,  rendering lysine essential for protein-protein interactions and the formation of protein complexes. Furthermore, lysine succinylation (Ksucc), defined as a transfer of a succinyl group to a lysine residue of a protein, is a recently identified protein post-translational modification. This chemical modification is reversible, dynamic, and evolutionarily conserved from bacterial cells to mammalian cells. Emerging clinical data strongly suggest that the dysregulation of Ksucc may be associated with the development of certain diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as reviewed by Sreedhar A et al in this issue. Therefore, an in-depth investigation of Ksucc and its regulations are of significance not only for understanding its physiological functions but also for developing potential therapies targeting the disease processes. To certain extents, lysine succinylation may represent a finishing touch for the modified protein to be fully functional, resembling  the Chinese idiom “drawing the pupils brings a painted dragon alive”, as depicted in the cover image, in which  protein is represented by the dragon, while Ksucc is reflected by the action of drawing the pupils with a brush.

 

 

Link to the Special Issue:

Hepatocellular Carcinoma - from bench to bedside.

Genes & Diseases. Volume 7, Issue 3. September 2020.

 

Cover Story

Professor Zhao-You Tangcelebrating his 65-year academic career in hepatic surgical oncology in China.  Professor Tang received his M.D. from Shanghai Medical College (currently Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, China) in 1954, and started his academic career in the Department of Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University Shanghai Medical College, where he has been practicing and teaching surgical oncology for 65 years. Professor Tang is an internationally renowned liver cancer investigator and a pioneer of surgical treatment of small and sub-clinical liver cancer. His scholarly accomplishments have won him international recognitions and respect by his peers in the field of liver cancer research and its surgical treatment. Professor Tang has held numerous academic and leadership roles over the years, including the President of Shanghai Medical University (1988-1994), the Vice President of the Chinese Medical Association, and a Council Member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) (1990-1998). He also established the Liver Cancer Institute at Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University and served as the inaugural director of the Institute. Professor Tang has published numerous original papers on liver cancer and edited several highly popular textbooks in Chinese and English, such as Primary Liver Cancer (1981 and the English Edition in 1989), Contemporary Oncology (1993), and Subclinical Liver Cancer (1985).  His distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions have won him numerous distinctions, including an election to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) (1994), and the selection as an honorary fellow of the American Surgical Association (2005) and Japan Surgical Society (2007), respectively. To celebrate Professor Tang’s 65-year career in academic medicine, we compiled this special issue on liver cancer, which were contributed by several of his trainees, and guest edited by Dr. Yong Liao of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China. The cartoonish cover image illustrates Professor Tang’s role in medical education and patient care, as well as in inspiring new generations of liver cancer researchers and clinicians.

 

Link to the Special Issue:

COVID-19 Pandemic: We Don't Know What We Don't Know.

Genes & Diseases. Volume 7, Issue 4. December 2020.

 

Cover Story

Coronavirus is the common name for Coronaviridae, which consists of  a large group of animal viruses and is organized in two sub-families, 5 genera, 26 sub-genera, and 46 species. Coronaviruses are enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses and can infect amphibians, birds, and mammals. Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. Most people commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, while sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and infect humans and become a new human coronavirus, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. With very little warning, a major outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this issue, several articles documented the clinical and immunological characteristics, and potential therapeutics or vaccines of COVID-19. Nonetheless, our understanding about the exact pathogenic mechanism of COVID-19 is limited so SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remains as elusive as a ghost. We can only hope the anti-COVID-19 researchers worldwide act as the Chinese mythological figure, ZHONG KUI, whose virtuoso is to catch and destroy ghosts, as depicted in the cover.

 

Link to the cover story: 

Pakvasa M., et al. Notch signaling: Its essential roles in bone and craniofacial development. Genes & Diseases. 2021, 8(1):8-24.

 

Cover Story

The Notch signaling pathway is a complex cell-cell communication network that regulates a host of essential cellular processes including embryonic development and skeletal homeostasis. Mutations in the Notch signaling pathway during skeletal development lead developmental deformities such as brachydactyly, spondylocostal dysostosis, and even soft tissue tumors. In this issue, Pakvasa M et al surveyed the important roles of Notch signaling in bone and skeletal development, with a focus on the contributions of Notch signaling to craniofacial embryogenesis and craniofacial development in the context of diseases and therapies. To certain extents, the Notch signaling pathway in the skeletal system acts like the lotus root fiber networks that are extensively interconnected and regulate the growth and rebirth of lotus roots, like the famed “Nezha” character in Chinese fairytale, in which a broken lotus root with fibers resembles the Notch signaling network at a bone fracture site to repair the broken trabecular system. (The cover story was written by Dr. Huijie Zhang. The Illustration was drawn by Yonglong Lu, Huiyou Wu and Qiushi Wang.)

 

Link to the cover story: 

Singh M.P., et al. Molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer: An emerging therapeutic opportunity for personalized medicine. Genes & Diseases. 2021, 8(2):133-145.

 

Cover Story

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common types of cancer and poses a formidable challenge to global public health. CRC incidence rates are approximately 3-fold higher in the developed countries than that in the developing countries. Fortunately, CRC represents one of the best understood human malignancies as the molecular genetic events such as mutations and epigenetic modifications contributing to the multi-step tumorigenesis process have been reasonably well elucidated. Nonetheless, genomewide large-scale analyses indicate CRC is highly heterogeneous with different pathological and genetic signatures. It is critical to identify and characterize sets of biomarkers for various molecular subtypes in order to select effective therapy regimen since “one drug fits all’ model may not work for the patients who even display similar pathological changes. In this issue, Singh MT et al overviewed the molecular subtypes of CRC based on its underlying molecular and genomic alterations. Using prognostic biomarkers along with pathological staging, molecular subtypes-based therapies should offer a new framework for targeted and personalized therapies in clinical settings. As implied in one of the famous Chinese legends of the Three Kingdoms, the Shuo Kingdom Prime Minister Liu Bei was saved by a precision shooting of a Chinese polearm (or halberd) from the Han Dynasty Warrior Lv Bu as illustrated in the cover image. It is conceivable that CRC patients receiving immune checkpoint blockade therapy and other chemotherapies with a special emphasis on CRC molecular subtypes should attain better clinical outcomes, and thus are greatly benefited from precision oncology. (Illustration credits: Huijie Zhang, PhD and Qiushi Wang. )

 

Link to the cover story: 

Sun T., et al. Regulation of ferroptosis in cancer cells by YAP/TAZ and Hippo pathways: The therapeutic implications. Genes & Diseases. 2021, 8(3):241-249.

 

Cover Story

Ferroptosis is a novel form of iron-dependent programmed cell death (PCD) characterized by mitochondria shrinkage, membrane content condensation, and the accumulation of lipid peroxidation. While the importance and disease relevance of ferroptosis is gaining recognition, much remains unknown about various genetic and non-genetic determinants of ferroptosis.  In this issue, Drs. Tianai Sun and Jen-Tsan Chi provided an overview about the roles of YAP and Hippo pathways in regulating ferroptosis in cancer cells. The evolutionarily-conserved Hippo pathway exerts potent tumor suppression effect.  Its dysregulation contributes to apoptosis evasion, tumorigenesis, cancer metastasis, and the development of treatment resistance, through an aberrant activation of the downstream co-activators YAP/TAZ. Ferroptosis and apoptosis are regulated by the cellular contact and density through the Hippo and YAP/TAZ pathways. YAP/TAZ activation under low cell density confers apoptosis resistance and renders cancer cells sensitivity to ferroptosis. On the contrary, under high cell density with extensive cell-cell contacts, activated Hippo signaling degrades YAP/TAZ and retains them cytosolically, leading to apoptosis activation but ferroptosis inhibition.  Thus, the balanced regulation of Hippo and YAP/TAZ activities may determine the cell fate committed to ferroptosis vs. apoptosis.   It is conceivable that ferroptosis induction may have therapeutic potential to treat YAP/TAZ-activated chemoresistant and metastatic cancers. The cover image illustrates how delicately the front (e.g., upstream HIPPO) and rear (e.g., downstream YAP) Buddhist monks coordinate on uneven ground may determine how much water (e.g., ion supply pool) will be left in the barrel (e.g., cancer cells), leading to ferroptosis vs. apoptosis.  (Illustration credits: Huijie Zhang, PhD and Zijian Qu. )

 

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