Focus |

Stem Cells and Disease

Ann Le Good: development and embryonic stem cells, early pluripotency, cell fate decisions and regeneration.

Ylenia Lombardo: identification and characterization of cancer stem cells from different types of tumours, their survival pathways and therapeutic strategies.

Alfredo Sansone: cell biology methods, cell imaging, biosensors, organ-on-a-chip and microfluidic platforms.

Robert Stephenson: cell differentiation, tissue homeostasis and repair, reprogramming, therapy, development and disease modeling.

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on stem cells and disease. Each month our editors select a small number of Articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the area of stem cells and disease at Nature Communications.

Make sure to check the Editors' Highlights page each month for new featured articles.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) comprise a putative population that can drive growth and resistance. Here, in glioblastoma models the authors show that rather than being a distinct clonal entity, the CSC population represents a plastic state adoptable by most cancer cells via reversible state transitions induced by the microenvironment.

Article | open | | Nature Communications

BCL9 and Pygo are components of Wnt enhanceosome, which facilitates β-catenin-dependent transcription. Here, the authors show that deletion of Bcl9 and Pygo suppresses tumorigenesis and extends disease free survival in two different colorectal cancer models, suggesting a strategy for drugging β-catenin signalling in this cancer.

Article | open | | Nature Communications

Whether the Wnt enhanceosome’ components BCL9/9l can affect intestinal homeostasis and tumorigenesis is still unclear. Using conditional Bcl9/9l KO mice, the authors of this study show that the BCL9/9l complex is required for intestinal stem cells to drive tissue regeneration and that loss of BCL9/9l suppresses Wnt-driven transformation.

Article | open | | Nature Communications

Drug resistance is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths. Here, the authors using single cell RNA-seq of oral squamous cell carcinoma patient samples pre- and post-cisplatin treatment show that phenotypically homogenous cell populations display cell state plasticity, with poised chromatin marks at mesenchymal genes in epithelial cells, and that the loss of stem factor Sox2 but gain of Sox9 expression (with de novo gain of H3K27ac sites) is associated with drug-induced adaptation.

Article | open | | Nature Communications

Bone marrow-derived epithelial cells can be recruited to sites of chronic inflammation. Here, the authors using allogenic bone marrow transplantation in a multistage murine cutaneous carcinogenesis model show that bone marrow-derived epithelial cells and hair follicle stem cells are recruited to cutaneous neoplasms during tumor promotion of carcinogen-exposed skin and bone marrow.

Article | open | | Nature Communications