Focus |

Therapeutics

Ross Cloney: synthetic biology and genome engineering. 

Francesco Conti: musculoskeletal biology and gene therapy.

Sonja Schmid: therapeutics for infectious diseases. 

Aishwarya Sundaram: cancer metastasis, models, drug discovery and nanotherapy.

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on therapeutics. 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 therapeutics at Nature Communications.

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

Depletion of tribbles pseudokinase 3 (TRIB3) is known to suppress the expression of several tumor-promoting factors, including EGFR. Here, the authors show that TRIB3 interacts with EGFR and regulates its stability and activity, and perturbing EGFR-TRIB3 interaction attenuates NSCLC progression by accelerating EGFR degradation.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Metastatic dissemination contributes to the lethality in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Here, the authors perform RNA-sequencing on patient derived circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and identify three major CTC subgroups, and show the therapeutic potential of targeting LIN28B/let-7 pathway to halt cancer metastasis.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) is a cancer that is associated with significant mortality. Here, the authors develop a mouse model of PSCC by co-deletion of Smad4 and Apc in the androgen-responsive penile epithelium, and show synergistic efficacy of checkpoint therapy with cabozantinib or celecoxib in their model.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Interleukin-2 can induce an anti-tumour response, but is associated with toxicity. Here, the authors demonstrate that an engineered interleukin-2 promotes intratumoral T regulatory cell depletion while enhancing effective anti-tumour CD8+ T cell responses that result in potent tumor suppression.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Elevated expression of ULK1 is known to be inversely correlated with breast cancer metastasis. Here, the authors report Exo70 as a substrate of ULK1 that suppresses cancer metastasis, and show that ERK1/2 mediated phosphorylation of Exo70 leads to opposing effects on tumour cell invasion.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The progress in pre-clinical drug discovery for Wilms tumor (WT) is limited by a lack of disease models. Here, the authors develop 45 heterotopic WT patient-derived xenografts including several anaplastic models that recapitulate the biological heterogeneity of WT, and propose this as a resource for evaluating future therapeutics for WT.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Tobacco use is one of the major risk factors for Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Here, the authors report an immune-competent syngeneic mouse model that mimics human tobacco-related HNSCC, and develops tumors in the tongue, and report a high response rate to anti-CTLA-4 therapy.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications