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  • In this Progress article, Wu, Jusiak and Lu discuss how synthetic biology-based design principles can be applied to living cells to overcome key challenges in current cancer therapy and generate more robust, specific and effective gene circuit therapies.

    • Ming-Ru Wu
    • Barbara Jusiak
    • Timothy K. Lu
  • The CRISPR–Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats–CRISPR-associated 9) system provides many avenues for improving how we generate models of cancer. This system has numerous uses, including providing a means to understand the importance of genetic alterations as a tumour evolves, and CRISPR–Cas9 may potentially constitute a therapeutic strategy in the future.

    • Francisco J. Sánchez-Rivera
    • Tyler Jacks
  • YAP and TAZ are the major downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway. This Progress article summarizes the latest findings regarding the biological functions of YAP and TAZ, and their role in connecting the Hippo pathway with other relevant pathways in cancer.

    • Toshiro Moroishi
    • Carsten Gram Hansen
    • Kun-Liang Guan
  • The cohesin complex is involved in sister chromatid cohesion, as well as other processes, such as transcriptional regulation. Mutations in genes encoding cohesin subunits and cohesin regulators have recently been identified in several tumour types. This Progress article discusses the roles of the cohesin complex and how its mutation might contribute to cancer progression.

    • Ana Losada
  • The vast majority of the research into cancer metabolism has been limited to a handful of metabolic pathways, with other pathways being sidelined. This Progress article brings to light the potential contribution of fatty acid oxidation to cancer cell function.

    • Arkaitz Carracedo
    • Lewis C. Cantley
    • Pier Paolo Pandolfi
  • BAP1 is a deubiquitylase that is associated with multiprotein complexes that regulate key cellular pathways. Recent findings have indicated that germlineBAP1mutations might cause a novel cancer syndrome. Michele Carbone and colleagues discuss the evidence for this.

    • Michele Carbone
    • Haining Yang
    • Giovanni Gaudino
  • Pioneer factors are a special class of transcription factor that can associate with compacted chromatin to facilitate the binding of additional transcription factors. This Progress article discusses the importance of pioneer factors in breast cancer and prostate cancer.

    • Kamila M. Jozwik
    • Jason S. Carroll
  • The primary role for small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) has typically been considered to be the guiding of the post-transcriptional modifications of particular RNAs. This Progress article discusses the intriguing recent findings that various snoRNAs, and the host genes that encode them, could have previously unsuspected and varied roles in cancer.

    • Gwyn T. Williams
    • Farzin Farzaneh
  • Desmosomes are adhesion complexes that are related to adherens junctions, and recent studies using mouse genetic approaches have uncovered a role for desmosomes in tumour suppression.

    • Rachel L. Dusek
    • Laura D. Attardi
  • The function of the deacetylase SIRT1 in cancer is complex and controversial. This article discusses the recent progress that has been made in mouse models to address the role of SIRT1 in tumour development.

    • Daniel Herranz
    • Manuel Serrano
  • Increased RNA polymerase III activity in cancer has been observed for over 30 years but how this occurs and affects cellular transformation is only beginning to be understood. Lynne Marshall and Robert J. White discuss recent progress made in this emerging field.

    • Lynne Marshall
    • Robert J. White
  • The recent determination of the structure of the class I phosphoinositide 3-kinase PI3Kα has identified important structural differences between the class 1 PI3Ks. How can this information be used to improve cancer therapy?

    • L. Mario Amzel
    • Chuan-Hsiang Huang
    • Bert Vogelstein
  • CDC37 is oncogenic because it stabilizes the structures of mutated or overexpressed oncogenic kinases. Targeting this chaperone activity, on which many tumours depend, is therefore an attractive option for broad-based therapy.

    • Phillip J. Gray Jr
    • Thomas Prince
    • Stuart K. Calderwood