Volume 13 Issue 6, June 2016

Volume 13 Issue 6

Cover image supplied by S. Ferreira-Gonzalez and S.J. Forbes, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Edinburgh, UK, who are funded by MRC and Principal’s Career Development Edinburgh University grants. Immunofluorescence image of ductular reaction in the liver. Tissue was stained to show marker of biliary differentiation keratin 19 (rat anti-troma III) and red fluorescent protein (rabbit anti-RFP). Nuclei were stained by DAPI.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori is the strongest known risk factor for the development of gastric cancer. Saju et al. shed new light on mechanisms by which Epstein–Barr virus, a viral initiator of gastric cancer, potentiates the oncogenic effects of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach.

    • Lydia E. Wroblewski
    •  & Richard M. Peek Jr
  • News & Views |

    Women are counselled that surgery for ulcerative colitis leads to infertility and that they could require assisted reproductive technology (ART) to conceive. But how successful is ART, compared with women who do not have a history of ulcerative colitis? New data suggests that ART is less effective in women with ulcerative colitis, but its success is not reduced after surgery to treat the disease.

    • Sunanda Kane
  • News & Views |

    Liver fibrosis, the accumulation of extracellular matrix proteins caused by chronic liver damage, results from the activation of hepatic stellate cells. In a new study, Arriazu et al. explore in detail the mechanisms by which the multifunctional protein osteopontin drives hepatic fibrosis, and show that interaction with HMGB1 mediates the fibrogenic response.

    • Lee A. Borthwick
    •  & Derek A. Mann
  • News & Views |

    A new study reports that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased morbidity and severity of IBD. A number of issues must now be addressed to enable the optimal design of interventional studies to test whether vitamin D supplementation can improve outcomes in this disease.

    • Margherita T. Cantorna


  • Review Article |

    The Hippo signalling cascade is crucial for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and regeneration after damage. This Review describes the core components of the Hippo pathway and their role in intestinal homeostasis, regeneration and disease, and the integration of Hippo signalling with other key signalling pathways. The function of the Hippo pathway in liver physiology and disease is briefly discussed.

    • Audrey W. Hong
    • , Zhipeng Meng
    •  & Kun-Liang Guan
  • Review Article |

    Treatment of HCV infection has evolved rapidly with the development of effective direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) that target different stages in the viral life cycle. Here, Götte and Feld describe the mechanisms of action of these DAAs and the different clinical attributes of each drug class (such as barriers to resistance, drug–drug interactions). Challenges in drug development efforts for the future are also briefly discussed.

    • Matthias Götte
    •  & Jordan J. Feld
  • Review Article |

    Hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes are associated with a high risk of developing malignancies. Despite compelling data from preclinical models, clinical studies of promising chemopreventive agents often yield conflicting results. Here, the authors discuss critical issues related to previous chemopreventive trial designs, focusing on common pitfalls and how future interventions might be improved.

    • Luigi Ricciardiello
    • , Dennis J. Ahnen
    •  & Patrick M. Lynch
  • Review Article |

    Much progress has been made in understanding viral hepatitis by taking advantage of experimental models to provide insights into viral biology, immunity and potential treatments. In this Review, Thomas and Liang discuss the currently available in vitro and in vivo models for viral hepatitis, focusing on HBV and HCV infection. New insights and progress are discussed.

    • Emmanuel Thomas
    •  & T. Jake Liang