New Faculty Publications
A number of UT Southwestern Pathology faculty have released new publications! Please join us in congratulating them for their accomplishments!
Reaching Out to the HCV Patient Population
PATH Faculty involved: Purva Gopal, MD
Journal: The American Journal of Gastroenterology
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment can significantly reduce the risk of liver-related mortality; however, many patients remain unaware of their infection in clinical practice. The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of inreach, with and without mailed outreach, to increase HCV screening and follow-up in a large, difficult-to-reach patient population.
IncRNA and Their Role in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
PATH Faculty involved: Yingfei Wang, PhD; Weibo Luo, PhD
Journal: Molecular Cancer Research
Hypoxia induces thousands of mRNAs and microRNAs to mediate tumor malignancy. However, hypoxia-induced long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcriptome and their role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have not been defined. This study systematically identified hypoxia-induced long non-coding RNA transcriptome in TNBC and sheds light on multiple layers of regulatory mechanisms of gene expression under hypoxia.
dMMR-triggered Anti-tumor Immunity
PATH Faculty involved: Drs. Jian Qiao, Mingyi Chen, Diego Castrillon, Yang-Xin Fu
Journal: Cancer Cell
Increased neoantigens in hypermutated cancers with DNA mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR) are proposed as the major contributor to the high objective response rate in anti-PD-1 therapy. However, the mechanism of drug resistance is not fully understood. Using tumor models defective in the MMR gene Mlh1 (dMLH1), we show that dMLH1 tumor cells accumulate cytosolic DNA and produce IFN-β in a cGAS-STING-dependent manner, which renders dMLH1 tumors slowly progressive and highly sensitive to checkpoint blockade. In neoantigen-fixed models, dMLH1 tumors potently induce T cell priming and lose resistance to checkpoint therapy independent of tumor mutational burden. Accordingly, loss of STING or cGAS in tumor cells decreases tumor infiltration of T cells and endows resistance to checkpoint blockade. Clinically, downregulation of cGAS/STING in human dMMR cancers correlates with poor prognosis. We conclude that DNA sensing within tumor cells is essential for dMMR-triggered anti-tumor immunity. This study provides new mechanisms and biomarkers for anti-dMMR-cancer immunotherapy.
A Better Understanding Primary age-related tauopathy (PART)
PATH Faculty involved: Chan Foong, MS; Charles White, MD
Journal: Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Primary age-related tauopathy (PART) is a neurodegenerative entity defined as Alzheimer-type neurofibrillary degeneration primarily affecting the medial temporal lobe with minimal to absent amyloid-β (Aβ) plaque deposition. The extent to which PART can be differentiated pathoanatomically from Alzheimer disease (AD) is unclear. Here, we examined the regional distribution of tau pathology in a large cohort of postmortem brains (n = 914). We found an early vulnerability of the CA2 subregion of the hippocampus to neurofibrillary degeneration in PART, and semiquantitative assessment of neurofibrillary degeneration in CA2 was significantly greater than in CA1 in PART. In contrast, subjects harboring intermediate-to-high AD neuropathologic change (ADNC) displayed relative sparing of CA2 until later stages of their disease course. In addition, the CA2/CA1 ratio of neurofibrillary degeneration in PART was significantly higher than in subjects with intermediate-to-high ADNC burden. Furthermore, the distribution of tau pathology in PART diverges from the Braak NFT staging system and Braak stage does not correlate with cognitive function in PART as it does in individuals with intermediate-to-high ADNC. These findings highlight the need for a better understanding of the contribution of PART to cognitive impairment and how neurofibrillary degeneration interacts with Aβ pathology in AD and PART.