Our new paper in Cancer Research

Very happy to see our work on FSTL1+ CAFs in driving HCC stemness and metastasis finally published in the most recent issue of Cancer Research. Also out is our recently published and related mini-review article on the role of CAFs in the maintenance of stemness in the tumor microenviornment. Very well done, JJ, Carol, Natalie, and the team. We also thank our collaborators for their support.

Read the Cancer Research and Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology articles here.

Our new publication in Gut

Stepped out of our comfort zone and explored into lineage tracing and scRNA-seq. Years of hard work with great preserverance from our three leading authors Lena, Ken and Eric; and a wonderful collaboration with Dr. Joshua Ho. Excited to share our lab’s latest work published in Gut.

Lineage tracing and single-cell analysis reveal proliferative Prom1+ tumor-propagating cells and their dynamic cellular transition during liver cancer progression – read all about it here!

Our new paper in Advanced Science

Congrats to Johnson and the team! Our paper “Chemotherapy enriched THBS2-deficient cancer stem cells drive hepatocarcinogenesis through matrix softness induced histone H3 modifications” is accepted for publication in Advanced Science.

Findings of this study show that extracellular matrix remodeling by chemotherapy 5-FU enriched THBS2-deficient CD133 cancer stem cells can provide a route of escape that leads to HCC metastasis. In brief, 5-FU enriches for CD133 expressing cells with deficient THBS2 expression. THBS2, which is a known extracellular matrix (ECM)-modifying protein, has the ability to alter MMP2/MMP9 activity and thus collagen and matrix stiffness, which leads to altered cancer and stemness properties. This local soft microenvironment then induces mechano-epigenetic changes to enhance CD133 expression and suppress THBS2 expression through histone H3 modifications at their respective promoter regions, facilitating a positive feedback loop that supports the clonogenic expansion of a subpopulation of HCC cells with high CD133 expression and low THBS2 expression.