Cell systemsDr Cameron Bracken, Professor Greg Goodall and colleagues published in this month's issue of Cell Systems  Vol.7 p77-91, July 25, 2018 "Combinatorial Targeting by MicroRNAs Co-ordinates Post-transcriptional Control of EMT". Image from their article is featured on the front cover of this issue.

This article represents a departure from the standard approaches as discussed by Davide Cora and Michele Caselle in the preview article of this issue "The Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, as Hacked by a microRNA Combinatorial Code". Bracken and colleagues used a combination of bioinformatics, high throughput sequencing, and functional validation to precisely describe the behavior of a circuit composed by a set of miRNAs acting combinatorially at molecular concentration close to cellular endogenous levels. Their focus is the human epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), an important biological switch implicated both in development and diseases.

Image on the front cover of this issue shows the universe of breast cancer epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity. Showed that multiple miRNAs cooperate to drive a robust mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition within a cell line model of claudin-low breast cancer. The image shows a rotated representation of 1,102 TCGA breast cancer samples (hexbin density) and 72 breast cancer cell lines (circular markers) on a landscape defined by epithelial and mesenchymal molecular phenotypes. Hexbin colors reflect TCGA sample density (black, no samples; yellow, highest density).