Research Topic

Engineering of Live-Cell Surface: Advances in Mechanistic Discoveries and Novel Therapeutics

About this Research Topic

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Cell-surface molecules (i.e., proteins, glycans, and lipids) constitute a rich bio-dataset and serve as the primary interface between the cell and the outside world for information exchanges. Tailoring these cell-surface targets provides powerful means to reshape live cells’ interactions with their partners and the environment. Besides handling ‘self’ machinery, non-self-agents can also be introduced to modulate these living processes. For example, genetic or chemical engineering of cell surface has powered us to reprogram live cells via downstream factors (i.e., the transcriptional factors), especially to functionalize immune cells to endow them with the desired properties for better treatment of abnormalities, such as cancer and infectious diseases. Thus, the efforts that paved the way for target identification and potential therapeutics development would be highly applauded, including deciphering cross-membrane signaling and gene regulation pathways, expanding the toolbox for functionalization of the live-cell membrane, and applying these findings towards new therapeutics.


This Research Topic aims to present the latest research on the design of surface engineering of live cells, and their mechanistic and therapeutic implications, focusing on designing live-cell-based strategies to understand and treat human diseases. It will include but not be limited to infection, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and developmental disorders. Besides, the Research Topic will consist of recent insights and advances on the profiling of live-cell surface biomolecules and cross-membrane trafficking, especially regarding novel targets and mechanisms, as well as potential therapeutics.


We welcome Original Research, Methods, Reviews, and Perspectives that explore, but are not limited to, the following list of themes:

·      Innovate chemical and biological tools to tailor the surface of live cells to modulate intracellular functions and intercellular interactions.

·      Advances in deciphering molecular mechanisms of abnormalities, especially related to cardiovascular and immune diseases.

·      Develop cell-based therapeutics for treating abnormalities.

·      Identify or fabricate immunogenic neo-epitope for cell-based therapies.

·      Insights in the cell-cell crosstalk and cross-membrane trafficking.

·      Profile cell-surface biomarkers for health and diseases.



Keywords: cell-based therapeutics; immunogenic neo-epitope; live cell-surface; surface biomolecules; cross-membrane trafficking


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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