Table of Contents

Volume 553 Number 7688 pp249-366

18 January 2018

About the cover

The cover is a surface–ribbon hybrid image showing the topology of the RNA Pol III/TFIIIB/DNA complex. RNA polymerase III (Pol III) catalyses the transcription of short RNAs that are essential for protein synthesis during cell growth. Pol III is predominantly regulated at the level of transcription initiation, and dysregulated Pol III activity is linked to diseases including cancer. In this issue, two independent studies from the labs of Alessandro Vannini and Christoph Müller describe cryo-electron microscopy structures of the yeast Pol III pre-initiation complex (PIC) comprising the full 17-subunit Pol III and the three TFIIIB subunits TBP (pink), Brf1 (yellow) and Bdp1 (orange) bound to promoter DNA in various functional states (the loops stabilizing the unwound DNA strands at both sides of the cleft are depicted as bright cyan ribbons). The structures elucidate the detailed mechanisms of how Pol III is recruited to its target promoters and how promoter DNA is opened to form a stable transcription bubble. They also allow a comparison with the structures of Pol I and Pol II PICs. Cover image: Alessandro Vannini/Jeroen Claus (Phospho Biomedical Animation)

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    In hybrid inviability between Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, genomic regions on two X. laevis chromosomes are incompatible with the X. tropicalis cytoplasm and are mis-segregated during mitosis, leading to unbalanced gene expression at the maternal to zygotic transition, followed by cell-autonomous catastrophic embryo death.

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    A regulatory mechanism that limits the number of complete protein molecules that can be synthesized from a single mRNA molecule of the human AMD1 gene encoding adenosylmethionine decarboxylase 1.

    See also