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  1. snoRNAs contribute to myeloid leukaemogenesis

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    The mechanism of action of oncogenes in acute myeloid leukaemia is poorly understood. A study now shows that the fusion oncoprotein AML1-ETO regulates leukaemogenesis by increasing the expression of small nucleolar RNAs through post-transcriptional mechanisms, resulting in increased ribosomal RNA methylation, protein translation, and promotion of leukaemic-cell self-renewal and growth.

    See also: Article by Fengbiao Zhou et al.

  2. Inter-organ regulation of haem homeostasis

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    Haem is an iron-containing cofactor required for life. Many cellular processes rely on haem and failure to maintain iron homeostasis results in numerous pathological conditions. A study now identifies a Caenorhabditis elegans inter-organ signalling pathway in which secreted intestinal HRG-7 and neuronally secreted BMP signals coordinate animal haem homeostasis.

    See also: Article by Jason Sinclair et al.

  3. Revolving around constriction by ESCRT-III

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    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III is critical for membrane abscission; however, the mechanism underlying ESCRT-III-mediated membrane constriction remains elusive. A study of the dynamic assembly and disassembly of the ESCRT-III machinery in vitro and in vivo now suggests that the turnover of the observed spiralling filaments is critical for membrane abscission during cytokinesis.

    See also: Article by Beata E. Mierzwa et al.

  4. OPA1 and cardiolipin team up for mitochondrial fusion

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    Fusion between the inner membranes of two mitochondria requires the GTPase optic atrophy 1 (OPA1), but the molecular mechanism is poorly understood. A study now shows that fusion of two liposomes can be performed by OPA1 tethered to just one liposome, through an interaction with the phospholipid cardiolipin on the opposing liposome.

    See also: Letter by Tadato Ban et al.

  5. Forces in cell biology

    Mechanobiology — the study of how physical forces control the behaviour of cells and tissues — is a rapidly growing field. In this issue, we launch a Series of specially commissioned Review articles that discuss exciting recent developments in this area.
  6. Mitochondria link metabolism and epigenetics in haematopoiesis

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    Due to their varied metabolic and signalling roles, mitochondria are important in mediating cell behaviour. By altering mitochondrial function, two studies now identify metabolite-induced epigenetic changes that have profound effects on haematopoietic stem cell fate and function.

    See also: Article by Xin Liu et al., Article by Elena Ansó et al.

  7. Cell forces meet cell metabolism

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    Epithelial cells form energetically costly cell–cell adhesions in response to mechanical forces. How cells obtain their energy during this event is unclear. Activity of a key regulator of cell metabolism, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), is now shown to be mechanoresponsive, and thus can bridge adhesion mechanotransduction and energy homeostasis.

    See also: Letter by Jennifer L. Bays et al.

  8. Endoglin moves and shapes endothelial cells

    Vascular malformations result from improper blood vessel responses to molecular and mechanical signals. Two studies now show that endothelial cell migration and cell shape changes are perturbed in mutants lacking the TGFβ/BMP co-receptor endoglin, leading to arteriovenous shunts. Endoglin coordinates endothelial cell responses to ligand–receptor signalling and flow-mediated mechanical cues.

    See also: Article by Wade W. Sugden et al., Article by Yi Jin et al.

  9. Reversing stratification during wound healing

    The involvement of proliferation and migration in epidermal healing has long been recognized, but three studies now reveal how a variety of individual cell behaviours achieve a collective epithelial response, and how diverse repair routes are taken by cells of different origins.

    See also: Article by Giacomo Donati et al., Article by Sangbum Park et al., Article by Mariaceleste Aragona et al.

  10. Science in the age of Trump

    The steep cuts in science funding proposed in the 2018 US budget blueprint have raised alarm in scientific quarters, and signal the current administration's disregard for the significance of science and research in modern society.
  11. Terminating the replication helicase

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    A feature of the cell cycle is that the events of one cycle must be reset before the next one begins. A study now shows that the replication machinery is removed from fully replicated DNA by a conserved ubiquitin- and CDC48 (also known as p97)-dependent pathway. This explains how eukaryotic chromosomes are returned to the unreplicated state.

    See also: Article by Remi Sonneville et al.

  12. Context-specific roles of EMT programmes in cancer cell dissemination

    The role of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in tumour progression remains a topic of intense debate. Now, data on the role of Zeb1 in the metastatic spread of pancreatic cancer clarify apparently conflicting views by revealing context-specific, differential use of individual epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition transcription factors in cancer cell dissemination.

    See also: Article by Angela M. Krebs et al.

  13. Metabolic changes promote rejection of oncogenic cells

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    Dysfunctional cells are eliminated from epithelial monolayers by a process known as cell extrusion to maintain tissue homeostasis. Normal epithelial cells are now shown to induce the extrusion of oncogene-transformed cells by inducing metabolic changes in the oncogene-expressing cells through PDK4-mediated inhibition of PDH and mitochondrial metabolism.

    See also: Article by Shunsuke Kon et al.

  14. SIRT2 and glycolytic enzyme acetylation in pluripotent stem cells

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    The metabolic transition from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis is critical for somatic reprogramming of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). SIRT2 has now been established as a previously unknown regulator of this metabolic transition during somatic reprogramming by controlling the acetylation status of glycolytic enzymes.

    See also: Article by Young Cha et al.

  15. When cancer needs what's non-essential

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    The non-essential amino acids serine and glycine are critical for proliferative metabolism. A study in Nature now finds that dietary serine and glycine deprivation inhibits growth of some tumours. Whether this dietary intervention is effective depends on both the oncogenic context and tumour tissue of origin.

    See also: Letter by Oliver D. K. Maddocks et al.

  16. Demystifying blood stem cell fates

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    Determining the differentiation potential of stem and progenitor cells is essential for understanding their function, yet our ability to do so is limited by the restrictions of experimental assays. Based on single-cell functional and molecular profiling experiments, a new computational approach shows how lineage commitment may occur in human haematopoiesis.

    See also: Article by Lars Velten et al.