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Stella, Alcón & Montoya discuss recent mechanistic insights into CRISPR Class 2 type V enzymes Cpf1 and C2c1 that are crucial for improving these genome engineering tools and expanding the genomic editing space.
Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) is the scaffold protein that is essential for the assembly and function of HDL particles. A structural model for monomeric, lipid-free apoA-I, based on previous and new data, is now presented.
During transcription initiation, Ssl2, the dsDNA translocase of TFIIH, opens a 6-bp DNA bubble, suggesting a two-step model wherein Ssl2 triggers a 6-bp open complex that RNA polymerase II expands via NTP-dependent RNA transcription.
Although deadenylation induces translational inhibition and mRNA decay, well-expressed transcripts are now shown to possess short, well-defined poly(A) tails, suggesting that pruned tails may be ideal for protective and translational functions.
Assembly of the small ribosomal subunit from an RNA strand and 33 proteins is an intricate and dynamic process. Two cryo-EM studies now provide insight into a complicated complex of at least 51 trans-factors that act on the preribosomal small subunit to sequentially fold it into a 3D molecular machine.
C-type inactivation is a process by which ion flux through a voltage-gated K+ channel is regulated at the selectivity filter. A recent structure of the Kv1.2 channel provides a view into the structural changes of the selectivity filter during C-type inactivation.
PERK is a major sensor of the unfolded protein response controlling cell fate under endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. A new study reveals an additional step for optimal PERK signaling, involving the binding of CNPY2 to PERK's luminal domain. The PERK–CNPY2 axis was shown to enhance cell death under ER stress in vivo influence liver disease.
PCSK9 enhances LDL cholesterol (LDL-c) levels by escorting the liver LDL receptor (LDLR) to endosomes and lysosomes for degradation. PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies and RNA-antisense formulations are effective in reducing LDL cholesterol in patients. The recent structural identification of a novel pocket in PCSK9 paves the way to the future development of orally active small-molecule hypocholesterolemic drugs.
The cellular crosstalk between different classes of regulatory noncoding RNAs has reached a new spatial dimension. Jiang et al. reveal an essential role of a nuclear-paraspeckle-organizing long noncoding RNA and its protein partners in regulating the first steps of microRNA biogenesis.
The monoallelic expression of many imprinted genes in mammals depends on DNA methylation marks that originate from the germ cells. Recent studies in mice and fruit flies evoke a novel, transient mode of genomic imprinting in which oocyte-acquired histone H3 Lys27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) marks are transmitted to the zygote and modulate the allele specificity and timing of gene expression in the early embryo.