Focuses and supplements


The groups of reviews in the Nature Structural & Molecular Biology supplement archive provide in-depth analyses on topics of interest to the structural and molecular biology communities.


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2016

Cycles and Rhythms

Reviews Focus on Cycles and rhythms

Daily rhythms are an integral part of life. This special Focus on 'Cycles and Rhythms' features Reviews and a Perspective that explore the molecular mechanisms that drive oscillatory behaviour and that underlie the generation of metabolic and circadian dynamics.

December Vol. 23, Issue 12


Membrane Proteins

Reviews Focus on Membrane Proteins

Membrane proteins are central to many physiological processes and are targeted by ~50% of marketed pharmaceutical drugs. Determining the structures of membrane proteins is essential for understanding their function and for drug design. This Focus highlights the latest breakthroughs in elucidating the structure and mechanisms of ABC transporters and neurotransmitter-gated ion channels; it also explores recent technical and methodological advances in X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, NMR and computational approaches to investigate membrane proteins.

June Vol. 23, Issue 6


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2015

Immunomodulatory Drugs

Immunomodulatory Drugs

Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), including thalidomide and its derivatives lenalidomide and pomalidomide, are currently used to treat multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome and complications from leprosy. The molecular bases for these clinical properties of IMiDs have been uncovered in research articles presented in this collection, along with related reviews and commentaries from Nature journals.


Articles in this Nature collection are freely available for the next 6 months, thanks to support from Celgene Corporation. As always, Nature Research retains sole responsibility for all editorial content.

Reviews Focus on Telomeres

Reviews Focus on Telomeres

The progressive shortening of telomeres with each cell division determines cellular replicative capacity and ultimately induces cellular senescence. This Focus brings to light the complex interactions of telomerase and shelterin components in telomere length maintenance, the role of DNA damage-response factors in telomere replication and processing, and the consequences of telomere dysfunction in human disease and cancer cell proliferation.

November Vol. 22, Issue 11

Reviews Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Reviews Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Noncoding RNAs are remarkably versatile molecules that accomplish a wide range of biological functions. This Focus highlights the roles of noncoding RNAs in biological processes ranging from translation to cellular reprogramming and reviews recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of different RNA-interference pathways. It also explores the potential of noncoding RNAs in synthetic biology and discusses challenges in the annotation and functional characterization of lncRNAs.

January Vol. 22, Issue 1


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2014

Reviews Focus on Ubiquitin

Reviews Focus on Ubiquitin

Ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins are protein modifiers that play key roles in a variety of cellular processes. This Focus highlights the recent major breakthroughs in understanding how these modifications are regulated and targeted to protein substrates. Recent insights in the role of ubiquitin-like proteins in autophagy, DNA targeting and ER-associated degradation will also be covered. Produced with support from Takeda.

April Vol. 21, Issue 4


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2013

Reviews Focus on Translation Control

Reviews Focus on Epigenetic Dynamics

The dynamic nature of functional information present in the genome, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications and chromatin organization, is only beginning to be uncovered, along with the relationship between epigenomic patterning and developmental decisions or disease. This Focus, which comprises six Reviews written by leaders in the field, explores emerging themes and functional implications of epigenetic dynamics. The Review articles are freely available online for 3 months thanks to support from Active Motif.

March Vol. 20, Issue 3


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2012

Reviews Focus on Translation Control

Reviews Focus on Translation Control

Translational control has become a major focus of attention and research activity in the field of gene expression, and it is intricately linked to other mechanisms of gene regulation. Translation can be modulated by a myriad of factors and control mechanisms that target either the initiation step or a post-initiation event. Protein synthesis is of course mediated by the ribosome, so structural, functional and mechanistic insights into the translation machinery will help our understanding of how translation can be controlled. The latest developments will be covered in four Reviews and one Perspective, written by leaders in the field.

June Vol. 19, Issue 6


Web Focus on Prions and Amyloids

Web Focus on Prions and Amyloids

The infectious agent in mammalian prion diseases is the misfolded form of the prion protein (PrPSc), which forms amyloid aggregates and can template the conversion of the native conformation (PrPC), causing neuronal dysfunction and brain damage. Amyloid aggregates are also associated with other neurodegenerative conditions, but whether amyloid fibrils or oligomers are the toxic species remains unclear. The Web Focus on Prions and Amyloids highlights recent NSMB papers in these areas, and features a review by Diaz-Espinosa and Soto, who discuss recent progress and existing models for the structure of PrPSc. Image shows prion protein immunostaining, from Wikipedia (author Sbrandner).


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2011

Focus on Chaperones and Chaperonins

Web Focus on Chaperones and Chaperonins

The 2011 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award honors F. Ulrich Hartl and Arthur L. Horwich, for their "discoveries concerning the cell's protein-folding machinery, exemplified by cage-like structures that convert newly made proteins into their biologically active forms." We celebrate the award by presenting a collection of recent papers on chaperones and chaperonins published in NSMB.

Focus on Measles

Web Focus on Measles

The NSMB Web Focus on Measles Virus highlights current developments in our understanding of the interaction between the viral attachment protein MVH and its host cell receptor SLAM, and the conformational changes in MVH that trigger fusion of viral and cellular membranes. The Web Focus features a specially commissioned Commentary that puts these findings in context with previous studies on MVH and the attachment protein from other paramyxoviruses, published in our pages. This body of work is of interest to structural and molecular biologists, as well as virologists and clinical researchers.


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2010

Reviews Focus on Signal Integration

Reviews Focus on Signal Integration

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology and Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology have teamed up to present an in-depth joint Focus on Signal Integration, with specially commissioned Reviews in each journal. These articles consider some of the key approaches used to study signaling networks, and discuss how various signals are integrated in different cellular contexts.


Web Focus on Virology

Web Focus on Virology

Viral infections have an obvious impact on their hosts. Besides the considerable toll they can cause on host health, viruses have also influenced evolution, exerting selective pressure and shaping host defense pathways. And they have become part of us, as endogenous retroviruses and derived sequences. In this special web Focus on Virology, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, we present one Review and highlight recent research articles revealing how viruses bind and enter their hosts, the defense mechanisms mounted by the cell and organism, and how viruses evade or even subvert these responses. Altogether, this body of work offers insights into the complex relationship between viruses and hosts and has important implications for drug development.


Web Focus on RNA Silencing

Web Focus on RNA Silencing

Since initial observations indicating that small RNAs can mediate silencing, this phenomenon has come to be recognized as a key means of gene regulation, participating in a variety of processes across species. Still, research into small RNA-mediated regulation and the scope of this regulation, as well as its role in disease, continues to yield new insights and surprises. The NSMB Web Focus on RNA silencing comprises a core collection encompassing a specially commissioned Perspective and recently published Research Articles covering a range of current topics in the field. The broader Nature Research library brings together additional recent advances in the field published at NSMB and other Nature journals.


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2009

Reviews Focus on Protein Folding

Reviews Focus on Protein Folding

To be functional, most proteins need to reach their correct three-dimensional structure, through a process called folding. Defects in protein folding can lead to protein aggregation or degradation and are associated with several pathological conditions. To bring readers up to date on the basic concepts and the latest developments in the field, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology presents a focus issue on 'Protein Folding', with four commissioned Reviews and two Perspectives.

June Vol. 16, Issue 6


Web Focus on Telomeres and Ribosomes

Web Focus on Telomeres and Ribosomes

The 2009 Nobel Prizes celebrated research on telomeres and ribosomes. Telomeres cap the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes and are maintained by telomerase activity. The study of telomere biology, pioneered by the Nobel Prize recipients Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Jack Szostak, has given insights into aging and cancer. The ribosome is a widely conserved macromolecular complex that translates mRNA with exquisite fidelity and the Nobel committee recognized key contributions to this field from Venki Ramakrishnan, Tom Steitz and Ada Yonath. Structural and functional work from many labs has given us unprecedented insight into the inner workings of a biological machine, how it is regulated and how it can be targeted specifically by antibiotics.


Web Focus on Splicing

Web Focus on Splicing

Splicing describes the removal of introns from pre-mRNAs to form mRNAs and is carried out by a large complex, the spliceosome. This processing can have a profound effect on the regulation and number of gene products encoded by the genome. In addition, mutations in key components of the splicing machinery, as well as dysfunction of alternative splicing regulators, have been associated with disease. This focus compiles recent papers that have elucidated the organization, structure and regulation of spliceosomal components, thus shedding light on the mechanistic heart of splicing, whereas the broader Nature Research library highlights recent insights into splicing and the regulation and impact of alternative splicing.

As part of the NSMB Focus on Splicing, we present Splice Talk, interviews with Reinhard Lührmann, Andrew MacMillan and Christine Guthrie about their recent research and splicing more generally.


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2008

Focus on Membrane Fusion

Reviews Focus on Membrane Fusion

The fusion of biological membranes is a controlled process that occurs when two closely apposed membrane compartments are brought together so that their contents can be mixed. Membrane fusion is critical for communication between membrane-bound compartments in eukaryotic cells and is essential for host cell infection by enveloped viruses. This special focus on membrane fusion, comprised of an Essay and five Reviews, describes fundamental fusion processes and the interactions that regulate them.

July Vol. 15, Issue 7


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2007

Reviews Focus on Chromatin

Reviews Focus on Chromatin

In eukaryotes, the packaging of DNA by histones into chromatin has profound effects on transcription and other nuclear processes. Far from being a uniform set of 'beads on a string', chromatin structure is remodeled and even modified, altering the accessibility of packaged genes to the factors involved in their regulation. This special focus on chromatin features an Overview, six Reviews and a Perspective that describe how chromatin is built and subsequently altered at various structural levels, and the impact of these events on fundamental biological processes involving DNA.

November Vol. 14, Issue 11


Web Focus on Ion Channels

Web Focus on Ion Channels

Ion channels play important roles in a variety of processes in almost all cells, from sensing membrane pressure to neurotransmission. Since the first structure of a potassium channel was reported nearly 10 years ago, improvements in methods have provided us with additional high-resolution views of ion channels, which have informed and guided mechanistic studies. This focus highlights emerging insights into these important molecules obtained from the most current structural and functional studies. The library of Nature Research articles compiles recent work in the ion channel field.

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2000

Structural genomics

Structural genomics

Two sets of comprehensive reviews answer the questions of 'who? what? why? when? and how?' about the high-throughput, genome-wide structural analyses efforts across the globe.

November Vol. 7, Issue 11s


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1998

NMR Supp

NMRII special issue

The reviews in the second NMR supplement focus on the unique capability of NMR to study the dynamics of biomolecules and on the development of non-NOE-based methods to extract structural information.

August Vol. 5, Issue 8s


Synchrotron Supp

Synchrotron special issue

A series of reports provide an overview of the synchrotron radiation facilities and highlight the progress from various types of research projects facilitated by the use of synchrotron radiation.

July Vol. 5, Issue 7s


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1997

NMR Supp

NMR special issue

The first NMR supplement contains reviews that discuss technological breakthroughs in using NMR for structure determination, as well as an online resource for NMR structural biologists.

October Vol. 4, Issue 10s

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