Molecular biology

Definition

Molecular Biology is the field of biology that studies the composition, structure and interactions of cellular molecules – such as nucleic acids and proteins – that carry out the biological processes essential for the cell’s functions and maintenance.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Chronic pain presents a major health burden, affecting more than 20% of adults worldwide, but currently available analgesics lack efficacy and/or are associated with severe adverse effects. Here, Ellen Niederberger and colleagues discuss epigenetic modulation as a new opportunity in pain-relief therapy, and consider the future challenges for the clinical development of these drugs.

    • Ellen Niederberger
    • , Eduard Resch
    • , Michael J. Parnham
    •  & Gerd Geisslinger
  • Research | | open

    MxA (myxovirus resistance protein A) is a viral restriction factor whose activity depends on self-assembly into polymeric rings and helical filaments. Here the authors reveal the conformational movements involved in generating torque within polymeric MxA molecules and the dynamic conformational changes that occur upon GTP loading and hydrolysis.

    • Yang Chen
    • , Lei Zhang
    • , Laura Graf
    • , Bing Yu
    • , Yue Liu
    • , Georg Kochs
    • , Yongfang Zhao
    •  & Song Gao
  • Research |

    Structural ensembles of the 70S ribosome bound to cognate or near-cognate charged tRNAs in complex with EF-Tu illustrate the crucial role of the nucleotide G530 in decoding of mRNA, and demonstrate that translational fidelity results from direct control of GTPase by the decoding centre.

    • Anna B. Loveland
    • , Gabriel Demo
    • , Nikolaus Grigorieff
    •  & Andrei A. Korostelev
  • Research | | open

    IRE1? is an ER stress sensor, whose activity induces apoptosis. Here, the authors report that fortilin, a pro-survival factor, with yet unknown roles in ER stress, interacts with active IRE1?, inhibits both its kinase end RNase activities, and protects cells from apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo.

    • Decha Pinkaew
    • , Abhijnan Chattopadhyay
    • , Matthew D. King
    • , Preedakorn Chunhacha
    • , Zhihe Liu
    • , Heather L. Stevenson
    • , Yanjie Chen
    • , Patuma Sinthujaroen
    • , Owen M. McDougal
    •  & Ken Fujise
  • Reviews |

    The termination of DNA replication involves convergence of replication forks, the completion of DNA synthesis, replisome disassembly and the decatenation of daughter DNA molecules. Recent discoveries illustrate how replisome disassembly in eukaryotes is controlled by E3 ubiquitin ligases and how this activity is regulated to avoid genome instability.

    • James M. Dewar
    •  & Johannes C. Walter
  • Reviews |

    The presence of nucleosomes and their substructures affects local chromatin structure and function. Thus, nucleosome occupancy, their exact positioning and composition need to be dynamically regulated. Advances in genomic technologies have improved our understanding of nucleosome dynamics in various cellular processes, most notably DNA replication and transcription.

    • William K. M. Lai
    •  & B. Franklin Pugh

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