Focus |

Genomes and Epigenomes

Rebecca Furlong: human genetics and evolutionary genomics. 

Anne Mirabella: genome instability, DNA repair and replication.

Carolina Perdigoto: chromatin, epigenetics and transcription.

Katie Ridd: cancer genomics and cancer epigenomics.

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on genomes and epigenomes. Each month our editors select a small number of Articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the area of genomes and epigenomes at Nature Communications.

Make sure to check the Editors' Highlights page each month for new featured articles.

Mutations in the homologous recombination proteins BRCA1 and BRCA2 can sensitize cells to treatment with inhibitors of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase 1 (PARPi), but resistance to the treatment can occur. Here the authors by genome-wide CRISPR knockout and activation screens reveal novel pathways of PARPi resistance in BRCA2-deficient cells.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The fork protection complex (FPC), including the proteins TIMELESS and TIPIN, stabilizes the replisome to ensure unperturbed fork progression during DNA replication. Here the authors reveal that that SDE2, a PCNA-associated protein, plays an important role in maintaining active replication and protecting stalled forks by regulating the replication fork protection complex (FPC).

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The origin recognition complex (ORC) is essential for loading the Mcm2–7 replicative helicase onto DNA during DNA replication initiation. Here, the authors describe several cryo-electron microscopy structures of Drosophila ORC bound to DNA and its cofactor Cdc6 and also report an in vitro reconstitution system for Drosophila Mcm2–7 loading, revealing unexpected features of ORC’s DNA binding and remodeling mechanism during Mcm2–7 loading.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

DNA damage sensors DDB2 and XPC are fundamental factors to initiate global genome nucleotide excision repair and protect DNA from mutagenesis. Here the authors reveal that ubiquitin and TFIIH-stimulated DDB2 dissociation promotes DNA damage handover to XPC in nucleotide excision repair.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

While R-loops can alter cell homeostasis, it is unclear what determines their toxicity. Here, the authors, by using Top1 knockdown as a tool to enhance the formation of R-loops at certain genomic sites, reveal and characterize a proportion of R-loops that are more toxic to the cell by causing DNA damage.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

In mammalian cells, during transcription and replication, RNA:DNA hybrid structures known as R-loops can arise, posing as obstacles to replication fork progression. Here the authors reveal that the ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling INO80 complex promotes resolution of R-loops to prevent replication associated DNA damage in cancer cells.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications