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20th Anniversary

NRMCB is 20! To mark this anniversary, we selected 20 Reviews in 10 core areas of the journal. The Reviews are presented in pairs of older and recent, alongside 10 related Journal Clubs. The collection showcases key discoveries and how each research field has evolved, and highlights current trends.

Anniversary editorial

Journal Clubs

Reviews: then and now

Lipid rafts are relatively ordered membrane domains that are enriched in cholesterol and saturated lipids, and selectively recruit other lipids and proteins. They are dynamic and heterogeneous in composition and are thus challenging to visualizein vivo. New technologies are providing novel insights into the formation, organization and functions of these membrane domains.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

The choice between the major DNA double-strand break repair pathways is important for maintaining genomic stability. In mammals, selecting one pathway over another involves a complex series of binary ‘decisions’. Emerging evidence suggests that the ‘decision tree’ governing repair-pathway choice at stalled replication forks differs from that of replication-independent double-strand breaks.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

Autophagy is a process of cellular self-consumption that promotes cell survival in response to stress. Various human pathologies, including cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation, have been associated with aberrant autophagy, and recent studies of the mechanisms and regulation of autophagy in higher eukaryotes have suggested new therapeutic possibilities.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

The transcriptional response to hypoxia and the role of hypoxia inducible factors have been extensively studied. Yet, hypoxic cells also adapt to hypoxia by modulating protein synthesis, metabolism and nutrient uptake. Understanding these processes could shed light on pathologies associated with hypoxia, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and disease mechanisms, such as inflammation and wound repair.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

In addition to membrane-bound organelles, eukaryotic cells feature various membraneless compartments, including the centrosome, the nucleolus and various granules. Many of these compartments form through liquid–liquid phase separation, and the principles, mechanisms and regulation of their assembly as well as their cellular functions are now beginning to emerge.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

BCL-2 family proteins have either pro- or anti-apoptotic activities that are crucial for the regulation of apoptosis, tumorigenesis and cellular responses to anti-cancer therapy. Recent advances suggest that interactions between BCL-2 family proteins affect their localization and conformation and regulate their bioactivity.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

BCL-2 family proteins are the mediators of apoptotic cell death. The balance between pro-apoptotic and pro-survival BCL-2 family members is differently regulated in various physiological contexts to modulate cellular apoptotic susceptibility. Perturbation of this balance causes excessive or insufficient cell death, leading to diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

The cleavage of microRNA (miRNA) precursors by Drosha and Dicer and their loading with Argonaute proteins into RNA-induced silencing complexes are key steps in miRNA biogenesis. Recent studies have clarified the mechanisms of action of these molecular machines and discovered non-canonical miRNA biogenesis pathways.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an essential process during morphogenesis. Dissecting the signalling strategies that orchestrate EMT have shown that a complex signalling network, which controls adhesion, motility, survival and differentiation, also regulates the initiation and execution of EMT during embryonic development.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial for embryogenesis, wound healing and cancer development, and confers greater resistance to cancer therapies. This Review discusses the mechanisms of EMT and its roles in normal and neoplastic tissues, the contribution of cell-intrinsic signals and the microenvironment to inducing EMT, and its effects on the immunobiology of carcinomas.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

DNA methylation in plants mediates gene expression, transposon silencing, chromosome interactions and genome stability. It is therefore not surprising that the regulation of DNA methylation is important for plant development and for plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by transcription factor-mediated somatic cell reprogramming. Takahashi and Yamanaka portray the path towards this ground-breaking discovery and discuss how, since then, research has focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying iPSC generation and on translating such advances to the clinic.

Timeline | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

Human organoids are valuable models for the study of development and disease and for drug discovery, thus complementing traditional animal models. The generation of organoids from patient biopsy samples has enabled researchers to study, for example, infectious diseases, genetic disorders and cancers. This Review discusses the advantages, disadvantages and future challenges of the use of organoids as models for human biology.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology