Research articles

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  • Maroni, Bassal, Krishnan et al. characterise human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) carrying Kras-mutations by single-cell RNA sequencing. They identify a tumour-specific population that is conserved in mice and responds to the drug, PTC596, which is currently in clinical trials and may offer a potential avenue for treating aggressive NSCLC expressing mutated Kras.

    • Giorgia Maroni
    • Mahmoud A. Bassal
    • Elena Levantini
    Article Open Access
  • Ramses Gallegos-Monterrosa, Mathilde Nordgaard Christensen, and colleagues investigate how a single or double deletion of the rap-phr genes, parts of peptide-based quorum sensing systems, impacts the sporulation and biofilm formation of B. subtilis under four different conditions and a multitude of strains. Using strain-specific barcoding and complete genome sequencing, the authors show that competitive selection is driven by acquired mutations, and that selected strains demonstrate increased spore fitness relative to their ancestors and wild types.

    • Ramses Gallegos-Monterrosa
    • Mathilde Nordgaard Christensen
    • Ákos T. Kovács
    Article Open Access
  • Lv et al. associate the gut mycobiota with clinical features and the bacterial microbiota by comparing COVID-19 patients to those infected with H1N1 and healthy controls. They find that gut mycobiota dysbiosis occurs in both COVID-19 patients and those infected with H1N1 and that it does not improve until patients no longer require medical attention, providing insights into a better healthcare guideline.

    • Longxian Lv
    • Silan Gu
    • Lanjuan Li
    Article Open Access
  • Planas-Sitjà, Deneubourg and Cronin use a theoretical approach to examine the importance of personality and feedback in the emergence of collective movement decisions in animal groups. Using a simulation of Capuchin monkey data they show that variation in personality dramatically influences collective decisions as well as replaces feedback depending on the directionality of relationships among individuals.

    • Isaac Planas-Sitjà
    • Jean-Louis Deneubourg
    • Adam L. Cronin
    Article Open Access
  • Nishinaga et al. present structural characterization of the transcription regulator PefR from S. agalactiae in different states (apo-, DNAbound, heme-bound, CO-heme-bound and CN-heme-bound-PefRs). Structural comparison revealed that unique heme coordination controls structural rearrangement for the survival of the neonatal infection-causing hemolytic bacteria.

    • Megumi Nishinaga
    • Hiroshi Sugimoto
    • Hitomi Sawai
    Article Open Access
  • Bertrand and colleagues use virtual endocasts from a variety of living and extinct rodent species to assess the effect of locomotion, body mass and phylogeny on the size of the brain and three of its components. Their findings indicate that arboreal and fossorial locomotor types correlate with differential expansion of the neocortex, petrosal lobules, and relative brain size.

    • Ornella C. Bertrand
    • Hans P. Püschel
    • Stephen L. Brusatte
    Article Open Access
  • Young et al. report a new mouse model for Pelger-Huet anomaly, a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the Lamin B receptor gene (Lbr) that leads to abnormal neutrophil differentiation and skeletal defects. Using CRISPR/Cas-9 editing of Lbr, which has also been associated with X chromosome inactivation (XCI), they generate a mouse model that recapitulates the major phenotypes of the disease without majorly affecting XCI.

    • Alexander Neil Young
    • Emerald Perlas
    • Andrea Cerase
    Article Open Access
  • Jose F. Delgado-Blas et al. report a genomic analysis of two antimicrobial-resistant E. coli populations from wastewater and river water. They find that bacteria from wastewater are more resistant to antibiotics and rely on a diverse set of plasmids for adaptation, while river bacteria adapt mainly via chromosomal changes.

    • Jose F. Delgado-Blas
    • Cristina M. Ovejero
    • Bruno Gonzalez-Zorn
    Article Open Access
  • Mieko Sassa et al. report a novel divalent metal transporter protein (DMTRP) in the crown-of-thorns starfish genome and determine that all organisms with a DMTRP gene are located in marine habitats. They also show in a functional yeast system that DMTRP can prevent uptake of certain metals, bringing insight into the evolution of metal regulation for marine organisms.

    • Mieko Sassa
    • Toshiyuki Takagi
    • Koji Inoue
    Article Open Access
  • Hunter et al. engineer a high affinity, soluble variant of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) to serve as a ligand trap for the LIF cytokine. They further demonstrate that this engineered LIFR exhibits improved affinity relative to the wild-type receptor, leading to better disruption of LIF signaling in cancer cells, and highlighting promise of such ligand traps as therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.

    • Sean A. Hunter
    • Brianna J. McIntosh
    • Jennifer R. Cochran
    Article Open Access
  • Elisabeth Schirmer, Stefan Schuster and Peter Machnik investigated the effects of bisphenols A and S on neuronal functioning. Using in vivo recordings in goldfish they demonstrate that basic neuronal properties such as action potentials and synaptic transmission are perturbed after chronic exposure to bisphenols.

    • Elisabeth Schirmer
    • Stefan Schuster
    • Peter Machnik
    Article Open Access
  • Suryamohan, Diwanji, Stawiski et al. identify natural ACE2 variants that are predicted to alter virus–host interactions. They find that soluble ACE2 K26R and T92I variants are more effective in blocking the entry of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein pseudotyped virus, compared to wild-type ACE2. This study suggests that ACE2 variants may modulate the host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2.

    • Kushal Suryamohan
    • Devan Diwanji
    • Somasekar Seshagiri
    Article Open Access
  • Mett et al. describe development of GP532, a substantially deimmunized derivative of Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) agonist entolimod. GP532 has mutations eliminating key B- and T-cell epitopes and an inflammasome-activating domain yet remains a potent NF-κB activator with biological effects similar to entolimod. Thus, GP532 is suitable for multi-dose TLR5-targeting therapies and patients with high titers of preexisting flagellin-neutralizing antibodies.

    • Vadim Mett
    • Oleg V. Kurnasov
    • Andrei L. Osterman
    Article Open Access
  • Kinoshita, Namba and Minamino show that a cluster of positively-charged arginines in the Salmonella FliI is necessary for formation of the FliI homo-hexamer ATPase. Through loss- and gain-of-function experiments, they demonstrate that hexamer assembly is also responsible for efficient export of flagellar proteins during flagellar assembly.

    • Miki Kinoshita
    • Keiichi Namba
    • Tohru Minamino
    Article Open Access
  • Yunke Peng et al. use in-situ measurements and leaf trait data at 266 global sites for 1637 species and find that the maximum rate of carboxylation standardized to 25 °C is proportional to growing-season irradiance, and covaries with area-based leaf nitrogen and area-based phosphorus on the species level. These results challenge the assumption that leaf-level photosynthetic capacity depends on soil N supply yet supports the relationship between photosynthesis and soil P supply.

    • Yunke Peng
    • Keith J. Bloomfield
    • I. Colin Prentice
    Article Open Access
  • Rigby et al. use transgenic mice that are deficient in the endoplasmic reticulum acetyltransferases Atase1 or Atase2 to demonstrate the differential role of these enzymes in the regulation of reticulophagy and macroautophagy. Their study emphasizes ATase1 as a potential translational target for diseases characterized by toxic protein aggregation in the secretory pathway.

    • Michael J. Rigby
    • Alexis J. Lawton
    • Luigi Puglielli
    Article Open Access
  • Kato et al. describe the isolation of a mutant Chlamydomonas sp. KOR1 that accumulates lipid even during diurnal cycles and has extensive mutations in the ISA1 gene encoding a starch debranching enzyme (DBE). They further demonstrate that disruption of DBE can improve biofuel production under light/dark conditions, through accelerated carbohydrate repartitioning into lipid and carotenoid.

    • Yuichi Kato
    • Tomoki Oyama
    • Akihiko Kondo
    Article Open Access