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Volume 27 Issue 5, May 2017

Research Highlight

  • The multimodular adapter p62/sequestosome-1 plays prominent roles in physiology and disease by mediating cell signaling and cargo degradation. The work by Peng et al. published recently in Cell Research provides mechanistic insights into activation of its autophagy receptor function critical for maintaining cell homeostasis during various forms of stress.

    • Owen Conway
    • Vladimir Kirkin
    Research Highlight


  • In a new paper in Cell Research, Ji et al. find that transcription factor-instigated opening of chromatin, during cell reprogramming, can be sensed by the Baf60b-containing chromatin remodeling complex, which then activates the ATM-p53 pathway, leading to cell death. These findings from reprogramming studies unveil what I term a “chromatin remodeling checkpoint” whereby extensive, inappropriate chromatin opening events lead to cell elimination, thus preventing cell fate conversion that might occur upon tissue damage; if unchecked, such conversion could lead to metaplasia and cancer.

    • Kenneth S Zaret
    Research Highlight
  • Totipotency is the ability of a single cell to form an entire embryo, including extraembryonic tissues, an ability we have yet to recapitalize, in vitro. In a recent paper published in Science, Choi et al. showed that pluripotent stem cells lacking microRNA miR-34a, have an expanded cell fate potential allowing differentiation into not only embryonic but also extraembryonic lineages.

    • Noam Maoz
    • Yosef Buganim
    Research Highlight
  • Targeted proteolysis plays an important role in the execution and regulation of many cellular events. Two recent papers in Science identify novel roles for proteasome-mediated proteolysis in homologous chromosome pairing, recombination, and segregation during meiosis.

    • Michael Lichten
    Research Highlight
  • Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) belong to the ever-increasing number of transcripts that are thought not to encode proteins. A recent study has now identified a small polypeptide encoded by the lncRNA LINC00961 that inhibits amino acid-induced mTORC1 activation in skeletal muscle.

    • Nathalie Rion
    • Markus A Rüegg
    Research Highlight
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Original Article

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Letter to the Editor

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