Volume 553 Issue 7688, 18 January 2018

The cover is a surface—ribbon hybrid image showing the topology of the RNA Pol III/TFIIIB/DNA complex. RNA polymerase III (Pol III) catalyses the transcription of short RNAs that are essential for protein synthesis during cell growth. Pol III is predominantly regulated at the level of transcription initiation, and dysregulated Pol III activity is linked to diseases including cancer. In this issue, two independent studies from the labs of Alessandro Vannini and Christoph Mãƒâller describe cryo-electron microscopy structures of the yeast Pol III pre-initiation complex (PIC) comprising the full 17-subunit Pol III and the three TFIIIB subunits TBP (pink), Brf1 (yellow) and Bdp1 (orange) bound to promoter DNA in various functional states (the loops stabilizing the unwound DNA strands at both sides of the cleft are depicted as bright cyan ribbons). The structures elucidate the detailed mechanisms of how Pol III is recruited to its target promoters and how promoter DNA is opened to form a stable transcription bubble. They also allow a comparison with the structures of Pol I and Pol II PICs. Cover image: Alessandro Vannini/Jeroen Claus (Phospho Biomedical Animation)

Research Highlight

Article

  • Article |

    Two hypervirulent ribotypes of the enteric pathogen Clostridium difficile, RT027 and RT078, have independently acquired unique mechanisms to metabolize low concentrations of the disaccharide trehalose, suggesting a correlation between the emergence of these ribotypes and the widespread adoption of trehalose in the human diet.

    • J. Collins
    • , C. Robinson
    • , H. Danhof
    • , C. W. Knetsch
    • , H. C. van Leeuwen
    • , T. D. Lawley
    • , J. M. Auchtung
    •  & R. A. Britton
  • Article |

    Cryo-EM structures of Pol III preinitiation complexes are presented, comprising Pol III and the transcription factor TFIIIB bound to a natural promoter in different functional states.

    • Matthias K. Vorländer
    • , Heena Khatter
    • , Rene Wetzel
    • , Wim J. H. Hagen
    •  & Christoph W. Müller
  • Article |

    Detailed structures of yeast RNA polymerase III and its initiation complex shed light on how the transcription of essential non-coding RNAs begins and allow comparisons with other RNA polymerases.

    • Guillermo Abascal-Palacios
    • , Ewan Phillip Ramsay
    • , Fabienne Beuron
    • , Edward Morris
    •  & Alessandro Vannini

Letter

  • Letter |

    Interferometric images of the surface of the giant star π1 Gruis reveal few but large convective cells, consistent with existing models of stellar surface convection.

    • C. Paladini
    • , F. Baron
    • , A. Jorissen
    • , J.-B. Le Bouquin
    • , B. Freytag
    • , S. Van Eck
    • , M. Wittkowski
    • , J. Hron
    • , A. Chiavassa
    • , J.-P. Berger
    • , C. Siopis
    • , A. Mayer
    • , G. Sadowski
    • , K. Kravchenko
    • , S. Shetye
    • , F. Kerschbaum
    • , J. Kluska
    •  & S. Ramstedt
  • Letter |

    Assessment of the impact of armed conflict on large herbivores in Africa between 1946 and 2010 reveals that high conflict frequency is an important predictor of wildlife population declines.

    • Joshua H. Daskin
    •  & Robert M. Pringle
  • Letter |

    Travel time to cities in 2015 is quantified in a high-resolution global map that will be useful for socio-economic policy design and conservation research.

    • D. J. Weiss
    • , A. Nelson
    • , H. S. Gibson
    • , W. Temperley
    • , S. Peedell
    • , A. Lieber
    • , M. Hancher
    • , E. Poyart
    • , S. Belchior
    • , N. Fullman
    • , B. Mappin
    • , U. Dalrymple
    • , J. Rozier
    • , T. C. D. Lucas
    • , R. E. Howes
    • , L. S. Tusting
    • , S. Y. Kang
    • , E. Cameron
    • , D. Bisanzio
    • , K. E. Battle
    • , S. Bhatt
    •  & P. W. Gething
  • Letter |

    In hybrid inviability between Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, genomic regions on two X. laevis chromosomes are incompatible with the X. tropicalis cytoplasm and are mis-segregated during mitosis, leading to unbalanced gene expression at the maternal to zygotic transition, followed by cell-autonomous catastrophic embryo death.

    • Romain Gibeaux
    • , Rachael Acker
    • , Maiko Kitaoka
    • , Georgios Georgiou
    • , Ila van Kruijsbergen
    • , Breanna Ford
    • , Edward M. Marcotte
    • , Daniel K. Nomura
    • , Taejoon Kwon
    • , Gert Jan C. Veenstra
    •  & Rebecca Heald
  • Letter |

    A high-throughput assay is used to analyse 40,000 potential extracellular domain interactions of a large family of plant cell surface receptors (LRR-RKs) and provide a cell surface interaction network for these receptors.

    • Elwira Smakowska-Luzan
    • , G. Adam Mott
    • , Katarzyna Parys
    • , Martin Stegmann
    • , Timothy C Howton
    • , Mehdi Layeghifard
    • , Jana Neuhold
    • , Anita Lehner
    • , Jixiang Kong
    • , Karin Grünwald
    • , Natascha Weinberger
    • , Santosh B. Satbhai
    • , Dominik Mayer
    • , Wolfgang Busch
    • , Mathias Madalinski
    • , Peggy Stolt-Bergner
    • , Nicholas J. Provart
    • , M. Shahid Mukhtar
    • , Cyril Zipfel
    • , Darrell Desveaux
    • , David S. Guttman
    •  & Youssef Belkhadir
  • Letter |

    Immune checkpoint blockade with anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 agents produces a high response rate in patients with desmoplastic melanoma.

    • Zeynep Eroglu
    • , Jesse M. Zaretsky
    • , Siwen Hu-Lieskovan
    • , Dae Won Kim
    • , Alain Algazi
    • , Douglas B. Johnson
    • , Elizabeth Liniker
    • , Ben Kong
    • , Rodrigo Munhoz
    • , Suthee Rapisuwon
    • , Pier Federico Gherardini
    • , Bartosz Chmielowski
    • , Xiaoyan Wang
    • , I. Peter Shintaku
    • , Cody Wei
    • , Jeffrey A. Sosman
    • , Richard W. Joseph
    • , Michael A. Postow
    • , Matteo S. Carlino
    • , Wen-Jen Hwu
    • , Richard A. Scolyer
    • , Jane Messina
    • , Alistair J. Cochran
    • , Georgina V. Long
    •  & Antoni Ribas
  • Letter |

    REV-ERBs, nuclear hormone receptors that regulate transcription as part of the circadian clock cell machinery, inhibit autophagy and lipogenesis in premalignant and malignant cells and impair tumour growth in vivo.

    • Gabriele Sulli
    • , Amy Rommel
    • , Xiaojie Wang
    • , Matthew J. Kolar
    • , Francesca Puca
    • , Alan Saghatelian
    • , Maksim V. Plikus
    • , Inder M. Verma
    •  & Satchidananda Panda
  • Letter |

    A regulatory mechanism that limits the number of complete protein molecules that can be synthesized from a single mRNA molecule of the human AMD1 gene encoding adenosylmethionine decarboxylase 1.

    • Martina M. Yordanova
    • , Gary Loughran
    • , Alexander V. Zhdanov
    • , Marco Mariotti
    • , Stephen J. Kiniry
    • , Patrick B. F. O’Connor
    • , Dmitry E. Andreev
    • , Ioanna Tzani
    • , Paul Saffert
    • , Audrey M. Michel
    • , Vadim N. Gladyshev
    • , Dmitry B. Papkovsky
    • , John F. Atkins
    •  & Pavel V. Baranov

Corrigendum

Erratum

  • Erratum |

    • Sunitha R. Pangala
    • , Alex Enrich-Prast
    • , Luana S. Basso
    • , Roberta Bittencourt Peixoto
    • , David Bastviken
    • , Edward R. C. Hornibrook
    • , Luciana V. Gatti
    • , Humberto Marotta
    • , Luana Silva Braucks Calazans
    • , Cassia Mônica Sakuragui
    • , Wanderley Rodrigues Bastos
    • , Olaf Malm
    • , Emanuel Gloor
    • , John Bharat Miller
    •  & Vincent Gauci

Career Guide

Career Guide

  • Career Guide |

    Career guide: China

    China’s scientific landscape is shifting fast. Where can you fit in?

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