Volume 6 Issue 1, January 2004

Volume 6 Issue 1

Formin 1 (green) colocalizes with vinculin (red) in distinct puncta characteristic of nascent adherens junctions, and also localizes along the actin bundles that radiate from puncta. Colocalization is shown in yellow. cover design: Lawrence Keogh



Book Review

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Why are proteins glycosylated? On the basis of new studies, I propose two models to clarify the specific functions of glycosylation in worms. The first explains how intra- and inter-cellular trafficking of an N-glycosylated disintegrin-metalloprotease guides somatic gonadal cells through their migratory route, determining the shape of an organ. The second explains how rigid coats of secreted chondroitin proteoglycans bend membranes to drive cytokinesis and epithelial invagination.

    • Benjamin Podbilewicz
  • News & Views |

    Epithelial cells are joined by adherens junctions, which consist of homotypic interactions between extracellular domains of E-cadherins. Inside the cell, the tails of E-cadherins bind actin cables through β-catenin and α-catenin. Formin1 is critically important for the formation of actin cables; it binds directly to α-catenin and can even bypass the need for α-catenin when targeted to β-catenin.

    • Sally Zigmond
  • News & Views |

    Intracellular organelles have specific lipid and protein compositions. Although great progress has been made concerning the mechanisms that govern the transport of proteins between organelles, little information is available about the mechanisms of inter-organellar lipid transport. New work identifies a protein that specifically transports ceramide, a precursor of sphingolipid synthesis, between intracellular organelles.

    • Howard Riezman
    •  & Gerrit van Meer
  • News & Views |

    Nitric oxide (NO) is one of biology's most multi-faceted molecules. In some cases, NO seems to have contradictory outcomes; for example, it has been reported to be both neurotoxic and neuroprotective. Recent work now address this conundrum, at least in neurons and glia, and describes an elegant molecular cascade whereby NO provides cytoprotection in astrocytes, but not in neurons.

    • Solomon H. Snyder
    •  & Sangwon Kim