Drops of dew condensing on leaves

Synthetic protein condensates for cellular and metabolic engineering

  • Zhi-Gang Qian
  • Sheng-Chen Huang
  • Xiao-Xia Xia
Review Article


  • Drops of dew condensing on leaves

    This themed issue presents a collection of Reviews, Perspectives and Articles that aim to reveal the molecular and chemical principles underlying phase-separated condensate formation and promote the development and use of new tools for the study of phase separation biology.

  • Abstract representation of a public transit system, symbolizing the pathways of cellular metabolism

    This themed issue presents a collection of Reviews, Perspectives and Articles that aims to showcase how chemical tools have strengthened the existing interplay between physiology, chemical biology and biochemistry – to reveal new insights into cellular regulation.

Nature Chemical Biology is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

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    • Inspired by nature, a synthetic carbon fixation cycle builds complex molecules directly from CO2. Building metabolism from the ground up requires several innovative advancements — now, a strategy to balance carbon demands in a complex metabolic network is explored.

      • Grant M. Landwehr
      • Michael C. Jewett
      News & Views
    • Bacteria utilize stringent factors to metabolize the nucleotide alarmone guanosine tetra-/pentaphosphate, or (p)ppGpp, for stress adaptation. Now, a distinct conformation of these factors explaining their regulation and specialization has been unveiled.

      • Danny K. Fung
      • Jue D. Wang
      News & Views
    • Major hurdles remain in understanding the mechanisms of multidrug resistance (MDR) protein efflux. A new study uses deep mutational scanning of a bacterial MDR protein to determine the nature of its drug-binding cavity and understand its function and plasticity.

      • Parjit Kaur
      News & Views
    • High-mannose N-glycans are common post-translational modifications that occur on many proteins. The mechanism by which these high-mannose N-glycans are consumed by species of Bifidobacterium has now been characterized, which is important given their positive role in human gut microbiota and their abundance in breastfed infants.

      • Lucy I. Crouch
      News & Views
    • This perspective proposes general strategies for phase-separation-related biological studies, including proper experimental designs to validate and characterize phase-separation phenomena, connections to biological functions and some caveats to avoid common misunderstandings.

      • Yifei Gao
      • Xi Li
      • Yi Lin

Chemical Biology of Microbiomes

Interspecies communication in complex microbiome environments occurs through the small molecules, peptides, and proteins produced by both the host and the microbial residents, as highlighted in this collection of recent articles from Nature Portfolio.


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