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  • 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.

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

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.

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  • Protein misfolding can spread from one molecule to another in infectious prion diseases. The propagation of protein misfolding has been directly observed in single protein molecules. These results showed that pathogenic mutants of the protein superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1), which causes familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, imprint their misfolding onto native wild-type molecules.

    • Krishna Neupane
    • Abhishek Narayan
    • Michael T. Woodside
    Article
  • González-Delgado et al. developed retron-based editors termed multitrons, which can modify multiple sites on a single genome simultaneously. This technology is compatible with recombineering in prokaryotes and CRISPR editing in eukaryotes with applications in molecular recording, genome minimization and metabolic engineering.

    • Alejandro González-Delgado
    • Santiago C. Lopez
    • Seth L. Shipman
    Article
  • Time-resolved synthesis of target proteins via proximity-triggered protein trans-splicing has now been shown to enable the activation of a diverse set of proteins upon the addition or removal of control elements. This temporal precision allows for monitoring distinct phases in cellular signaling and unveiling the molecular connections of oncofusion kinases, including DNAJ–PKAc.

    • Gihoon Lee
    • Tom W. Muir
    Article
  • The ICP1 (International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh cholera phage 1) clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–Cas system, which lacks the helical bundle domain in Cas8f, uses Cas1 to mediate the interference stage by connecting Cas2/3 to the DNA-bound CRISPR-associated complex for antiviral defense (Cascade).

    • Laixing Zhang
    • Hao Wang
    • Yue Feng
    Article
    • Biological reduction of dinitrogen by nitrogenase requires high-energy electrons to form ammonium ion. A new study reveals the structure and function of a molecular machine that exploits the proton-motive force to provide a powerful reductant used by the nitrogen-reducing system of the soil bacterium Azotobacter vinelandii.

      • Günter Fritz
      • Peter M. H. Kroneck
      • Julia Steuber
      News & Views
    • A major bottleneck of targeted protein degradation (TPD) has been the discovery of E3 ligases that are amenable to this strategy. Two new studies highlight the potential of FBXO22 as a candidate for TPD, thus expanding the toolbox of hijackable ligases.

      • Cyrus Jin
      • Milka Kostic
      News & Views
    • Peptides are fundamental in life and are widely used as therapeutic agents; however, they are problematic to produce by chemical synthesis. The discovery of unusual biosynthetic pathways that produce peptide natural products reveals an alternative approach for peptide synthesis that uses ‘standalone’ ligase enzymes rather than multimodular enzymes.

      Research Briefing
    • The non-enzymatic nature of protein glycation makes it a complicated modification to study. This review focuses on the chemistry of glycation, highlighting new opportunities for developing tools that enable the study of its biological consequences.

      • Meghan S. Martin
      • Jeremiah W. Jacob-Dolan
      • Rebecca A. Scheck
      Review Article

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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