Signaling for a quorum

Macroscopic quorum sensing sustains differentiating embryonic stem cells

  • Hirad Daneshpour
  • Pim van den Bersselaar
  • Hyun Youk


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  • Lowering the levels of disease-promoting proteins is generally assumed to be beneficial. The authors developed a two-step strategy to integrate protein-level tuning, noise-aware synthetic gene circuits into a well-defined human genomic locus. This approach was used to study the effect of BACH1 levels on MDA-MB-231 human breast metastatic cells.

    • Yiming Wan
    • Joseph Cohen
    • Gábor Balázsi
    ArticleOpen Access
  • The medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus is a source of leading anticancer drugs. The monoterpene indole alkaloid (MIA) biosynthetic pathway in C. roseus has now been analyzed using a complementary, multi-omics, single-cell approach. This identified clusters of genes involved in MIA biosynthesis and cell-type-specific partitioning in the MIA biosynthetic pathway.

    • Chenxin Li
    • Joshua C. Wood
    • C. Robin Buell
    ArticleOpen Access
    • Protein stability is important for biological function, but little is known about in-cell stability. In the New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase NDM-1, enhancement of zinc binding or amino acid substitutions at the C terminus increase in-cell kinetic stability and prevent proteolysis. These findings link NDM-1-mediated resistance with its in-cell stability and physiology.

      Research Briefing
    • Tricyclic peptides have reduced conformational flexibility, making them well suited for ligand development. Researchers have now generated large combinatorial libraries of tricyclic peptides using a disulfide-directing motif. Screening these libraries discovered binders to challenging protein targets.

      • Christian Heinis
      News & Views
    • Anaerobes have developed unique metabolic pathways and strategies, some of which are still not well understood. Now, a study that integrates spectroscopy with dynamic metabolic modeling reveals the metabolism of the anaerobic pathogen Clostridioides difficile.

      • Julia Koblitz
      News & Views
    • The mechanisms responsible for replicative misincorporation of an adenine into DNA opposite 8-oxoguanine (8OG) remain obscure. A new study suggests that 8OG redistributes the balance between several mispair conformations, enabling the high rates of misincorporation of adenine paired with 8OG by DNA polymerases.

      • Serge L. Smirnov
      News & Views

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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