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  • Determining which covalent binding events impact protein function is challenging. Now, a strategy has been reported that integrates base editing and chemical proteomics to infer the functionality of ligandable cysteines in cancer dependency proteins by quantifying the impact of their missense mutation on cancer cell proliferation.

    • Haoxin Li
    • Tiantai Ma
    • Benjamin F. Cravatt
  • The flavoenzyme nicotine oxidoreductase degrades nicotine in the bloodstream. Now, genetic selection in bacteria has been used to improve the catalytic performance of nicotine oxidoreductase, isolating variants with increased O2 reactivity that were more effective at degrading nicotine in the blood of rats.

    • Mark Dulchavsky
    • Rishav Mitra
    • James C. A. Bardwell
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Nou et al. engineered Bacillus subtilis cells into a living sentinel system, which can take up environmental DNA and fluoresce when a matching sequence is detected. This system enables recording of SNPs for facial features and has broad applications spanning forensics to agriculture.

    • Xuefei Angelina Nou
    • Christopher A. Voigt
  • Condensates have been proposed to create a distinct chemical solvating environment. In vitro condensate screens suggest that condensate chemical environments influence the intracellular distribution of small molecules.

    • Henry R. Kilgore
    • Peter G. Mikhael
    • Richard A. Young
  • Membrane-less organelles formed by liquid–liquid phase separation provide additional cellular compartmentalization for precise spatiotemporal regulation of biological processes. Ke Ruan, Yi Lin, Peiguo Yang and Wen Zhou report on the formation, regulation and function of biomolecular condensates, discussed at the 2023 Xiangshan Science Conference on Membrane-less Organelles.

    • Ke Ruan
    • Yi Lin
    • Wen Zhou
    Meeting Report
  • The susceptibility of nitric oxide (NO) to scavenging and oxidation limits its bioavailability and signaling role. New studies indicate that a NO–ferroheme adduct is resistant to such constraints and may serve as an alternative NO-derived signaling molecule in vasculature.

    • Emil Martin
    News & Views
  • Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent vascular signaling agent, but its bioavailability is limited through rapid scavenging reactions. DeMartino et al. characterize the formation and bioactivity of NO-ferroheme, a stable NO analog that forms readily, bypasses scavenging reactions and mediates NO signaling.

    • Anthony W. DeMartino
    • Laxman Poudel
    • Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro
  • Questions remain on the nature of the bioactivity of nitric oxide (NO) synthase signaling despite its wide appreciation. Here the authors describe NO-ferroheme as a vascular signaling species, whose biological activity is unrelated to the release of free nitric oxide, but allows it to travel protected to its main target guanylyl cyclase.

    • Andrei L. Kleschyov
    • Zhengbing Zhuge
    • Jon O. Lundberg
    ArticleOpen Access
  • By investigating the structure–activity relationship of molecular glue degraders that target cyclin K, we discovered that a wide range of compounds, including known kinase inhibitors, possess this gain-of-function activity. These findings provide insights that might enable more rational design and optimization of molecular glue compounds.

    Research Briefing
  • Most miniature Cas12f nucleases have T-rich PAM specificity, restricting their targeting scopes. The cryo-EM structure of the Clostridium novyi Cas12f1 reveals the molecular basis for rare C-rich PAM recognition and enables optimization of sgRNA scaffold to improve CnCas12f1 activity.

    • Mengjiao Su
    • Fan Li
    • Quanjiang Ji
  • Detailed analysis of the structure–activity relationship for cyclin K degraders reveals diverse compounds that acquire glue activity through simultaneous binding to the CDK12 kinase pocket and engagement of several key DDB1 interfacial residues.

    • Zuzanna Kozicka
    • Dakota J. Suchyta
    • Nicolas H. Thomä
    ArticleOpen Access