Reviews & Analysis

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  • Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a transcription factor involved in gene regulation. A recent study has revealed G-quadruplex structures as novel binding targets of YY1, and their interactions regulate DNA looping and gene expression.

    • Haizhou Zhao
    • Chun Kit Kwok
    News & Views
  • The plant cuticle has long been considered a barrier to volatile organic compound emission. New research reveals the paradoxical role of the cuticle as a barrier and facilitator of volatile emissions in hybrid petunia.

    • Samuel J. Livingston
    • A. Lacey Samuels
    News & Views
  • Re-channeling metabolic routes in Nicotiana benthamiana allows elucidation and reconstitution of the biosynthesis of the natural products momilactones A and B. Insights into how plants make these and other natural crop protection chemicals promise future biotechnologies for sustainable agriculture.

    • Trinh-Don Nguyen
    • Thu-Thuy T. Dang
    News & Views
  • A chemical screen identifies BET bromodomain inhibitors as inducers of an activated skin keratinocyte state that promotes the wound-healing capabilities of these cells. The study implicates epigenetic modifiers as potential targets for non-healing, chronic wounds.

    • Irene Ylivinkka
    • Sara A. Wickström
    News & Views
  • Directed evolution on the yeast cell surface enables the discovery of sortase variants with altered specificity capable of modifying Aβ peptides under physiologically relevant conditions.

    • James A. Van Deventer
    News & Views
  • This Perspective introduces chemical biologists to potentially useful nanotechnologies, aims to inspire nanotechnologists to address questions relevant to chemical biology, and identifies possible opportunities for the two fields to collaborate.

    • Ryan M. Williams
    • Shi Chen
    • Daniel A. Heller
  • This Review summarizes recent advances in CRISPR–Cas regulation mechanisms by natural biomolecules that enhance or inhibit CRIPSR–Cas immunity, as well as their applications in CRISPR biology and technologies.

    • Haridha Shivram
    • Brady F. Cress
    • Jennifer A. Doudna
    Review Article
  • Insects have many ways of disabling plant chemical defenses during feeding. Plant phloem feeders use surplus ingested sugar to block the activation of glucosinolate toxins, providing a target for precise resistance breeding.

    • Niels Agerbirk
    News & Views
  • The conformational cycle of a bacterial voltage-gated sodium channel as it transitions from resting to activated open to inactivated closed states can be constructed from various crystal structure snapshots.

    • William A. Catterall
    • Goragot Wisedchaisri
    • Ning Zheng
  • The difficulty of antibiotic discovery posed by the double-membrane cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria and active drug efflux requires better understanding of bacterial permeability and compound accumulation, and more diverse chemical libraries.

    • Shibin Zhao
    • Justyna W. Adamiak
    • Derek S. Tan
  • Ion channel structures reveal mechanisms of lipid action, including how channel gating is altered by direct binding of signaling lipids and those within the membrane itself, as well as mechanical and architectural effects of membrane lipids.

    • Mackenzie J. Thompson
    • John E. Baenziger
    Review Article
  • The Hedgehog (Hh) receptor PTCH1 uses its transporter-like function to inhibit the GPCR SMO by limiting the pool of accessible membrane cholesterol. Cholesterol acts as a ligand for SMO to activate downstream signaling.

    • Arun Radhakrishnan
    • Rajat Rohatgi
    • Christian Siebold
  • This Perspective highlights the evolution from the use of detergents to detergent-free membrane mimetics, as well as advances in structure determination and mass spectrometry that have allowed new insights into regulation and function of membrane proteins in native-like lipid environments.

    • Dror S. Chorev
    • Carol V. Robinson
  • Metabolic engineering offers the flexibility to meet market demand for bioactive natural products but can be hampered when a necessary protein or intermediate is toxic. In yeast, modifying the subcellular localization of biosynthetic enzymes can alleviate toxicity and increase production titer.

    • Yang Gu
    • Peng Xu
    News & Views
  • Transfer of ubiquitin onto target proteins requires controlled interplay between E2 conjugating enzymes and E3 ligases. The structure of a trapped E2~Ub/RCR E3 transfer intermediate provides novel insight into the diversity of mechanisms used to fine tune this relay.

    • Sonja Lorenz
    • Katrin Rittinger
    News & Views
  • Targeted small-molecule inhibition of BRAFV600E faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the clinic, such as rapid emergence of drug resistance. A recent study illustrates the potential of an alternative therapeutic strategy via PROTAC-mediated degradation of the oncogenic BRAF.

    • Joshua J. Feng
    • Chao Zhang
    News & Views
  • This Review summarizes the chemical and physical properties of methylated nucleobases in DNA and RNA, proposes a chemical classification of methylation types, and discusses recent advance in demethylation reactions mediated by dioxygenases.

    • Guo-Liang Xu
    • Matthias Bochtler
    Review Article
  • The ADGRL3 receptor, a member of the adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor family, is implicated in many neurological diseases. Using a novel technique involving controlled proteolysis of the receptor’s extracellular domain, this study demonstrated that ADGRL3 signals via G12/13 G proteins.

    • Eugenia V. Gurevich
    • Vsevolod V. Gurevich
    News & Views