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Volume 3 Issue 6, June 2007

Volume 3 Issue 6

Dynamic O-GlcNAc glycosylation in the brain. Khidekel et al. (p. 339) have developed a method for determining levels of O-GlcNAc modification using quantitative mass spectrometry-based proteomics. The authors found that O-GlcNAc levels at specific protein sites are modulated in neurons and in rat brains in response to stimulation (see also News & Views by Wells, p 303). The cover shows the structure of the translation initiation factor eIF4G, which was found to be glycosylated in neurons, with a chemical model of the O-GlcNAc modification. In the background is an MRI image of a brain. The eIF4G structure is from (PDB ID 1UG3), and the MRI brain image is from the Corbis Corporation (© Allen Bell/Corbis). Cover art by Erin Boyle, based on images provided by Linda Hsieh-Wilson and Peter M. Clark.


  • Editorial |

    Nature Chemical Biology is committed to enhancing interdisciplinary communication and features online content to increase the accessibility of chemical information for our readers.


  • Commentary |

    African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans are significantly underrepresented in chemistry and related sciences. An innovative approach based on course revision, peer support, precollege training and strong mentoring offers promise for engaging and retaining more underrepresented minority students and more members of the majority population in these fields.

    • Irving R Epstein

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    In addition to expanding the chemical tools for exploring O-GlcNAc protein modifications, an innovative chemical biology approach has yielded new insights into the dynamic nature of this post-translational modification in the rodent brain.

    • Lance Wells
  • News & Views |

    New inducers of autophagy—the process by which cells use lysosomes to degrade portions of their cytoplasm—are lead compounds for new drugs targeting neurodegenerative protein aggregation diseases.

    • Anne Simonsen
    • Harald Stenmark
  • News & Views |

    Mammalian olfactory receptor genes have been engineered into a yeast expression system. The resulting cells provide a high-throughput screening system for studying receptor specificity and may find use as biosensors.

    • David R Walt
  • News & Views |

    The reversible attachment of an activated form of N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) acts as a molecular switch between the growth and arrest of cells, establishing a new role for cell surface glycans.

    • Naoyuki Taniguchi
  • News & Views |

    The chemical synthesis of natural oligosaccharides by sequentially stitching monosaccharides together remains a major challenge because of the complexity of carbohydrate structures. A recent paper reports a versatile technology for creating selectively protected synthetic intermediates, thus providing easy access to complex oligosaccharides.

    • Peng George Wang

Review Article

Brief Communication




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