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Volume 8 Issue 10, October 2012

The phospholipid transacylase tafazzin selects lipid substrates on the basis of the physical properties of the membrane domains in which it is active, preferring lipids in the inverted hexagonal phase, representing curved or hemifused membrane zones. This concept of segregation of activity is captured as a polarizing microscope image of a cooling liquid crystal emerging from an isotropic melt, which reveals a dark phase where there is no spatial arrangement of the molecules and periodic stripes in the liquid crystal regions where molecules tend to be parallel to each other, forming helices. Cover art by MaryLou Quillen, based on an image from Bohdan Senyuk and Oleg D. Lavrentovich. Article, p862

Volume 8 Issue 10

Obituary

  • Ivano Bertini left us on 7 July after a short illness. The chemical, biological and biomedical communities—indeed, society at large—have lost a unique and magnetic personality that will not be easily forgotten by those who have known him personally.

    • Lucia Banci
    • Claudio Luchinat
    Obituary

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News & Views

  • By incorporating sequence homology and context associations, global probabilistic approaches to annotate genome-scale metabolic networks can substantially improve the accuracy of biochemical predictions, revealing potential functionality and directing experimental validation.

    • Patrick F Suthers
    • Costas D Maranas
    News & Views
  • The phospholipid-lysophospholipid transacylase tafazzin is responsible for enrichment of the cardiolipin fraction of mitochondria with tetralinoleoyl-cardiolipin. The specificity for linoleoyl hydrocarbon chains is now explained by the specific action of tafazzin on negatively curved lipid monolayers.

    • Klaus Gawrisch
    News & Views
  • Bacterial persisters consist of a phenotypic subpopulation that survives antibiotic treatment, prolonging infection. The GhoT toxin from the newly discovered ghoS-ghoT toxin-antitoxin system contributes to persistence, most likely by interfering with bacterial inner membrane integrity.

    • Laurence Van Melderen
    News & Views
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