Volume 26 Issue 1, September 2000

Volume 26 Issue 1

Cover art by Christine McCarthy


News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Defective TFG-β signalling through the bone morphogen receptor type II is implicated in autosomal dominant and sporadic primary pulmonary hypertension. This fatal disorder is characterized by vascular remodelling, often triggered by the use of appetite-suppressant drugs which were, until recently, used to treat obesity.

    • James Scott
  • News & Views |

    Microarray analysis greatly assists in defining functions of genes and elucidating important biological pathways. To enhance this power, a database or compendium of hundreds of gene-expression profiles was constructed using gene-deletion mutants of yeast. Statistical tools could then sift through the compendium to identify matching fingerprints of expression and thereby unearth, for example, therapeutic targets.

    • Steven R Gullans
  • News & Views |

    Usher syndrome is a major cause of combined deafness and blindness. One form of the disease, termed USH1C, is now found to be caused by mutations in the gene encoding a PDZ-containing protein, harmonin. As interactions between PDZ proteins and their targets are known to mediate protein localization, signalling and maintenance of membrane characteristics, this discovery should accelerate our understanding of Usher syndrome and other auditory disorders.

    • Craig Montell
  • News & Views |

    The phenotypes of mice lacking melanocortin-3 (Mcr3) and melanocortin-4 receptors (Mc4r) demonstrate that these isoforms reduce body weight through distinct and complementary mechanisms. Mc4r regulates food intake and possibly energy expenditure, whereas Mc3r influences feed efficiency and the partitioning of fuel stores into fat.

    • David E Cummings
    •  & Michael W. Schwartz


Brief Communications

Book Review