Volume 33 Issue 3, March 2003

Volume 33 Issue 3

Cover art: Photographer: Nicole Fournier Location: Manhattan, New York, USA


News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Most nerve axons of higher vertebrates are surrounded by a multilayered myelin membrane that is essential for promotion of rapid nerve conduction. A new study genetically uncouples the myelin-producing function of the myelinating cells from their role in axonal survival, suggesting that neurodegenerative disorders characterized by axonal loss might result from defects in the myelinating cells whether myelin irregularities are apparent or not.

    • Brian Popko
  • News & Views |

    Helicobacter pylori induces chronic gastritis in virtually all hosts, yet only a fraction of colonized patients ever develop peptic ulcer disease. A new study shows that binding of the H. pylori virulence determinant VacA by a receptor tyrosine phosphatase, Ptprz, modifies the phosphorylation pattern of gastric epithelial cell proteins and leads to cellular detachment. As activation of Ptprz also results in gastric injury and ulceration in vivo, these findings help explain why VacA-expressing strains of H. pylori augment the risk for peptic ulcer disease

    • Richard M. Peek Jr.
  • News & Views |

    Secreted transforming growth factor-βs (TGF-βs) are rendered biologically inactive by binding proteins that also target and concentrate them to the extracellular matrix. Specific, but still poorly understood, activation is required for disassembly of the extracellular matrix–bound protein complex to liberate the mature growth factor and to obtain a correct biological effect. A new study shows that fibrillin-1, the protein defective in Marfan syndrome, has a biologically important role in controlling TGF-β activation in the lung.

    • Vesa Kaartinen
    •  & David Warburton
  • News & Views |

    Genes that are expressed from a single allele in a random manner have one allele replicated earlier than the other. A new study shows that this replication asynchrony is coordinated within chromosome pairs.

    • Alan Packer

Book Review


Brief Communications

New Technology





  • Supplement |

    A Ten-Year Retrospective

    Reviews drawing on ten years of experience in all the areas thatNature Geneticscovers.