Browse Articles

  • Review Article |

    DNA methylation in plants mediates gene expression, transposon silencing, chromosome interactions and genome stability. It is therefore not surprising that the regulation of DNA methylation is important for plant development and for plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.

    • Huiming Zhang
    • , Zhaobo Lang
    •  & Jian-Kang Zhu
  • Comment |

    Biomolecules can phase separate and form condensates that have roles in diverse cellular processes and contexts. Michnick and Bergeron-Sandoval comment on this rapidly progressing field and envisage that the study of biological phase separation will bring new understanding of cell and developmental biology.

    • Stephen W. Michnick
    •  & Louis-Philippe Bergeron-Sandoval
  • Research Highlight |

    The spindle checkpoint complex BUB3–BUB1 facilitates telomere replication through recruitment of the helicase BLM, and the telomere capping protein TRF2 promotes replication at pericentromeres by recruiting the helicase RTEL1; both helicases resolve G-quadruplex structures.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Comment |

    Cellular organelles extensively communicate with each other by close interactions, known as membrane contact sites. Schuldiner and Bohnert comment on the progress of this rapidly developing field, highlighting that the complexity of interactions at membrane contact sites is only now starting to emerge.

    • Maria Bohnert
    •  & Maya Schuldiner
  • Review Article |

    Ribosomes encounter obstacles during translation elongation that cause their stalling and can have a profound impact on protein yield. Ribosome stalling depends on the genetic code, amino acid availability, regulatory elements and mRNA context and can be resolved by resumption of translation or by ribosome rescue and recycling.

    • Anthony P. Schuller
    •  & Rachel Green
  • Journal Club |

    Kikuë Tachibana discusses some of the key findings of the seminal works of Sir John Gurdon on nuclear reprogramming and how, by being examples of scientific rigour, they have inspired her own research.

    • Kikuë Tachibana
  • Review Article |

    Transcription elongation by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) involves pausing of Pol II at promoter-proximal regions. Pol II release into gene bodies (productive elongation) is controlled by many transcription-specific factors, enhancers and factors that are canonically associated with genome maintenance.

    • Fei Xavier Chen
    • , Edwin R. Smith
    •  & Ali Shilatifard
  • Research Highlight |

    EpiTOF characterized the epigenetic landscape of various types of single immune cells and revealed that their heterogeneity increases with age.

    • Grant Otto
  • Research Highlight |

    Shieldin is a newly characterized protein complex that functions downstream of 53BP1 in promoting NHEJ

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Review Article |

    The maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) is defined as the transition from maternal gene expression in the oocyte to zygotic genome activation and embryonic-driven development. Recent studies have improved our understanding of the dynamics of the MZT, which is characterized by global DNA demethylation, chromatin remodelling, genome reorganization and substantial transcriptional changes.

    • Melanie A. Eckersley-Maslin
    • , Celia Alda-Catalinas
    •  & Wolf Reik
  • Review Article |

    Microtubules are highly dynamic tubulin polymers, and their dynamics are associated with a conformational cycle of individual tubulin subunits in the lattice. Recent evidence suggests that fine-tuning microtubule dynamics is enabled by the allosteric coupling of tubulin subunits, which propagates conformational changes through the lattice.

    • Gary J. Brouhard
    •  & Luke M. Rice
  • Research Highlight |

    The microRNA-induced silencing complex undergoes phase separation, which promotes the sequestration and deadenylation of target mRNAs.

    • Anne Mirabella
  • Review Article |

    Single-cell technologies are transforming our understanding of pre-implantation and early post-implantation development and of in vitro pluripotency. Specifically, single-cell transcriptomics and imaging and the accompanying bioinformatics methods have enabled precision interrogation of cell fate choices and cell lineage diversification, which occur at the level of the individual cell.

    • Blanca Pijuan-Sala
    • , Carolina Guibentif
    •  & Berthold Göttgens
  • Review Article |

    Cytoplasmic dynein is a minus-end-directed microtubule-based motor that transports a wide range of cargoes, including organelles, RNAs, protein complexes and viruses. How a single motor can interact with and traffic such different cargoes has been unclear. Recent studies indicate how adaptor proteins, which can both activate dynein and link it to cargo, play an important role in this process.

    • Samara L. Reck-Peterson
    • , William B. Redwine
    • , Ronald D. Vale
    •  & Andrew P. Carter
  • Comment |

    Synthetic biology is maturing into a true engineering discipline for model microorganisms, but remains far from straightforward for most eukaryotes. Here, we outline the key challenges facing those trying to engineer biology across eukaryota and suggest areas of focus that will aid future progress.

    • Francesca Ceroni
    •  & Tom Ellis
  • Review Article |

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family cytokines are important regulators of cell fate with pleiotropic roles in development, tissue homeostasis, regeneration and tumorigenesis. Recent studies revealed that this context dependency relies on the convergence between TGFβ signals and other contextual inputs, whereby transcription factors downstream of these pathways collaboratively act to regulate gene expression.

    • Charles J. David
    •  & Joan Massagué
  • Research Highlight |

    The lysosomal degradation of protein aggregates declines with ageing in mammalian neural stem cells, reducing their capacity to transition from a quiescent to an active state.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Review Article |

    The selective degradation of cellular components via chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) functions to regulate a wide range of cellular processes, from metabolism to DNA repair and cellular reprogramming. Recent in vivo studies have enabled to dissect key roles of CMA in ageing and ageing-associated disorders such as cancer and neurodegeneration.

    • Susmita Kaushik
    •  & Ana Maria Cuervo
  • Review Article |

    Autophagy is a process of cellular self-consumption that promotes cell survival in response to stress. Various human pathologies, including cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation, have been associated with aberrant autophagy, and recent studies of the mechanisms and regulation of autophagy in higher eukaryotes have suggested new therapeutic possibilities.

    • Ivan Dikic
    •  & Zvulun Elazar
  • Comment |

    The commonly used budding yeast strain W303 carries a mutant RAD5 gene (rad5-535), but numerous laboratories use a strain corrected for the mutation. This has resulted in different phenotypes of W303 cells in similar experiments. Here, we aim to raise awareness of the issue to ensure data reproducibility and interpretation.

    • Menattallah Elserafy
    •  & Sherif F. El-Khamisy
  • Comment |

    Fiona M. Watt at King’s College London Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (UK) discusses how gender balance in the scientific community is evolving.

    • Fiona M. Watt
  • Research Highlight |

    Ultraviolet radiation induces p38–MK2-dependent phosphorylation of NELFE, which causes its dissociation from chromatin and promotes transcription of damage-response genes.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski