Research Highlights

  • Research Highlight |

    Oncogenic growth factor signalling promotes synthesis of saturated membrane lipids and subsequent plasma membrane ordering to support signalling and tumour growth.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Upon loss of liver DNA methylation, H3K27me3 is redistributed from pro-regeneration genes to hypomethylated transposons, thereby potentiating liver regeneration.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    Hydraulic forces have important roles in the early development of mouse embryos.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Duplex-forming circular RNAs interact with PKR and repress aberrant activation of innate immunity. Upon viral infection, PKR is activated through the degradation of these circular RNAs by RNase L.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    A new CRISPR–Cas9-based ‘molecular recorder’ can provide information on cell state and cell lineage, in mice, from fertilization through to adulthood.

    • Katharine H. Wrighton
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    Glycoproteins of the glycocalyx are shown to have the capacity to bend the plasma membrane.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Editing the protein sequence of the transcription factor SKN-1A/Nrf1 regulates its function and the expression of proteasome subunits.

    • Kim Baumann
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    Glucose deprivation induces ER stress, which enhances mitochondrial respiration by promoting the assembly of respiratory supercomplexes.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    The serotonylation of histone H3 Gln5 promotes transcription of neuronal genes during neuronal cell differentiation, by potentiating the binding to promoters of the transcription factor TFIID.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    A group of mesenchymal stem cell transcription factors promotes osteogenesis and represses adipogenesis.

    • Kim Baumann
  • Research Highlight |

    Two studies in Science show that biomolecular condensates of membrane-associated signalling complexes increase the residence of signalling effectors within these complexes.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Two independent studies from Science report that hypoxia causes histone hypermethylation by direct modulation of histone lysine demethylases.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    DNA replication of under-replicated loci can occur after mitosis in 53BP1-contaning nuclear bodies and is required for genome stability.

    • Anne Mirabella
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    Four studies provide new insights into the mechanism, functions and regulation of the cGAS–STING pathway.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    High-throughput FISH analysis reveals that chromatin interactions are highly variable between cells and between alleles in individual cells.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    Three studies provide new insights into the mechanisms responsible for genome remodelling and changes in gene expression associated with senescence.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Lipin 1 and ARF1 control SREBP trafficking, processing and activity to regulate lipid synthesis in response to mechanical cues from the extracellular matrix.

    • Grant Otto
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    Cells can efficiently invade the tissue in the absence of metalloproteinases by physically breaching the basement membrane.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Cells in telomere crisis undergo cell death through autophagy, which is triggered by chromosome breakage and transduced by the cGAS–STING pathway.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    Palmitoylation-driven partitioning of importin-α at the plasma membrane contributes to intracellular scaling.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Single-cell allelic expression analysis reveals that enhancers predominantly modulate the frequency of transcription bursts whereas core promoters affect their size.

    • Grant Otto
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    ORP2 is a lipid transfer protein that exchanges cholesterol for phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate at the plasma membrane.

    • Grant Otto
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    A plant complex comprising SUVH1, SUVH3, DNAJ1 and DNAJ2 counteracts DNA-methylation-mediated silencing of transposon-neighbouring genes.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Research Highlight |

    Mitochondrial dynamics regulates stem cell expansion and differentiation.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    STELLA protects the genome of mouse oocytes from de novo DNA methylation by the E3 ubiquitin ligase UHRF1 and the DNA methyltransferase DNMT1.

    • Kim Baumann
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    DNA N6-adenosine methylation is a transgenerational epigenetic modification that confers mitochondrial stress adaptation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    • Grant Otto
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    The RNA-binding protein TIS11B forms a membraneless organelle, the TIS granule, in an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) subdomain termed the TIS granule–ER (TIGER) domain, which facilitates 3ʹ UTR-mediated protein–protein interactions that regulate protein trafficking.

    • Grant Otto
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    The first demonstration of a mechanism for active sorting of anterograde cargo in the Golgi via protein palmitoylation.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Cyclic GMP–AMP synthase (cGAS) inhibits DNA damage repair in the nucleus and thereby promotes tumorigenesis.

    • Grant Otto
  • Research Highlight |

    Transcription elongation supported by the super elongation complex, and H3K9 methylation and gene repression by G9a mediate the oncogenic function of Myc.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    Endothelial cells in white adipose tissue communicate with adipocytes through extracellular vesicles, relaying systemic metabolic information.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    DNA double-strand breaks at active genes are repaired by a dedicated homologous recombination mechanism involving R-loop formation and RAD52 recruitment.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Research Highlight |

    Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology congratulates the winners of the 2018 Lasker Foundation Awards.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    The kinase ATR senses the completion of DNA replication and controls the S/G2 cell-cycle transition.

    • Michelle Trenkmann
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    Direct demonstration that mutations in intrinsically disordered regions modulate protein–protein interaction networks, which may cause disease.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    3′uridylation by TUT4 and TUT7 is shown as a post-transcriptional mechanism restricting retrotransposition of LINE-1 elements and also replication of animal RNA viruses.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    A study reports that CRISPR–Cas9 induces extensive on-target mutagenesis in mouse and human cells, calling for greater caution when using it in clinical contexts.

    • Kim Baumann
  • Research Highlight |

    Poly(dA:dT) tracts characterize strong DNA replication origins in mammals and cause replication-fork collapse and DNA breaks that underlie the expression of fragile sites.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Research Highlight |

    A new study in Nature identifies a molecular axis linking diabetes to cancer, whereby AMPK, which is inhibited in high glucose conditions, regulates the stability of TET2 DNA demethylase, thereby impacting DNA methylation and gene expression.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Eliminating senescent cells by administering senolytic drugs can improve healthspan and lifespan in mice.

    • Kim Baumann
  • Research Highlight |

    The chromatin remodelling complex NuRD fine-tunes gene expression by modulating nucleosome density at gene regulatory elements.

    • Anne Mirabella
  • Research Highlight |

    Many eukaryotic proteins, including key transcription regulators, contain intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs), which serve as flexible interaction platforms. The molecular understanding of IDR-based interactions is now emerging, providing new insights into how IDRs promote protein compartmentalization and/or phase separation and how these processes regulate gene expression.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Two independent studies now show that polymerization of branched actin at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) mediates chromatin dynamics associated with homology-directed repair and is required for a robust and error-free DSB repair process.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    The inner nuclear membrane is metabolically active and generates lipid droplets.

    • Kim Baumann
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    MicroRNAs derived from a virus and teratocytes of a parasitic wasp are expressed in a host moth and delay its development by inhibiting the ecdysone receptor.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
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    Increased shortening of RNA 3′ untranslated regions associated with tumorigenic transformation interferes with competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks, which results in trans-repression of tumour suppressors through microRNA-mediated silencing.

    • Paulina Strzyz
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    Muscle stem cells produce collagen V, which becomes a component of the niche that promotes their quiescence.

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

    • Grant Otto