News & Comment

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Research Highlight |

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

    • Anne Mirabella
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Research Highlight |

    Oncogenes induce firing of replication origins at transcribed genes; this promotes transcription–replication conflicts and genome instability.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Research Highlight |

    The polyploidy of mammalian cardiomyocytes is a barrier to heart regeneration, but modification of the cardiomyocyte cell cycle can boost their regenerative potential.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Myosin VI is recruited to ubiquitylated mitochondria and drives their encapsulation into actin cages to sequester them for mitophagy.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    Developmental enhancers can function in an additive manner and are regulated by RNA polymerase II pausing and by the directionality of transcription.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Research Highlight |

    Fatty acid oxidation and increased acetyl-CoA levels act to suppress endothelial–mesenchymal transition.

    • Paulina Strzyz
  • Research Highlight |

    By editing of endogenous mRNAs, the RNA editing enzyme ADAR1 prevents interferon-induced translation shutdown and cell death, and virus-independent interferon induction in neuronal cells.

    • Eytan Zlotorynski
  • Journal Club |

    Philip Cohen highlights how two studies from the laboratory of Zhijian Chen, published in 2000 and 2001, started a new era in the study of signal transduction pathways and the roles of ubiquitin chains.

    • Philip Cohen
  • Research Highlight |

    Perturbation of phospholipid composition in intestinal stem cells (ISCs) results in increased cholesterol biosynthesis; excess cholesterol is a driver of ISC hyperproliferation, and consequently of intestinal hypertrophy and cancer.

    • Paulina Strzyz