Volume 10 Issue 12, December 2009

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate physiological responses to various hormones, neurotransmitters, sensory stimuli and other ligands. The signalling and trafficking properties of GPCRs are often fine-tuned by receptor-interacting proteins that are differentially expressed in distinct cell types.

    • Stefanie L. Ritter
    •  & Randy A. Hall
  • Review Article |

    Branched structures are present at all levels of organization in living organisms. Recent studies suggest that cell competition and cell rearrangements might be conserved key features in branch formation that are controlled by local cell signalling events.

    • Markus Affolter
    • , Rolf Zeller
    •  & Emmanuel Caussinus
  • Review Article |

    How integrins are trafficked by endocytosis markedly affects their distribution and function. Recent studies examining the molecular mechanisms of integrin trafficking show that it affects the recycling of key signalling receptors to influence cellular processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration and tumour angiogenesis.

    • Patrick T. Caswell
    • , Suryakiran Vadrevu
    •  & Jim C. Norman
  • Review Article |

    A single type of dynein motor carries out all minus end-directed microtubule transport in the cytoplasm. Several multifunctional adaptors, including dynactin, LIS1, NUDE and NUDEL, Bicaudal D and RZZ, couple dynein to its wide range of cargos and regulate its function.

    • Julia R. Kardon
    •  & Ronald D. Vale
  • Review Article |

    Directed evolution optimizes protein function through successive generations of random mutation, artificial selection and screening. This design algorithm provides a reliable approach to engineering proteins with new and useful properties, and helps us to understand how natural evolution occurs.

    • Philip A. Romero
    •  & Frances H. Arnold



  • Opinion |

    Most kinesins move processively along microtubules using energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. Almost all of the intermediate structures of this ATPase reaction cycle have been solved for the monomeric kinesin 3 family motor KIF1A. These structures suggest that kinesins might move by a common mechanism.

    • Nobutaka Hirokawa
    • , Ryo Nitta
    •  & Yasushi Okada
  • Essay