Volume 11 Issue 12, December 2010

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    Mammalian prions are typically associated with the development of neurodegenerative diseases. However, prions in fungi act as epigenetic determinants. The similarities between mammalian and fungal prions suggest that, rather than being a biological anomaly, prions might instead function as regulators of cell phenotype.

    • Mick F. Tuite
    •  & Tricia R. Serio
  • Review Article |

    The MET receptor promotes tissue remodelling by integrating growth, survival and migration cues in response to environmental stimuli or cell-autonomous perturbations. The versatility of MET-mediated biological responses is sustained by qualitative and quantitative signal modulation, which can be exploited in regenerative medicine and cancer therapy.

    • Livio Trusolino
    • , Andrea Bertotti
    •  & Paolo M. Comoglio
  • Review Article |

    Cells divide asymmetrically to generate diverse cell types during development. Research over the past 10 years has furthered our understanding of asymmetric cell division in invertebrates. Furthermore, this work has uncovered connections between asymmetric cell division and tumorigenesis and a role for this process in stem cell biology.

    • Juergen A. Knoblich
  • Review Article |

    Conjugation of the ubiquitin-like protein SUMO to proteins regulates many biological processes. Insights are emerging into mechanisms that regulate the SUMO modification pathway, including other post-translational modifications. Many substrates also harbour additional characteristics that facilitate their modification.

    • Jaclyn R. Gareau
    •  & Christopher D. Lima
  • Review Article |

    The continuous fusion and fission of mitochondria is important for their inheritance and function. The core components of the fusion and fission machineries, and the mechanisms that regulate these processes, have recently been elucidated and found to be integral for the maintenance of cellular quality control.

    • Benedikt Westermann



  • Opinion |

    The mechanisms regulating the import of proteins into peroxisomes share surprising similarities with those controlling the degradation of proteins at the endoplasmic reticulum. These unexpected parallels may result from the common molecular machinery used to tag substrates and drive their removal from the membrane.

    • Wolfgang Schliebs
    • , Wolfgang Girzalsky
    •  & Ralf Erdmann