Volume 12 Issue 1, January 2011

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Progress |

    Mitophagy is the selective elimination of mitochondria through autophagy. Recent studies have uncovered the molecular mechanisms mediating mitophagy in yeast and mammalian cells and have revealed that the dysregulation of one of these mechanisms — the PINK1–parkin-mediated signalling pathway — may contribute to Parkinson's disease.

    • Richard J. Youle
    •  & Derek P. Narendra
  • Progress |

    Respiratory chain subunits are made up of proteins encoded by nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, which assemble to form functional enzymes. New findings reveal that the mitochondrial translation of Cox1, the core component of cytochrome c oxidase, is directly coupled to the assembly of this respiratory complex.

    • David U. Mick
    • , Thomas D. Fox
    •  & Peter Rehling


  • Review Article |

    In eukaryotes, the target of rapamycin (TOR) protein kinase simultaneously senses energy, nutrients and stress (and growth factors in metazoans) to regulate cell growth and division. Advances in our understanding of the regulation and functions of mammalian TOR (mTOR) are revealing its involvement in diabetes, cancer and ageing.

    • Roberto Zoncu
    • , Alejo Efeyan
    •  & David M. Sabatini
  • Review Article |

    There is increasing evidence that an 'open' chromatin state contributes to maintenance of pluripotency in stem cells, and that this requires regulation of both the global chromatin state and local repression of transcription. This regulation may also be relevant for chromatin control during reprogramming or during tumorigenesis.

    • Alexandre Gaspar-Maia
    • , Adi Alajem
    • , Eran Meshorer
    •  & Miguel Ramalho-Santos
  • Review Article |

    Mitochondria and chloroplasts import the vast majority of their proteins across two membranes. Although the import and initial sorting of precursor proteins is mediated by translocases that are functionally similiar in the outer membrane of both organelles, they each have a unique mode of translocation.

    • Enrico Schleiff
    •  & Thomas Becker
  • Review Article |

    ATPases transport ions into and out of cells to maintain ion concentration gradients and control aspects of the cellular environment, such as pH. Structural studies of the Na+,K+-ATPase, which transports Na+ and K+, and the H+-ATPase, which transports H+, have provided insights into their functions in eukaryotic cells.

    • J. Preben Morth
    • , Bjørn P. Pedersen
    • , Morten J. Buch-Pedersen
    • , Jens Peter Andersen
    • , Bente Vilsen
    • , Michael G. Palmgren
    •  & Poul Nissen