Volume 12 Issue 3, March 2011

From The Editors

Research Highlights

Reviews

  • Review Article |

    The cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) is phosphorylated in response to a wide variety of signals, and it functions in concert with cAMP-regulated transcriptional co-activators (CRTCs). CREB and CRTCs mediate the effects of fasting and feeding signals on the expression of metabolic programmes in insulin-sensitive tissues.

    • Judith Y. Altarejos
    •  & Marc Montminy
  • Review Article |

    HTRA proteases perform a variety of protein quality control functions that are of key importance to cell fate. This Review discusses the emerging physiological implications and unique architectural and mechanistic features of bacterial, plant and mammalian HTRAs.

    • Tim Clausen
    • , Markus Kaiser
    • , Robert Huber
    •  & Michael Ehrmann
  • Review Article |

    Single-molecule techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy and optical tweezers, have helped resolve the mechanisms behind the power strokes, processive steps and forces of cytoskeletal motors. Such techniques might also reveal how motors are integrated into composite mechanical machines to generate complex functions in cells.

    • Claudia Veigel
    •  & Christoph F. Schmidt
  • Review Article |

    Asymmetric cell division is essential in many organisms, as it generates different cell types and maintains stem cell pools. The identification of key molecular players, and a comparison with the pathways in animals, allows a better mechanistic understanding of asymmetric cell division in plants and algae.

    • Ive De Smet
    •  & Tom Beeckman
  • Review Article |

    The signalling activity of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) such as cadherins, immunoglobulin-like CAMs or integrins has been considered a direct consequence of their adhesive properties. However, in some cases CAMs can activate signalling in the absence of cell adhesion, which significantly extends their range of biological activities.

    • Ugo Cavallaro
    •  & Elisabetta Dejana

Perspectives

    Opinion

  • Opinion |

    Unlike somatic cells, stem cells persist throughout life, which may increase their risk of accumulating DNA damage. recent studies indicate that stem cells use different mechanisms (such as the error-prone non-homologous end joining pathway) from somatic cells to maintain genomic integrity, which could have deleterious consequences for their long-term function.

    • Pankaj K. Mandal
    • , Cédric Blanpain
    •  & Derrick J. Rossi