Volume 13 Issue 8, August 2012

Research Highlights


  • Progress |

    Successful abscission — the final stage of cell division — involves the precise coordination of different events, culminating in the separation of two daughter cells. Endocytic and secretory vesicle trafficking, ESCRT-mediated scission and signalling through mitotic kinases have emerged as key players in this process.

    • Chun-Ting Chen
    • , Heidi Hehnly
    •  & Stephen J. Doxsey


  • Review Article |

    The conservation and prevalence of inactive homologues in most enzyme families suggests that they may have significant functions that have been largely overlooked. Mechanistic understanding and evolutionary lessons are now emerging from the study of a broad range of such 'dead' enzymes including the recently discovered iRhoms.

    • Colin Adrain
    •  & Matthew Freeman
  • Review Article |

    The identification of an hydrogen sulfide (H2S)-mediated post-translational modification (protein sulfhydration) has provided novel insights into H2S signalling, which controls many cellular functions. As a result, a new research area has arisen that investigates how metabolic stress and other environmental signals influence protein function through Cys modification by H2S.

    • Bindu D. Paul
    •  & Solomon H. Snyder
  • Review Article |

    Ubiquitin can form eight structurally distinct chain types. Recent advances have elucidated the mechanisms of linkage-specific chain assembly, recognition and hydrolysis. The cellular roles of the six 'atypical' ubiquitin chains (linked via Lys6, Lys11, Lys27, Lys29, Lys33 or Met1 of ubiquitin) are beginning to emerge, highlighting how they can each act as independent post-translational modifications.

    • Yogesh Kulathu
    •  & David Komander
  • Review Article |

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells use a complex network of genetic and epigenetic pathways to maintain a delicate balance between self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. Studies using high-throughput genomic tools suggest that there is extensive crosstalk among epigenetic pathways that function at the level of DNA, histone and nucleosome. Mapping of higher-order chromatin structures and chromatin–nuclear matrix interactions provides insights into the three-dimensional organization of the genome and can reveal new rules of gene regulation.

    • Mo Li
    • , Guang-Hui Liu
    •  & Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte