Volume 14 Issue 12, December 2013

Volume 14 Issue 12

‘The organelle network’ by Vicky Summersby, inspired by this Focus issue.

Research Highlights



  • Review Article |

    Autophagosome biogenesis starts at the isolation membrane (also called the phagophore). Our understanding of the molecular processes that initiate the isolation membrane, the membrane sources from which this membrane originates and how it is expanded to the autophagosome membrane by autophagy-related (ATG) proteins and the vesicular trafficking machinery, is increasing.

    • Christopher A. Lamb
    • , Tamotsu Yoshimori
    •  & Sharon A. Tooze
  • Review Article |

    Lipid droplets are intracellular organelles that store oil-based reserves of metabolic energy and components of membrane lipids. Basic biophysical principles of emulsions are important for lipid droplet biology, their formation, growth and shrinkage. Such mechanisms enable cells to use emulsified oil when required. The surfactant composition at the lipid droplet surface is crucial for homeostasis and protein targeting to their surfaces.

    • Abdou Rachid Thiam
    • , Robert V. Farese Jr
    •  & Tobias C. Walther
  • Review Article |

    Chloroplasts are the ancestral members of the plastid organelle family. Their identity, division and biogenesis require the import of nucleus-encoded proteins and tight coordination between the organellar genetic system and the nucleocytosolic system. The ubiquitin–proteasome system also links plastid homeostasis and biogenesis to organismal development.

    • Paul Jarvis
    •  & Enrique López-Juez
  • Review Article |

    The control of peroxisome biogenesis by different mechanisms, including de novo generation or growth and fisson of existing peroxisomes, may be coordinated to control peroxisome size and number. Dissecting this process should aid our understanding of how peroxisome dynamics are regulated, with implications for peroxisome-related diseases.

    • Jennifer J. Smith
    •  & John D. Aitchison



  • Timeline |

    The concept of allosteric interactions between topographically distinct sites, and the subsequent Monod-Wyman-Changeux model proposed in 1965 for the conformational change mediating them, arose around 50 years ago. Many classic regulatory proteins follow this model, which has been expanded and challenged over the years.

    • Jean-Pierre Changeux