Volume 15 Issue 11, November 2014

Volume 15 Issue 11

'Clockwork wave' by Vicky Summersby, inspired by the Review on p709.

Research Highlights



  • Progress |

    Recent data suggest that histone modifications have a direct effect on nucleosomal architecture. Acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and citrullination of the histone core may influence chromatin structure by affecting histone–histone and histone–DNA interactions, as well as the binding of histones to chaperones.

    • Peter Tessarz
    •  & Tony Kouzarides


  • Review Article |

    Somite formation relies on a molecular oscillator, the segmentation clock, which leads to oscillatory gene expression in the presomitic mesoderm; this is converted into the periodic generation of segments in response to signalling gradients referred to as the wavefront. Recent studies provide insights into the molecular mechanisms behind this intricate developmental system.

    • Alexis Hubaud
    •  & Olivier Pourquié
  • Review Article |

    It is unclear how totipotent embryonic cells acquire their fate and what role chromatin dynamics have in this process. Technological advances in studying single cells have begun to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying lineage allocation and cell plasticity in early mammalian development.

    • Adam Burton
    •  & Maria-Elena Torres-Padilla
  • Review Article |

    The mechanisms underlying spindle checkpoint signalling at the kinetochore, which ensures faithful chromosome segregation during cell division, are being unravelled. They indicate that the checkpoint response is graded rather than switch-like (completely on or off) as traditionally thought, and provide insights for the treatment of cancers in which the checkpoint is bypassed.

    • Nitobe London
    •  & Sue Biggins


  • Analysis |

    Binding of DNA and of RNA are no longer considered functionally distinct, partly owing to the discovery that DNA- and RNA-binding proteins (DRBPs) can bind long non-coding RNAs and DNA. The unique functional characteristics of DRBPs stem from their specific structural features and allow them to regulate various cellular processes.

    • William H. Hudson
    •  & Eric A. Ortlund