Volume 15 Issue 8, August 2014

Volume 15 Issue 8

'Shining light on cellular functions' by Vicky Summersby, inspired by Perspective on p551.

Research Highlights


  • Progress |

    Linear ubiquitylation was initially identified owing to its function in canonical nuclear factor-κB activation. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of linear ubiquitin chains in the regulation of other signalling pathways and cell death, and in several diseases including cancer, which highlights the unexpected importance of this form of ubiquitylation.

    • Kazuhiro Iwai
    • , Hiroaki Fujita
    •  & Yoshiteru Sasaki


  • Review Article |

    In animals, microRNAs (miRNAs) are 22 nucleotides in length and are produced by two RNase III proteins — Drosha and Dicer. Their biogenesis is regulated at multiple levels, including at the level of miRNA transcription; by Drosha and Dicer processing; by their modification through RNA editing, RNA methylation, uridylation and adenylation; Argonaute loading; and by RNA decay.

    • Minju Ha
    •  & V. Narry Kim
  • Review Article |

    Mobile RNAs function in antiviral defence, cell signalling and gene expression regulation, and might also mediate transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Genetic and molecular studies in plants and nematodes have begun to provide insights into the mechanisms underlying RNA movement, its functions and the nature of mobile RNA molecules.

    • Peter Sarkies
    •  & Eric A. Miska
  • Review Article |

    Recent technical advances are expanding our understanding of how lysine acetylation, as well as other metabolite-sensitive acylations, regulates various cellular processes. Emerging findings point to new functions for different acylations and deacylating enzymes, and clarify the intricate link between lysine acetylation and cellular metabolism.

    • Chunaram Choudhary
    • , Brian T. Weinert
    • , Yuya Nishida
    • , Eric Verdin
    •  & Matthias Mann



  • Innovation |

    The optogenetic toolkit has rapidly expanded to include various proteins and cellular functions, such as cell signalling, that can be controlled by light. The practical considerations in using and deciding between optogenetic systems, such as systems that use light-oxygen-voltage (LOV) domains, phytochrome proteins, CRYPTOCHROME 2 (CRY2) and the fluorescent protein Dronpa, are now well defined.

    • Doug Tischer
    •  & Orion D. Weiner