Volume 8 Issue 12, December 2007

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) is a reversible post-translational protein modifier that causes molecular alterations in sumoylated target proteins, leading to changes in localization, activity and stability. In the past 10 years, mechanisms and principles that govern sumoylation have been elucidated.

    • Ruth Geiss-Friedlander
    •  & Frauke Melchior
  • Review Article |

    Although integrins and syndecans are crucial for adhesion and multicellular existence, their relative and functional contributions to cell–extracellular matrix interactions remain obscure. However, evidence suggests that synergistic signalling between these adhesion-receptor families is central to their adhesive function, to regulation of cell behaviour and to avoidance of disease.

    • Mark R. Morgan
    • , Martin J. Humphries
    •  & Mark D. Bass
  • Review Article |

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ)-induced signalling converges on a limited number of SMAD complexes. These complexes effect a plethora of specific and functional responses in both embryos and adult organisms. How are these complex cellular responses elicited?

    • Bernhard Schmierer
    •  & Caroline S. Hill
  • Review Article |

    Histone post-translational modifications have crucial roles in genome management, in part by recruiting specific factors that alter the structural properties of chromatin. These so-called effector complexes often comprise multiple histone-binding modules that may act in concert to regulate chromatin structure and DNA-related activities.

    • Alexander J. Ruthenburg
    • , Haitao Li
    • , Dinshaw J. Patel
    •  & C. David Allis


  • Review Article |

    Given the amino-acid sequence or 3D structure of a protein, how much can we predict about its function using just a desktop computer? The recent explosive growth in the volume of sequence data and advancement in computational methods has put more tools at the biologist's disposal than ever before.

    • David Lee
    • , Oliver Redfern
    •  & Christine Orengo
  • Review Article |

    The PML tumour suppressor is necessary for the formation of dynamic nuclear organelles called promyelocytic leukaemia nuclear bodies (PML-NBs). Recent data suggest that different PML-NBs may regulate specific cellular functions according to their protein composition, their position in the nucleus and their mobility.

    • Rosa Bernardi
    •  & Pier Paolo Pandolfi



  • Opinion |

    How the building blocks of life came together to form the first membranes and cells is perhaps the biggest unresolved question in biology. A major difference in several proposed models is whether the cytoplasm evolved inside or outside of a liposomal vesicle.

    • Gareth Griffiths