Volume 9 Issue 2, February 2008

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    Numerous protein domains bind to membrane phospholipids and drive the relocalization of proteins that are involved in crucial cell-signalling and membrane-trafficking events. Precise control of the timing and location of membrane association involves several mechanisms.

    • Mark A. Lemmon
  • Review Article |

    A detailed model of the composition and structure of membranes exists. But how do cells orchestrate numerous enzymes, as well as the intrinsic physical phase behaviour of lipids and their interactions with membrane proteins, to create the unique compositions and multiple functionalities of their individual membranes?

    • Gerrit van Meer
    • , Dennis R. Voelker
    •  & Gerald W. Feigenson
  • Review Article |

    Cholesterol is an essential structural component in the cell membranes of most vertebrates. Increased understanding of the metabolism and functional compartmentalization of cholesterol and how this is related to the organ systems level should provide insights into the physiology of cholesterol trafficking.

    • Elina Ikonen
  • Review Article |

    The sphingolipids constitute an important class of bioactive lipids that includes ceramide and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). Deciphering the cellular functions of sphingolipids requires an understanding of the complex metabolic pathways and the mechanisms that regulate lipid generation and lipid action.

    • Yusuf A. Hannun
    •  & Lina M. Obeid
  • Review Article |

    Inositols and their derivatives are versatile molecules that have varied functions and distributions across the three kingdoms of life. How is it that inositol derivatives became ubiquitous and diverse in eukaryotes, and how might the various functions of these molecules have emerged during eukaryote diversification?

    • Robert H. Michell
  • Review Article |

    Lipids function as extracellular and intracellular messengers in a complex lipid signalling network that controls important cellular processes. Imbalances in this network contribute to the pathogenesis of different diseases, including cancer, inflammation and metabolic syndrome, which therefore share common points of therapeutic intervention.

    • Matthias P. Wymann
    •  & Roger Schneiter



  • Opinion |

    The structural maintenance of chromosomes (Smc)5/6 complex has a poorly characterized role in DNA repair. Smc5/6 has been implicated specifically in rDNA stability, but the authors propose that the unidirectional replication of rDNA merely accentuates the genome-wide functions of Smc5/6 in repairing DNA replication errors.

    • Johanne M. Murray
    •  & Antony M. Carr