Volume 9 Issue 6, June 2008

From The Editors

Research Highlights

Progress

  • Progress |

    Membrane nanotubes are thin extensions of the plasma membrane that connect cells transiently and might facilitate intercellular communication. Recent studies have revealed considerable heterogeneity in their structure, formation, mode of cargo transport and functional properties, depending on the cell types involved.

    • Daniel M. Davis
    •  & Stefanie Sowinski

Reviews

  • Review Article |

    Sterols and sterol derivatives modulate the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway at multiple levels. Progress in understanding Hh signalling will depend on deepening our knowledge of the cell biology of sterol metabolism and trafficking.

    • Suzanne Eaton
  • Review Article |

    Filopodia are thin, actin-rich, finger-like structures that are involved in numerous cellular processes, such as cell migration, wound healing, neurite outgrowth and embryonic development. But what are the mechanisms that regulate filopodia formation in distinct cell types?

    • Pieta K. Mattila
    •  & Pekka Lappalainen
  • Review Article |

    Chemotaxis enables immune cells to reach sites of infection, wounds to heal and the formation of embryonic patterns. Recent results have shed light on how cells orientate in chemotactic gradients, the forces that enable pseudopodia projection and the role of the endocytic cycle in movement.

    • Robert R. Kay
    • , Paul Langridge
    • , David Traynor
    •  & Oliver Hoeller
  • Review Article |

    The small nuclear GTPase Ran controls the directionality of macromolecular transport between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Ran also has important roles during mitosis and directs nuclear-envelope dynamics, assembly of the mitotic spindle and the timing of cell-cycle transitions.

    • Paul R. Clarke
    •  & Chuanmao Zhang
  • Review Article |

    How do septins, GTP-binding proteins, function in a wide range of cellular processes, such as cell division, cytoskeletal organization and membrane remodelling? Electron microscopy and crystallographic studies provide a glimpse into septin-complex assembly that could answer this question.

    • Christine S. Weirich
    • , Jan P. Erzberger
    •  & Yves Barral

Perspectives