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Volume 22 Issue 5, May 2015

Volume 22 Issue 5

Crystal structures of rhodopsin KR2,a light-driven sodium pump, reveal the translocation pathway of sodium ions and shed light on the molecular mechanism of ion pumping. Cover image by © Andres Rodriguez / Alamy (pp 390–395, News and Views p 351)


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Mammalian cells have both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial ribosomes, which have long been considered to operate completely independently. However, a new report shows that after heat shock, MRPL18, a human mitochondrial ribosomal protein, binds to cytoplasmic ribosomes to influence translation of heat-shock mRNAs.

    • Jonathan R Warner
  • News & Views |

    The first structures of a light-driven sodium pump provide insight into the mechanism of ion transport and selectivity. Genetic manipulation of rat neuronal cells and of Caenorhabditis elegans worms demonstrates the utility of such pumps for optogenetic applications.

    • Przemyslaw Nogly
    • Jörg Standfuss
  • News & Views |

    The identification of a second regulatory checkpoint controlling RNA polymerase II elongation near the poly(A) site of protein-coding genes reveals an additional level of complexity in the modulation of eukaryotic transcriptional elongation and termination.

    • Luciana E Giono
    • Alberto R Kornblihtt
  • News & Views |

    Regulation of integrin activity is critical for human health, and the steps mediating integrin activation are well established. In contrast, the counteracting mechanisms of inactivation are less understood. An integrin inhibitor, filamin, is shown to stabilize the integrin resting state by bondage of the cytoplasmic domains of the integrin heterodimer, thus providing evidence of a new mechanism for integrin retention in the inactive state.

    • Nicola De Franceschi
    • Johanna Ivaska
  • News & Views |

    R-type pyocins, produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are sheath-tube nanomachines that puncture the envelopes of target cells, inducing their death. Cryo-EM studies reveal the atomic structures of the pyocin R2 in its extended precontraction and postcontraction forms, which suggest a mechanism for the contraction process of this molecular syringe.

    • Elena V Orlova
  • News & Views |

    Dynactin is an essential cofactor for the microtubule-based motor cytoplasmic dynein. Two recent papers report structures obtained by cryo-EM of dynactin, the dynein–dynactin complex and dynein–dynactin bound to its track, the microtubule.

    • Samara L Reck-Peterson

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