Biological sciences

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Implant infection is the most common mode of joint replacement failure with serious complications. Here, the authors report on the in vivo application of a prophylactic coating technology that can incorporate a range of antibiotics and be applied in the operating room prior to implantation.

    • Weixian Xi
    • , Vishal Hegde
    •  & Tatiana Segura
  • Article
    | Open Access

    XopC2 effectors are present in many plant bacterial pathogens. Here the authors show that XopC2 has kinase activity and enhances disease susceptibility by phosphorylating the OSK1 protein, which increases its interaction with the jasmonate receptor COI1b to promote JA signaling and stomatal opening.

    • Shanzhi Wang
    • , Shuai Li
    •  & Wenxian Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans adapt decision strategies in response to environmental demands. Here the authors show that decisions in a virtual foraging task can be modelled based on perceived patch value, which includes reward, competition and threat, and is associated with activity in ventromedial prefrontal and medial cingulate cortices.

    • Brian Silston
    • , Toby Wise
    •  & Dean Mobbs
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Studying the role of predator–prey interactions in food-web stability and species coexistence in the environment is arduous. Here, Cohen et al. use a combination of community and single-cell analyses to show that bacterial predators can regulate prey populations in the species-rich environments of wastewater treatment plants.

    • Yossi Cohen
    • , Zohar Pasternak
    •  & Edouard Jurkevitch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Latitudinal ecosystem boundaries in the global upper ocean may be driven by many factors. Here the authors investigate pole-to-pole eukaryotic phytoplankton metatranscriptomes, gene co-expression networks, and beta diversity, finding that geographic patterns are best explained by temperature gradients.

    • Kara Martin
    • , Katrin Schmidt
    •  & Thomas Mock
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool are recommended tools for osteoporotic fracture risk evaluation, but are underutilized. Here, the authors present an opportunistic tool to identify fractures, predict bone mineral density and evaluate fracture risk using plain pelvis and lumbar spine radiographs.

    • Chen-I Hsieh
    • , Kang Zheng
    •  & Chang-Fu Kuo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    GABAA receptors (GABAARs) cause inhibition in the brain by functioning as heteropentamers formed from multiple subunit types. Here, the authors demonstrate that receptors incorporating β3 subunits can spontaneously gate, which is modulated by protein kinases and neurosteroids to affect tonic inhibition.

    • Craig A. Sexton
    • , Reka Penzinger
    •  & Trevor G. Smart
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Non-human primate models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are few and not well characterised. Here, the authors describe synaptic function and gene expression changes in a marmoset model of ASD from birth to juvenile, highlighting its similarity to features observed in human ASD.

    • Satoshi Watanabe
    • , Tohru Kurotani
    •  & Noritaka Ichinohe
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Myeloid cells are implicated in the innate immune and inflammatory response during infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. Here the authors show the evasion of the neutrophil response to infection and concomitant induction of sterile immunity via the purinergic P2X7 receptor.

    • Chunfu Yang
    • , Lei Lei
    •  & Harlan D. Caldwell
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Methyl salicylate ester is a plant metabolite involved in plant-insect and plant-plant interactions. Here, Yu et al. show that a nematode-trapping fungus has potential to produce a related compound, 6-methyl salicylate, which attracts its prey (nematodes) and modulates spore germination and trap formation in the fungus.

    • Xi Yu
    • , Xiaodi Hu
    •  & Reinhard Fischer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Detection of the tumour boundary in prostate cancer is required for surgery. Here the authors present a fluorescent molecular rotor probe to target a prostate cancer marker, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which they use in a xenograft mouse model to show it can be used for in vivo imaging.

    • Jingming Zhang
    • , Anastasia Rakhimbekova
    •  & Xing Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    DNA:RNA hybrids (R-loops) are products of transcription that impact genome integrity and gene expression. Here the authors reveal a mechanism for regulating R-loops in a ubiquitination-dependent manner controlled by the activities of USP11 and KEAP1

    • Mateusz Jurga
    • , Arwa A. Abugable
    •  & Sherif F. El-Khamisy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Donor-specific antibodies in sensitized recipients may cause kidney transplant rejection. Here the authors show that complement component C3 inhibition prolongs graft survival by inhibiting T and B cell proliferation/activation and hence tissue injury, despite antibody levels remaining unaffected.

    • Robin Schmitz
    • , Zachary W. Fitch
    •  & Stuart J. Knechtle
  • Article
    | Open Access

    p53 isoform Δ133p53β is reported to promote intrinsic oncogenic functions. Here the authors show Δ133p53β is sequestered as aggregates in an inactive form, while association with interacting partners including p63 isoforms and the CCT chaperone complex promotes Δ133p53β activity, resulting in enhanced cancer cell migration and invasion.

    • Nikola Arsic
    • , Tania Slatter
    •  & Pierre Roux
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Peptide-protein interactions play fundamental roles in cellular processes and are crucial for designing peptide therapeutics. Here, the authors present a deep learning framework for simultaneously predicting peptide-protein interactions and identifying peptide binding residues involved in the interactions.

    • Yipin Lei
    • , Shuya Li
    •  & Jianyang Zeng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There is much uncertainty on use and impact of pesticides in organic agriculture. Here, the authors compare pesticide use in conventionally and organically managed fields in Kern County (US), finding that organic fields are less likely to be treated but, when they are, they receive similar pesticide amount as the conventional fields.

    • Ashley E. Larsen
    • , L. Claire Powers
    •  & Sofie McComb
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Molecular tethers physically bridge transport vesicles to their target membranes as a prerequisite step for fusion. Here the authors control vesicle tethering using optogenetic approaches to study the interplay between vesicle tethering and fusion.

    • Seong J. An
    • , Felix Rivera-Molina
    •  & Derek Toomre
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is unclear how bacterial cells adapt the reversible switching of flagellar motor rotation to environments of different viscosities. Here, Antani et al. show that flagellar mechanosensors allosterically control the motor’s binding affinity for the chemotaxis response regulator, CheY-P, to adapt flagellar switching over varying viscous loads.

    • Jyot D. Antani
    • , Rachit Gupta
    •  & Pushkar P. Lele
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Natural Killer cell development is controlled by two related transcription factors, Eomes and T-bet. Authors show here that while the two factors share a large proportion of their target genes, they regulate distinct developmental processes by differing in their pattern of expression and in their associated co-factors.

    • Jiang Zhang
    • , Stéphanie Le Gras
    •  & Thierry Walzer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, Broszeit et al. show that circulating A/H3N2 viruses have evolved binding specificity to α2,6-sialosides on extended LacNAc moieties and therefore cannot agglutinate erythrocytes. Applying glycan remodeling allows to install functional receptors on erythrocytes and promotes identification of newly circulating variants to facilitate vaccine design.

    • Frederik Broszeit
    • , Rosanne J. van Beek
    •  & Geert-Jan Boons
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How soybean, a temperate origin crop, adapted to a tropical environment remains unclear. Here, the authors report Tof16, an ortholog of LHY, and the previously identified J locus, control soybean yield under short-day condition and loss of function of these two genes contributes to the adaptation to tropics.

    • Lidong Dong
    • , Chao Fang
    •  & Baohui Liu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Circularised nanodiscs (cNDs) are able to stabilise large lipid bilayer patches and are used for structural and functional studies. Current techniques to build cNDs have numerous steps and low yields; here the authors report a single step construction method using the SpyCatcher-SpyTag system.

    • Shanwen Zhang
    • , Qian Ren
    •  & Huan Bao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Infection with SARS-CoV2 and the development of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been linked to induction of autoimmunity and autoantibody production. Here the authors characterise the new-onset IgG autoantibody response in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 which they correlate to the magnitude of the SARS-CoV2 response.

    • Sarah Esther Chang
    • , Allan Feng
    •  & Paul J. Utz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Volume-regulated anion channels (VRACs) are heteromers of LRRC8 proteins, all containing the obligatory subunit LRRC8A. Here, the authors develop and characterize nanobodies that bind LRRC8A and allosterically modulate the function of homomeric LRRC8A and endogenous heteromeric channels, hinting at functional mechanisms present in VRACs.

    • Dawid Deneka
    • , Sonja Rutz
    •  & Raimund Dutzler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known about how human parental relatedness varied across ancient populations. Runs of homozygosity (ROH) in the offspring’s genome can give clues. Here, the authors present a method to identify ROH in ancient genomes and infer low rates of close kin unions across most ancient populations.

    • Harald Ringbauer
    • , John Novembre
    •  & Matthias Steinrücken
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Estimating direct and indirect effects of genotypes on phenotypes is important for genetic analyses such as Mendelian randomization. Here the authors compare five different methods to estimate direct and indirect genetic effects using summary results statistics that account for sample overlap.

    • Nicole M. Warrington
    • , Liang-Dar Hwang
    •  & David M. Evans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Autism is characterized by diverse symptoms, including impaired social skills, motor and perceptual atypicalities. Here, using computational modelling, the authors show that impaired synchronization ability in autism stems from reduced error correction, supporting a slow-updating account of autism.

    • Gal Vishne
    • , Nori Jacoby
    •  & Merav Ahissar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    MAD2L2 — a member of the shieldin complex — is known to play important roles in DNA repair. Here the authors demonstrate how MAD2L2 dimerization mediated through SHLD2 participates in shieldin assembly and function.

    • Inge de Krijger
    • , Bastian Föhr
    •  & Jacqueline J. L. Jacobs
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Snakes are one of the most successful groups of living vertebrates, but the timing of their diversification is unclear. Combining molecular clocks, fossils, and biogeography, Klein et al. show that snakes experienced a diversification, and underwent dispersal, around the time of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

    • Catherine G. Klein
    • , Davide Pisani
    •  & Nicholas R. Longrich
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite extensive genetic heterogeneity, nearly half of all multiple myeloma (MM) cases are driven by cyclin D2 (CCND2) over-expression. Here the authors dissect the chromatin landscape of MM to provide insights into the transcriptional regulatory landscape driving MM and divergent transcriptomes corresponding to different MM genetic subtypes.

    • Jaime Alvarez-Benayas
    • , Nikolaos Trasanidis
    •  & Anastasios Karadimitris
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The relative importance of evolutionary history and ecology for traits that drive ecosystem processes is poorly understood. Analyzing nine traits associated with fish stoichiometry from 1,572 individuals yields multiple lines of evidence that phylogeny is a critical determinant of nutrient cycling in coral reefs.

    • Jacob E. Allgeier
    • , Brian C. Weeks
    •  & Deron E. Burkepile
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many factors have been associated with chromosomal damage, including mechanical forces in a constrained cellular environment. Here the authors reveal an association between parity and chromosomal damage by analysing karyotypes of 1946 uterine leiomyomas.

    • Heli Kuisma
    • , Simona Bramante
    •  & Lauri A. Aaltonen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Humans are exposed to many xenobiotic chemicals, but identification of low abundance xenobiotic exposures is limited by a lack of authentic standards for xenobiotic metabolites. Here the authors develop methods for enzymatic generation of diverse xenobiotic metabolites for use with high-resolution mass spectrometry for biology-based chemical identification.

    • Ken H. Liu
    • , Choon M. Lee
    •  & Dean P. Jones
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Image-based simulation for obtaining physical quantities is limited by the uncertainty in the underlying image segmentation. Here, the authors introduce a workflow for efficiently quantifying segmentation uncertainty and creating uncertainty distributions of the resulting physics quantities.

    • Michael C. Krygier
    • , Tyler LaBonte
    •  & Scott A. Roberts
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dynamin mediates the fission of vesicles during endocytosis. Here, the authors report the cryoEM structure of a super-constricted two-start dynamin 1 filament- one of the two known helical forms of dynamin, with insights into the molecular mechanisms of dynamin-mediated membrane scission.

    • Jiwei Liu
    • , Frances Joan D. Alvarez
    •  & Peijun Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During herpesvirus infection, most individuals intrinsically suppress a primary infection and therewith preclude potential damage or neurodegeneration of the CNS. Here, Ames et al. show that Optineurin (OPTN), a conserved autophagy receptor, restricts HSV-1 spread, degrades viral VP16 through autophagy and is neuroprotective against HSV infection in vivo.

    • Joshua Ames
    • , Tejabhiram Yadavalli
    •  & Deepak Shukla
  • Article
    | Open Access

    OqxB is an RND (Resistance-Nodulation-Division) transporter that contributes to the antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae. Here, the authors report structural and functional characterization of OqxB, with insights into its substrate binding pocket and the role in fluoroquinolone resistance.

    • Nagakumar Bharatham
    • , Purnendu Bhowmik
    •  & Satoshi Murakami
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transport protein particle (TRAPP) is a multimeric protein complex regulating membrane trafficking pathways. Here the authors show that TRAPPC4, a core subunit of TRAPP complex, is required for RAB11-mediated recycling of PD-L1, affecting T-cell-mediated anti-tumor immune responses.

    • Yimeng Ren
    • , Yun Qian
    •  & Jing-Yuan Fang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    CTCF is as an architectural protein involved in 3D genome folding; however its contribution to animal development has not been well characterized. Here the authors show that CTCF is not only pivotal for 3D chromatin structure and enhancer-promoter interactions in zebrafish, but it is also essential for controlling the expression of thousands of genes during development.

    • Martin Franke
    • , Elisa De la Calle-Mustienes
    •  & José L. Gómez-Skarmeta