Biophysics

  • Article |

    A localization algorithm is applied to datasets obtained with conventional and high-speed atomic force microscopy to increase image resolution beyond the limits set by the radius of the tip used.

    • George R. Heath
    • , Ekaterina Kots
    •  & Simon Scheuring
  • Perspective |

    Inanimate matter is beginning to show some signs of basic intelligence—the ability to sense, actuate and use memory, as controlled by an internal communication network in functional materials.

    • C. Kaspar
    • , B. J. Ravoo
    •  & W. H. P. Pernice
  • Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of PCFT in a substrate-free state and bound to the antifolate drug pemetrexed provide insights into how this protein recognizes folates and mediates their transport into cells.

    • Joanne L. Parker
    • , Justin C. Deme
    •  & Simon Newstead
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cryo-electron microscopy structure of heterodimeric GABAB receptor in complex with Gi1 protein reveals that the mode of G-protein binding in this class-C G-protein-coupled receptor differs from that of other classes.

    • Cangsong Shen
    • , Chunyou Mao
    •  & Jianfeng Liu
  • Article |

    Structures of the human sodium-dependent citrate transporter NaCT in complexes with citrate or a small-molecule inhibitor reveal how the inhibitor—which binds to the same site as citrate—arrests the transport cycle of NaCT.

    • David B. Sauer
    • , Jinmei Song
    •  & Da-Neng Wang
  • Article |

    Mechanical load-sharing enables the long-range cooperative uptake of apoptotic cells by multiple epithelial cells; and clearance of these apoptotic cells facilitates error correction, which is necessary for developmental robustness and survival of the embryo.

    • Esteban Hoijman
    • , Hanna-Maria Häkkinen
    •  & Verena Ruprecht
  • Article |

    Multiplexed imaging of 3,660 chromosomal loci in individual mouse embryonic stem cells by DNA seqFISH+ with immunofluorescence of 17 chromatin marks and subnuclear structures reveals invariant organization of loci within individual cells, and heterogeneous and long-lived distinct combinatorial chromatin states in cellular subpopulations.

    • Yodai Takei
    • , Jina Yun
    •  & Long Cai
  • Article |

    A theoretical model, in vitro reconstitution and in vivo experimentation show that competition between droplet surface tension and membrane sheet instability dictates the form and function of autophagosomal membranes.

    • Jaime Agudo-Canalejo
    • , Sebastian W. Schultz
    •  & Roland L. Knorr
  • Article |

    A high-throughput, chromosome-wide analysis of DNA looping reveals its contribution to the organization of chromatin, and provides insight into how nucleosomes are deposited and organised de novo.

    • Aakash Basu
    • , Dmitriy G. Bobrovnikov
    •  & Taekjip Ha
  • Article |

    Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography is used to reveal the structural changes that stabilize the charge-separation steps of electron-transfer reactions in the photosynthetic reaction centre of Blastochloris viridis on a timescale of picoseconds.

    • Robert Dods
    • , Petra Båth
    •  & Richard Neutze
  • Article |

    High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of smooth muscle myosin II in the inhibited state enables increased understanding of the functions of the head and tail regions in regulation of myosin activity and the pathological mechanisms of disease mutations.

    • Shixin Yang
    • , Prince Tiwari
    •  & Roger Craig
  • Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures of GABAA receptors bound to intravenous anaesthetics and benzodiazepines reveal both common and distinct transmembrane binding sites, and show that the mechanisms of action of anaesthetics partially overlap with those of benzodiazepines.

    • Jeong Joo Kim
    • , Anant Gharpure
    •  & Ryan E. Hibbs
  • Article |

    The surfactant-like protein Ki-67 mediates the clustering of chromosomes during mitotic exit, which displaces large cytoplasmic molecules from the future nuclear space and thus enables the separation of cytoplasmic and nuclear components before the nuclear envelope reforms.

    • Sara Cuylen-Haering
    • , Mina Petrovic
    •  & Daniel W. Gerlich
  • Article |

    The adaptability of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana to different temperatures is regulated by the ability of its ELF3 protein to undergo liquid–liquid phase separation, in a manner that is dependent on the protein’s prion-like domain.

    • Jae-Hoon Jung
    • , Antonio D. Barbosa
    •  & Philip A. Wigge
  • Article |

    An approach for the design of protein pores is demonstrated by the computational design and subsequent experimental expression of both an ion-selective and a large transmembrane pore.

    • Chunfu Xu
    • , Peilong Lu
    •  & David Baker
  • Article |

    The chromatin protein MeCP2 is a component of dynamic, liquid-like heterochromatin condensates, and the ability of MeCP2 to form condensates is disrupted by mutations in the MECP2 gene that occur in the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome.

    • Charles H. Li
    • , Eliot L. Coffey
    •  & Richard A. Young
  • Article |

    Single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer and real-time confocal laser tracking with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy together characterize how individual lac repressor molecules bypass operator sites while exploring the DNA surface at microsecond timescales.

    • Emil Marklund
    • , Brad van Oosten
    •  & Sebastian Deindl
  • Article |

    Using high-resolution atomic force microscopy of live cells, the authors present an updated view of the cell walls of both Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis.

    • L. Pasquina-Lemonche
    • , J. Burns
    •  & J. K. Hobbs
  • Article |

    A theoretical framework describing the hydrodynamic interactions between a passive particle and an active medium in out-of-equilibrium systems predicts long-range Lévy flights for the diffusing particle driven by the density of the active component.

    • Kiyoshi Kanazawa
    • , Tomohiko G. Sano
    •  & Adrian Baule
  • Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures and molecular dynamics simulations of the calcium-activated potassium channel MthK from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum are used to show that gating of this channel involves a ball-and-chain inactivation mechanism mediated by a previously unresolved N-terminal peptide.

    • Chen Fan
    • , Nattakan Sukomon
    •  & Crina M. Nimigean
  • Article |

    The cryo-electron microscopy structure of the yeast SWI/SNF complex bound to a nucleosome substrate provides insights into the chromatin-remodelling function of this family of protein complexes and suggests mechanisms by which the mutated proteins may cause cancer.

    • Yan Han
    • , Alexis A Reyes
    •  & Yuan He
  • Article |

    Single-molecule visualization shows that condensin—a motor protein that extrudes DNA in one direction only—can encounter and pass a second condensin molecule to form a new type of DNA loop that gathers DNA from both sides.

    • Eugene Kim
    • , Jacob Kerssemakers
    •  & Cees Dekker
  • Article |

    In mixed bacterial populations that colonize nutrient patches, a growth–migration trade-off can lead to spatial exclusion that provides an advantage to populations that become rare, thereby stabilizing the community.

    • Sebastian Gude
    • , Erçağ Pinçe
    •  & Sander J. Tans
  • Article |

    A combination of optical tweezers and fluorescent-particle tracking is used to dissect the dynamics of the Hsp100 disaggregase ClpB, and show that the processive extrusion of polypeptide loops is the mechanistic basis of its activity.

    • Mario J. Avellaneda
    • , Kamila B. Franke
    •  & Sander J. Tans
  • Article |

    An in vivo approach to identify proteins whose enrichment near cardiac CaV1.2 channels changes upon β-adrenergic stimulation finds the G protein Rad, which is phosphorylated by protein kinase A, thereby relieving channel inhibition by Rad and causing an increased Ca2+ current.

    • Guoxia Liu
    • , Arianne Papa
    •  & Steven O. Marx
  • Article |

    Partial structures are reported for Cav3.1 both on its own and in complex with a phase II drug candidate for seizure and neuropathic pain; this presents the overall architecture of T-type Ca2+ channels, insights into their gating and permeation mechanisms, and how they are modulated by small-molecule blockers.

    • Yanyu Zhao
    • , Gaoxingyu Huang
    •  & Nieng Yan
  • Article |

    Imaging of substrate transport by individual MhsT transporters, members of the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family of secondary transporters, at single- and multi-turnover resolution reveals that the rate-limiting step varies with the identity of the transported substrate.

    • Gabriel A. Fitzgerald
    • , Daniel S. Terry
    •  & Scott C. Blanchard
  • Article |

    Crystal structures of cyanobacterial protochlorophyllide oxidoreductases reveal the basis of the photocatalytic activities of this enzyme, through the role of its active site in enabling the light-driven reduction of protochlorophyllide.

    • Shaowei Zhang
    • , Derren J. Heyes
    •  & Nigel S. Scrutton
  • Letter |

    A crystal structure of Thermoplasmatales archaeon heliorhodopsin at 2.4 Å resolution shows that it adopts a similar fold to that of type I rhodopsin—despite the low sequence identity—but there are also several marked differences that provide insights into heliorhodopsin function.

    • Wataru Shihoya
    • , Keiichi Inoue
    •  & Osamu Nureki