Biopolymers in vivo

Biopolymers are covalently bonded linear structures produced by living organisms, including polynucleotides, like RNA and DNA; polypeptides, from which proteins are formed; and polysaccharides, comprising carbohydrates. Biopolymers in vivo refers to these polymers when they are studied in the cells of whole living organisms.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Stress relaxation in cell monolayers shows remarkable similarities with that of single cells, suggesting the rheology of epithelial tissues is mediated by the actomyosin cortex—with dynamics reminiscent of those on a cellular level.

    • Nargess Khalilgharibi
    • , Jonathan Fouchard
    • , Nina Asadipour
    • , Ricardo Barrientos
    • , Maria Duda
    • , Alessandra Bonfanti
    • , Amina Yonis
    • , Andrew Harris
    • , Payman Mosaffa
    • , Yasuyuki Fujita
    • , Alexandre Kabla
    • , Yanlan Mao
    • , Buzz Baum
    • , José J Muñoz
    • , Mark Miodownik
    •  & Guillaume Charras
  • Research | | open

    During mitosis, tension at the centromere occurs from the spindle but the role of centromere mechanics in controlling metaphase tension is poorly understood. Here, the authors report that mechanical stiffnness of the centromere matures during mitotic progression and is amplified specifically at metaphase.

    • Lauren A. Harasymiw
    • , Damien Tank
    • , Mark McClellan
    • , Neha Panigrahy
    •  & Melissa K. Gardner
  • Research | | open

    Influenza A virus forms cytosolic inclusions containing viral ribonucleoproteins. Here, the authors show that viral inclusions form juxtaposed the endoplasmic reticulum and have liquid properties, likely constituting sites of assembly of epidemic and pandemic influenza genomes.

    • Marta Alenquer
    • , Sílvia Vale-Costa
    • , Temitope Akhigbe Etibor
    • , Filipe Ferreira
    • , Ana Laura Sousa
    •  & Maria João Amorim
  • Research |

    High-resolution experiments attribute surprisingly large forces to the molecular motors helping a cell sense its surroundings. A two-state theory interprets the contractile properties of these motors as emergent features of their collective behaviour.

    • James Lohner
    • , Jean-Francois Rupprecht
    • , Junquiang Hu
    • , Nicola Mandriota
    • , Mayur Saxena
    • , Diego Pitta de Araujo
    • , James Hone
    • , Ozgur Sahin
    • , Jacques Prost
    •  & Michael P. Sheetz
  • Research | | open

    Studying protein kinetics and stability in living organisms is challenging and most studies are performed in cell culture. Here the authors combine meganuclease-mediated transformation and fluorescence-detected temperature-jump microscopy to quantify protein stability in different tissues of living zebrafish.

    • Ruopei Feng
    • , Martin Gruebele
    •  & Caitlin M. Davis

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Magnetic tweezer measurements have revealed the forces associated with a star-shaped structure responsible for moving the sperm nucleus to the centre of the egg cell following fertilization.

    • Carlos Garzon-Coral
    •  & Jonathon Howard
    Nature Physics 14, 778-779
  • Editorial |

    Spider webs are designed to cope with stress and disruption, favouring repair over rebuilding.

    Nature 482, 6