December 2013

Research articles

    1. Human Biology and Medicine
    2. Neuroscience

    Hypothalamic melanin concentrating hormone neurons communicate the nutrient value of sugar

    Ana I Domingos et al.
    Natural sugars are preferred over artificial sweeteners because of their nutritional content, which is sensed by MCH neurons in the lateral hypothalamus.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells
    2. Genes and Chromosomes

    Chromatin signature of widespread monoallelic expression

    Anwesha Nag et al.
    Active and repressive chromatin marks, asymmetrically distributed between alleles, distinguish gene bodies subject to epigenetically controlled monoallelic expression on autosomes in human cells.
    1. Neuroscience

    Interaction of plasticity and circuit organization during the acquisition of cerebellum-dependent motor learning

    Yan Yang, Stephen G Lisberger
    During learning, one climbing fiber input instructs plasticity that is expressed in the simple-spike responses of cerebellar Purkinje cells, and causes neural learning that may inhibit future climbing fiber instructions.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells
    2. Genes and Chromosomes

    Multiple knockout mouse models reveal lincRNAs are required for life and brain development

    Martin Sauvageau et al.
    Long intergenic noncoding RNA molecules (lincRNAs) are shown to have critical roles in mammalian development and physiology in vivo.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Human Biology and Medicine

    Mechanism and preclinical prevention of increased breast cancer risk caused by pregnancy

    Svasti Haricharan et al.
    The transcription factor STAT5 mediates the increased breast cancer risk associated with a late age pregnancy, but intermittent anti-STAT5 treatment can lower this risk and thus prevent breast cancer.
    1. Plant Biology

    The transcriptional regulator BZR1 mediates trade-off between plant innate immunity and growth

    Rosa Lozano-Durán et al.
    The transcriptional regulator BZR1 acts as a molecular integrator of environmental cues regulating the trade-off between growth and innate immunity.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells

    Deregulated FGF and homeotic gene expression underlies cerebellar vermis hypoplasia in CHARGE syndrome

    Tian Yu et al.
    Mutations in CHD7, which cause CHARGE syndrome, cause a reduction in FGF8 signalling and subsequent abnormalities in the cerebellar vermis in both mice and humans.
    1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    Regulated aggregative multicellularity in a close unicellular relative of metazoa

    Arnau Sebé-Pedrós et al.
    The transition to the aggregative stage of Capsaspora owczarzaki, a close unicellular relative to Metazoa, is associated with significant upregulation of orthologs of genes that are important for multicellularity in metazoans.
    1. Neuroscience

    Synchronous and asynchronous modes of synaptic transmission utilize different calcium sources

    Hua Wen et al.
    The delayed-onset of asynchronous transmitter release seen in neurons that fire repeatedly is triggered by a different source of calcium from that which triggers synchronous transmitter release.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Genes and Chromosomes

    H3K4 mono- and di-methyltransferase MLL4 is required for enhancer activation during cell differentiation

    Ji-Eun Lee et al.
    MLL4 (KMT2D) is a major mammalian H3K4 mono- and di-methyltransferase that is essential for enhancer activation, cell-type-specific gene expression, and cell differentiation.
    1. Cell Biology

    Inflammation produces catecholamine resistance in obesity via activation of PDE3B by the protein kinases IKKε and TBK1

    Jonathan Mowers et al.
    Reduced energy expenditure in obesity may result from reduced sensitivity to sympathetic activation due to inflammation-generated signals in adipose tissue.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells

    PI3K/Akt1 signalling specifies foregut precursors by generating regionalized extra-cellular matrix

    S Nahuel Villegas et al.
    A signalling cascade involving PI3K/Akt1 remodels the extra-cellular matrix to achieve atypical cellular responses and control cell fate specification within the embryonic endoderm.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    tRNA genes rapidly change in evolution to meet novel translational demands

    Avihu H Yona et al.
    Experimental evolution and systematic sequence analysis of transfer RNA genes reveal that anticodon mutations provide adaptive plasticity to the translation machinery.
    1. Neuroscience

    Frizzled3 controls axonal development in distinct populations of cranial and spinal motor neurons

    Zhong L Hua et al.
    The signaling molecule Frizzled3 plays a part in the development of the nervous system by controlling the ability of motor neurons to form connections with distant target muscles.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells

    Bone morphogenic protein signalling suppresses differentiation of pluripotent cells by maintaining expression of E-Cadherin

    Mattias Malaguti et al.
    The differentiation decisions made by pluripotent cells depend on their exposure to appropriate extrinsic signals and also on morphogenetic events that control receptivity to those differentiation cues.
    1. Biophysics and Structural Biology
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    A new topology of the HK97-like fold revealed in Bordetella bacteriophage by cryoEM at 3.5 Å resolution

    Xing Zhang et al.
    Cryo electron microscopy and structure-based mutagenesis reveal that the bacteriophage BPP-1 contains two of the three major recognized viral folds, one of which exhibits a new topology.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    A serine sensor for multicellularity in a bacterium

    Arvind R Subramaniam et al.
    Biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis relies on a sensing mechanism for the amino acid serine that does not depend on a dedicated protein or RNA.
    1. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology
    2. Plant Biology

    The genomic landscape of meiotic crossovers and gene conversions in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Erik Wijnker et al.
    A comprehensive and genome-wide description of the genomic make-up and frequency of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana reveals regional preferences, including nucleosome-free regions, and two associated recombination motifs.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    c-di-GMP heterogeneity is generated by the chemotaxis machinery to regulate flagellar motility

    Bridget R Kulasekara et al.
    Real time measurements of c-di-GMP in individual cells reveal an unexpected mechanism by which the chemotaxis machinery controls c-di-GMP heterogeneity, thereby regulating flagellar-based motility.
    1. Ecology
    2. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    Spatial dilemmas of diffusible public goods

    Benjamin Allen et al.
    A simple model reveals the roles of colony geometry and diffusion rate in allowing microbes to cooperate by sharing public goods.
    1. Biochemistry
    2. Immunology

    Rasgrp1 mutation increases naïve T-cell CD44 expression and drives mTOR-dependent accumulation of Helios+ T cells and autoantibodies

    Stephen R Daley et al.
    A single point mutation in a Ras activator leads to aberrant constitutive mTOR signaling in peripheral T cells that consequently accumulate as abnormal T helper cells and stimulate the production of autoantibodies by B cells.
    1. Neuroscience

    Development of schemas revealed by prior experience and NMDA receptor knock-out

    George Dragoi, Susumu Tonegawa
    Novel spatial representations by hippocampal cellular assemblies develop on the framework of preconfigured hippocampal networks whose homeostatic synaptic reorganization is accelerated by prior experience and CA3 NMDAR-dependent plasticity.
    1. Neuroscience

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B mutations in rab7 cause dosage-dependent neurodegeneration due to partial loss of function

    Smita Cherry et al.
    Mutations that reduce the functioning of rab7 may underlie the degeneration of sensory and motor nerves in Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2B disease, which suggests increasing endolysosomal function as a therapy.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells
    2. Neuroscience

    A Gata3–Mafb transcriptional network directs post-synaptic differentiation in synapses specialized for hearing

    Wei-Ming Yu et al.
    Genetic studies in mice identify the transcription factor MafB as a potent regulator of specific features of the synapses underlying hearing.
    1. Biochemistry
    2. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    Discovery of a metabolic alternative to the classical mevalonate pathway

    Nikki Dellas et al.
    A combination of phylogenetic and biochemical analyses suggest that some unexpected variations in the synthesis of isoprenoids may be widespread across all three domains of life.
    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Fitness benefits in fluoroquinolone-resistant Salmonella Typhi in the absence of antimicrobial pressure

    Stephen Baker et al.
    The major evolutionary routes to drug resistance in Salmonella Typhi are associated with fitness benefits, not fitness costs, implying that prudent antimicrobial use will have no effect as a public health intervention in controlling typhoid fever.
    1. Biochemistry
    2. Biophysics and Structural Biology

    Hydrogen bonds as molecular timers for slow inactivation in voltage-gated potassium channels

    Stephan A Pless et al.
    Tuning the strength of inter- and intra-subunit hydrogen bonds can control potassium flux across biological membranes.
    1. Neuroscience

    Decoding neural responses to temporal cues for sound localization

    Dan FM Goodman et al.
    Computer simulations of interaural time difference decoders show that heterogeneous tuning of binaural neurons leads to accurate sound localization in natural environments.
    1. Cell Biology

    Cytoplasmic translocation of the retinoblastoma protein disrupts sarcomeric organization

    Keigo Araki et al.
    TNF-α treatment induces phosphorylation and cytoplasmic translocation of the retinoblastoma protein, which regulates cytoskeletal organization in skeletal muscle cells.
    1. Biochemistry
    2. Ecology

    ABC transporter functions as a pacemaker for sequestration of plant glucosides in leaf beetles

    Anja S Strauss et al.
    A transport protein enables leaf beetle larvae to take up and store plant toxins and use them as part of their own defense strategy.
    1. Developmental Biology and Stem Cells
    2. Genes and Chromosomes

    Hdac6 regulates Tip60-p400 function in stem cells

    Poshen B Chen et al.
    A normally cytoplasmic deacetylase, Hdac6, localizes to the nucleus in embryonic stem cells, where it regulates the essential Tip60-p400 chromatin remodeling complex.
    1. Cell Biology
    2. Genomics and Evolutionary Biology

    Ribosome profiling reveals pervasive and regulated stop codon readthrough in Drosophila melanogaster

    Joshua G Dunn et al.
    Ribosomes translate through stop codons far more often than previously thought, yielding C-terminally extended proteins in a variety of eukaryotes.
    1. Biochemistry
    2. Biophysics and Structural Biology

    Mechanism of chiral proofreading during translation of the genetic code

    Sadeem Ahmad et al.
    Structural biology has elucidated the mechanism of a configuration-specific enzyme that decouples D-amino acids from the translational machinery and, therefore, is involved in the enforcement of homochirality during protein synthesis.