Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hot off the presses! Oct 29 Cell

The Oct 29 issue of the Cell is now up on Pubget (About Cell): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • In This Issue
    - cell 143(3):327, 329 (2010)
  • Select: Gut Microbes
    - cell 143(3):331, 333 (2010)
    Our intestines host trillions of bacteria, most of which are beneficial to our health most of the time. Occasionally, however, a change in conditions, or the entry of a pathogenic strain, leads to disease. Recent papers shed new light onto the complex interactions that determine intestinal health and disease.
  • ATRX: Put Me on Repeat
    - cell 143(3):335-336 (2010)
    Mutations in the chromatin-remodeling protein ATRX cause alpha thalassaemia and mental retardation, but the severity of the disorder is independent of the specific mutation. In this issue of Cell, Law et al. (2010) demonstrate that ATRX alters gene expression by binding to G-rich tandem repeats, and the degree of transcriptional silencing caused by ATRX mutations correlates with the number of repeats.
  • Egg's ZP3 Structure Speaks Volumes
    - cell 143(3):337-338 (2010)
    Binding of mammalian sperm to eggs depends in part on ZP3, a glycoprotein in the egg's extracellular coat, the zona pellucida. In this issue, Han et al. (2010) describe the structure of an avian ZP3 homolog, providing insights into ZP3 processing and polymerization and the roles of the ZP3 polypeptide and its carbohydrate in sperm binding.
  • Monocytes Join the Dendritic Cell Family
    - cell 143(3):339-340 (2010)
    Dendritic cells are professional antigen-presenting cells that mediate immunity and tolerance. Cheong et al. (2010) uncover a new route for dendritic cell production in vivo. They show that in response to infection by gram-negative bacteria, monocytes are recruited to the lymph node where they rapidly differentiate into dendritic cells that present antigens to T cells.
  • Ephecting Excitatory Synapse Development
    - cell 143(3):341-342 (2010)
    Alterations in synapse number and morphology are associated with devastating psychiatric and neurologic disorders. In this issue of Cell, Margolis et al. (2010) show that the RhoA-guanine exchange factor (GEF) Ephexin5 limits the numbers of excitatory synapses that neurons receive, thus identifying a new mechanism controlling synaptogenesis.
  • Chemoaffinity Revisited: Dscams, Protocadherins, and Neural Circuit Assembly
    - cell 143(3):343-353 (2010)
    The chemoaffinity hypothesis for neural circuit assembly posits that axons and their targets bear matching molecular labels that endow neurons with unique identities and specify synapses between appropriate partners. Here, we focus on two intriguing candidates for fulfilling this role, Drosophila Dscams and vertebrate clustered protocadherins (Pcdhs). In each, a complex genomic locus encodes large numbers of neuronal transmembrane proteins with homophilic binding specificity, individual members of which are expressed combinatorially. Although these properties suggest that Dscams and Pcdhs could act as specificity molecules, they may do so in ways that challenge traditional views of how neural circuits assemble.
  • DNA Damage-Mediated Induction of a Chemoresistant Niche
    - cell 143(3):355-366 (2010)
    While numerous cell-intrinsic processes are known to play decisive roles in chemotherapeutic response, relatively little is known about the impact of the tumor microenvironment on therapeutic outcome. Here, we use a well-established mouse model of Burkitt's lymphoma to show that paracrine factors in the tumor microenvironment modulate lymphoma cell survival following the administration of genotoxic chemotherapy. Specifically, IL-6 and Timp-1 are released in the thymus in response to DNA damage, creating a "chemo-resistant niche" that promotes the survival of a minimal residual tumor burden and serves as a reservoir for eventual tumor relapse. Notably, IL-6 is released acutely from thymic endothelial cells in a p38-dependent manner following genotoxic stress, and this acute secretory response precedes the gradual induction of senescence in tumor-associated stromal cells. Thus, conventional chemotherapies can induce tumor regression while simultaneously eliciting str! ess responses that protect subsets of tumor cells in select anatomical locations from drug action. PaperFlick To view the video inline, enable JavaScript on your browser. However, you can download and view the video by clicking on the icon below Download this Video (17520 K)
  • ATR-X Syndrome Protein Targets Tandem Repeats and Influences Allele-Specific Expression in a Size-Dependent Manner
    - cell 143(3):367-378 (2010)
    ATRX is an X-linked gene of the SWI/SNF family, mutations in which cause syndromal mental retardation and downregulation of α-globin expression. Here we show that ATRX binds to tandem repeat (TR) sequences in both telomeres and euchromatin. Genes associated with these TRs can be dysregulated when ATRX is mutated, and the change in expression is determined by the size of the TR, producing skewed allelic expression. This reveals the characteristics of the affected genes, explains the variable phenotypes seen with identical ATRX mutations, and illustrates a new mechanism underlying variable penetrance. Many of the TRs are G rich and predicted to form non-B DNA structures (including G-quadruplex) in vivo. We show that ATRX binds G-quadruplex structures in vitro, suggesting a mechanism by which ATRX may play a role in various nuclear processes and how this is perturbed when ATRX is mutated. PaperClip To listen to this audio, enable JavaScript on your browser. However, you can download and play the audio by clicking on the icon below Download this Audio (3918 K)
  • Upf1 Senses 3′UTR Length to Potentiate mRNA Decay
    - cell 143(3):379-389 (2010)
    The selective degradation of mRNAs by the nonsense-mediated decay pathway is a quality control process with important consequences for human disease. From initial studies using RNA hairpin-tagged mRNAs for purification of messenger ribonucleoproteins assembled on transcripts with HIV-1 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) sequences, we uncover a two-step mechanism for Upf1-dependent degradation of mRNAs with long 3′UTRs. We demonstrate that Upf1 associates with mRNAs in a 3′UTR length-dependent manner and is highly enriched on transcripts containing 3′UTRs known to elicit NMD. Surprisingly, Upf1 recruitment and subsequent RNA decay can be antagonized by retroviral RNA elements that promote translational readthrough. By modulating the efficiency of translation termination, recognition of long 3′UTRs by Upf1 is uncoupled from the initiation of decay. We propose a model for 3′UTR length surveillance in which equilibrium binding of Upf1 to mRNAs precedes a kinetica! lly distinct commitment to RNA decay.
  • The Long Noncoding RNA, Jpx, Is a Molecular Switch for X Chromosome Inactivation
    - cell 143(3):390-403 (2010)
    Once protein-coding, the X-inactivation center (Xic) is now dominated by large noncoding RNAs (ncRNA). X chromosome inactivation (XCI) equalizes gene expression between mammalian males and females by inactivating one X in female cells. XCI requires Xist, an ncRNA that coats the X and recruits Polycomb proteins. How Xist is controlled remains unclear but likely involves negative and positive regulators. For the active X, the antisense Tsix RNA is an established Xist repressor. For the inactive X, here, we identify Xic-encoded Jpx as an Xist activator. Jpx is developmentally regulated and accumulates during XCI. Deleting Jpx blocks XCI and is female lethal. Posttranscriptional Jpx knockdown recapitulates the knockout, and supplying Jpx in trans rescues lethality. Thus, Jpx is trans-acting and functions as ncRNA. Furthermore, ΔJpx is rescued by truncating Tsix, indicating an antagonistic relationship between the ncRNAs. We conclude that Xist is controlled by two RNA-base! d switches: Tsix for Xa and Jpx for Xi.
  • Insights into Egg Coat Assembly and Egg-Sperm Interaction from the X-Ray Structure of Full-Length ZP3
    - cell 143(3):404-415 (2010)
    ZP3, a major component of the zona pellucida (ZP) matrix coating mammalian eggs, is essential for fertilization by acting as sperm receptor. By retaining a propeptide that contains a polymerization-blocking external hydrophobic patch (EHP), we determined the crystal structure of an avian homolog of ZP3 at 2.0 Å resolution. The structure unveils the fold of a complete ZP domain module in a homodimeric arrangement required for secretion and reveals how EHP prevents premature incorporation of ZP3 into the ZP. This suggests mechanisms underlying polymerization and how local structural differences, reflected by alternative disulfide patterns, control the specificity of ZP subunit interaction. Close relative positioning of a conserved O-glycan important for sperm binding and the hypervariable, positively selected C-terminal region of ZP3 suggests a concerted role in the regulation of species-restricted gamete recognition. Alternative conformations of the area around the O-g! lycan indicate how sperm binding could trigger downstream events via intramolecular signaling.
  • Microbial Stimulation Fully Differentiates Monocytes to DC-SIGN/CD209+ Dendritic Cells for Immune T Cell Areas
    - cell 143(3):416-429 (2010)
    Dendritic cells (DCs), critical antigen-presenting cells for immune control, normally derive from bone marrow precursors distinct from monocytes. It is not yet established if the large reservoir of monocytes can develop into cells with critical features of DCs in vivo. We now show that fully differentiated monocyte-derived DCs (Mo-DCs) develop in mice and DC-SIGN/CD209a marks the cells. Mo-DCs are recruited from blood monocytes into lymph nodes by lipopolysaccharide and live or dead gram-negative bacteria. Mobilization requires TLR4 and its CD14 coreceptor and Trif. When tested for antigen-presenting function, Mo-DCs are as active as classical DCs, including cross-presentation of proteins and live gram-negative bacteria on MHC I in vivo. Fully differentiated Mo-DCs acquire DC morphology and localize to T cell areas via L-selectin and CCR7. Thus the blood monocyte reservoir becomes the dominant presenting cell in response to select microbes, yielding DC-SIGN+ cells with! critical functions of DCs.
  • Endophilin Functions as a Membrane-Bending Molecule and Is Delivered to Endocytic Zones by Exocytosis
    - cell 143(3):430-441 (2010)
    Two models have been proposed for endophilin function in synaptic vesicle (SV) endocytosis. The scaffolding model proposes that endophilin's SH3 domain recruits essential endocytic proteins, whereas the membrane-bending model proposes that the BAR domain induces positively curved membranes. We show that mutations disrupting the scaffolding function do not impair endocytosis, whereas those disrupting membrane bending cause significant defects. By anchoring endophilin to the plasma membrane, we show that endophilin acts prior to scission to promote endocytosis. Despite acting at the plasma membrane, the majority of endophilin is targeted to the SV pool. Photoactivation studies suggest that the soluble pool of endophilin at synapses is provided by unbinding from the adjacent SV pool and that the unbinding rate is regulated by exocytosis. Thus, endophilin participates in an association-dissociation cycle with SVs that parallels the cycle of exo- and endocytosis. This endop! hilin cycle may provide a mechanism for functionally coupling endocytosis and exocytosis.
  • EphB-Mediated Degradation of the RhoA GEF Ephexin5 Relieves a Developmental Brake on Excitatory Synapse Formation
    - cell 143(3):442-455 (2010)
    The mechanisms that promote excitatory synapse formation and maturation have been extensively studied. However, the molecular events that limit excitatory synapse development so that synapses form at the right time and place and in the correct numbers are less well understood. We have identified a RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Ephexin5, which negatively regulates excitatory synapse development until EphrinB binding to the EphB receptor tyrosine kinase triggers Ephexin5 phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and degradation. The degradation of Ephexin5 promotes EphB-dependent excitatory synapse development and is mediated by Ube3A, a ubiquitin ligase that is mutated in the human cognitive disorder Angelman syndrome and duplicated in some forms of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). These findings suggest that aberrant EphB/Ephexin5 signaling during the development of synapses may contribute to the abnormal cognitive function that occurs in Angelman syndrome and, poss! ibly, ASDs.
  • Imaging Activity-Dependent Regulation of Neurexin-Neuroligin Interactions Using trans-Synaptic Enzymatic Biotinylation
    - cell 143(3):456-469 (2010)
    The functions of trans-synaptic adhesion molecules, such as neurexin and neuroligin, have been difficult to study due to the lack of methods to directly detect their binding in living neurons. Here, we use biotin labeling of intercellular contacts (BLINC), a method for imaging protein interactions based on interaction-dependent biotinylation of a peptide by E. coli biotin ligase, to visualize neurexin-neuroligin trans-interactions at synapses and study their role in synapse development. We found that both developmental maturation and acute synaptic activity stimulate the growth of neurexin-neuroligin adhesion complexes via a combination of neurexin and neuroligin surface insertion and internalization arrest. Both mechanisms require NMDA receptor activity. We also discovered that disruption of activity-induced neurexin-neuroligin complex growth prevents recruitment of the AMPA receptor, a hallmark of mature synapses. Our results provide support for neurexin-neuroligin f! unction in synapse maturation and introduce a general method to study intercellular protein-protein interactions.
  • Nucleosome-Interacting Proteins Regulated by DNA and Histone Methylation
    - cell 143(3):470-484 (2010)
    Modifications on histones or on DNA recruit proteins that regulate chromatin function. Here, we use nucleosomes methylated on DNA and on histone H3 in an affinity assay, in conjunction with a SILAC-based proteomic analysis, to identify "crosstalk" between these two distinct classes of modification. Our analysis reveals proteins whose binding to nucleosomes is regulated by methylation of CpGs, H3K4, H3K9, and H3K27 or a combination thereof. We identify the origin recognition complex (ORC), including LRWD1 as a subunit, to be a methylation-sensitive nucleosome interactor that is recruited cooperatively by DNA and histone methylation. Other interactors, such as the lysine demethylase Fbxl11/KDM2A, recognize nucleosomes methylated on histones, but their recruitment is disrupted by DNA methylation. These data establish SILAC nucleosome affinity purifications (SNAP) as a tool for studying the dynamics between different chromatin modifications and provide a modification b! inding "profile" for proteins regulated by DNA and histone methylation.
  • Retraction Notice to: Assembly of Endogenous oskar mRNA Particles for Motor-Dependent Transport in the Drosophila Oocyte
    - cell 143(3):485 (2010)
  • SnapShot: Neural Crest
    - cell 143(3):486-486.e1 (2010)

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