Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hot off the presses! Feb 04 Cell

The Feb 04 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 144(3):311, 313 (2011)
  • Select: Molecular Pathology of Alzheimer's Disease
    - cell 144(3):315, 317 (2011)
    β-amyloid accumulation is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease pathology, but how does it cause cognitive impairment? New findings described in this issue's Select examine how β-amyloid impacts signaling events at the synapse at early stages of disease progression. And at later stages, one study suggests that Alzheimer's patients exhibit a pronounced deficiency in their capacity to metabolize β-amyloid.
  • Cell Migration: GSK3β Steers the Cytoskeleton's Tip
    - cell 144(3):319-321 (2011)
    Directed cell migration polarizes the cytoskeleton, allowing the cell to move toward migratory cues. In this issue, Wu et al. (2011) demonstrate that the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) controls microtubule architecture and polarized movement of skin stem cells during wound healing in mammals by regulating the microtubule crosslinking protein ACF7.
  • A Versatile Sugar Transferase Makes the Cut
    - cell 144(3):321-323 (2011)
    The nutrient sensor O-GlcNAc transferase modifies proteins with the O-GlcNAc moiety. In this issue, (Capotosti et al., 2011) and (Davis et al., 2010) reveal that O-GlcNAc transferase not only glycosylates the cell-cycle regulator host cell factor 1 but activates it through proteolytic cleavage, providing a surprising link between metabolism and epigenetic regulation of the cell cycle.
  • Need Tension Relief Fast? Try Caveolae
    - cell 144(3):323-324 (2011)
    Caveolae are protein-driven membrane invaginations that regulate both the physical and chemical composition of the plasma membrane. Sinha et al. (2011) now show that caveolae are membrane reservoirs that are used to rapidly buffer against changes in membrane tension.
  • Getting Cells and Tissues into Shape
    - cell 144(3):325-326 (2011)
    Cells of all shapes and sizes are able to calculate the location of their middles in order to divide into two during mitosis. Minc et al. (2011) and Gibson et al. (2011) now show that simple mechanical models accurately predict cleavage-plane positioning, and that geometrical interactions between neighboring cells are sufficient to generate ordered patterns of mitosis in growing epithelia.
  • Functional and Mechanistic Diversity of Distal Transcription Enhancers
    - cell 144(3):327-339 (2011)
    Biological differences among metazoans and between cell types in a given organism arise in large part due to differences in gene expression patterns. Gene-distal enhancers are key contributors to these expression patterns, exhibiting both sequence diversity and cell type specificity. Studies of long-range interactions indicate that enhancers are often important determinants of nuclear organization, contributing to a general model for enhancer function that involves direct enhancer-promoter contact. However, mechanisms for enhancer function are emerging that do not fit solely within such a model, suggesting that enhancers as a class of DNA regulatory element may be functionally and mechanistically diverse.
  • Skin Stem Cells Orchestrate Directional Migration by Regulating Microtubule-ACF7 Connections through GSK3β
    - cell 144(3):341-352 (2011)
    Homeostasis and wound healing rely on stem cells (SCs) whose activity and directed migration are often governed by Wnt signaling. In dissecting how this pathway integrates with the necessary downstream cytoskeletal dynamics, we discovered that GSK3β, a kinase inhibited by Wnt signaling, directly phosphorylates ACF7, a > 500 kDa microtubule-actin crosslinking protein abundant in hair follicle stem cells (HF-SCs). We map ACF7's GSK3β sites to the microtubule-binding domain and show that phosphorylation uncouples ACF7 from microtubules. Phosphorylation-refractile ACF7 rescues overall microtubule architecture, but phosphorylation-constitutive mutants do not. Neither mutant rescues polarized movement, revealing that phospho-regulation must be dynamic. This circuitry is physiologically relevant and depends upon polarized GSK3β inhibition at the migrating front of SCs/progeny streaming from HFs during wound repair. Moreover, only ACF7 and not GSKβ-refractile-ACF7 restore ! polarized microtubule-growth and SC-migration to ACF7 null skin. Our findings provide insights into how this conserved spectraplakin integrates signaling, cytoskeletal dynamics, and polarized locomotion of somatic SCs.
  • The RNA Exosome Targets the AID Cytidine Deaminase to Both Strands of Transcribed Duplex DNA Substrates
    - cell 144(3):353-363 (2011)
    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates immunoglobulin (Ig) heavy-chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) and Ig variable region somatic hypermutation (SHM) in B lymphocytes by deaminating cytidines on template and nontemplate strands of transcribed DNA substrates. However, the mechanism of AID access to the template DNA strand, particularly when hybridized to a nascent RNA transcript, has been an enigma. We now implicate the RNA exosome, a cellular RNA-processing/degradation complex, in targeting AID to both DNA strands. In B lineage cells activated for CSR, the RNA exosome associates with AID, accumulates on IgH switch regions in an AID-dependent fashion, and is required for optimal CSR. Moreover, both the cellular RNA exosome complex and a recombinant RNA exosome core complex impart robust AID- and transcription-dependent DNA deamination of both strands of transcribed SHM substrates in vitro. Our findings reveal a role for noncoding RNA surveillan! ce machinery in generating antibody diversity.
  • Structural Basis of the 9-Fold Symmetry of Centrioles
    - cell 144(3):364-375 (2011)
    The centriole, and the related basal body, is an ancient organelle characterized by a universal 9-fold radial symmetry and is critical for generating cilia, flagella, and centrosomes. The mechanisms directing centriole formation are incompletely understood and represent a fundamental open question in biology. Here, we demonstrate that the centriolar protein SAS-6 forms rod-shaped homodimers that interact through their N-terminal domains to form oligomers. We establish that such oligomerization is essential for centriole formation in C. elegans and human cells. We further generate a structural model of the related protein Bld12p from C. reinhardtii, in which nine homodimers assemble into a ring from which nine coiled-coil rods radiate outward. Moreover, we demonstrate that recombinant Bld12p self-assembles into structures akin to the central hub of the cartwheel, which serves as a scaffold for centriole formation. Overall, our findings establish a structural basis for t! he universal 9-fold symmetry of centrioles.
  • O-GlcNAc Transferase Catalyzes Site-Specific Proteolysis of HCF-1
    - cell 144(3):376-388 (2011)
    The human epigenetic cell-cycle regulator HCF-1 undergoes an unusual proteolytic maturation process resulting in stably associated HCF-1N and HCF-1C subunits that regulate different aspects of the cell cycle. Proteolysis occurs at six centrally located HCF-1PRO-repeat sequences and is important for activation of HCF-1C-subunit functions in M phase progression. We show here that the HCF-1PRO repeat is recognized by O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT), which both O-GlcNAcylates the HCF-1N subunit and directly cleaves the HCF-1PRO repeat. Replacement of the HCF-1PRO repeats by a heterologous proteolytic cleavage signal promotes HCF-1 proteolysis but fails to activate HCF-1C-subunit M phase functions. These results reveal an unexpected role of OGT in HCF-1 proteolytic maturation and an unforeseen nexus between OGT-directed O-GlcNAcylation and proteolytic maturation in HCF-1 cell-cycle regulation. 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 (3440 K)
  • Osh Proteins Regulate Phosphoinositide Metabolism at ER-Plasma Membrane Contact Sites
    - cell 144(3):389-401 (2011)
    Sac1 phosphoinositide (PI) phosphatases are essential regulators of PI-signaling networks. Yeast Sac1, an integral endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein, controls PI4P levels at the ER, Golgi, and plasma membrane (PM). Whether Sac1 can act in trans and turn over PI4P at the Golgi and PM from the ER remains a paradox. We find that Sac1-mediated PI4P metabolism requires the oxysterol-binding homology (Osh) proteins. The PH domain-containing family member, Osh3, localizes to PM/ER membrane contact sites dependent upon PM PI4P levels. We reconstitute Osh protein-stimulated Sac1 PI phosphatase activity in vitro. We also show that the ER membrane VAP proteins, Scs2/Scs22, control PM PI4P levels and Sac1 activity in vitro. We propose that Osh3 functions at ER/PM contact sites as both a sensor of PM PI4P and an activator of the ER Sac1 phosphatase. Our findings further suggest that the conserved Osh proteins control PI metabolism at additional membrane contact sites.
  • Cells Respond to Mechanical Stress by Rapid Disassembly of Caveolae
    - cell 144(3):402-413 (2011)
    The functions of caveolae, the characteristic plasma membrane invaginations, remain debated. Their abundance in cells experiencing mechanical stress led us to investigate their role in membrane-mediated mechanical response. Acute mechanical stress induced by osmotic swelling or by uniaxial stretching results in a rapid disappearance of caveolae, in a reduced caveolin/Cavin1 interaction, and in an increase of free caveolins at the plasma membrane. Tether-pulling force measurements in cells and in plasma membrane spheres demonstrate that caveola flattening and disassembly is the primary actin- and ATP-independent cell response that buffers membrane tension surges during mechanical stress. Conversely, stress release leads to complete caveola reassembly in an actin- and ATP-dependent process. The absence of a functional caveola reservoir in myotubes from muscular dystrophic patients enhanced membrane fragility under mechanical stress. Our findings support a new role for ca! veolae as a physiological membrane reservoir that quickly accommodates sudden and acute mechanical stresses. 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 (360744 K)
  • Influence of Cell Geometry on Division-Plane Positioning
    - cell 144(3):414-426 (2011)
    The spatial organization of cells depends on their ability to sense their own shape and size. Here, we investigate how cell shape affects the positioning of the nucleus, spindle and subsequent cell division plane. To manipulate geometrical parameters in a systematic manner, we place individual sea urchin eggs into microfabricated chambers of defined geometry (e.g., triangles, rectangles, and ellipses). In each shape, the nucleus is positioned at the center of mass and is stretched by microtubules along an axis maintained through mitosis and predictive of the future division plane. We develop a simple computational model that posits that microtubules sense cell geometry by probing cellular space and orient the nucleus by exerting pulling forces that scale to microtubule length. This model quantitatively predicts division-axis orientation probability for a wide variety of cell shapes, even in multicellular contexts, and estimates scaling exponents for length-dependent mi! crotubule forces.
  • Control of the Mitotic Cleavage Plane by Local Epithelial Topology
    - cell 144(3):427-438 (2011)
    For nearly 150 years, it has been recognized that cell shape strongly influences the orientation of the mitotic cleavage plane (e.g., Hofmeister, 1863). However, we still understand little about the complex interplay between cell shape and cleavage-plane orientation in epithelia, where polygonal cell geometries emerge from multiple factors, including cell packing, cell growth, and cell division itself. Here, using mechanical simulations, we show that the polygonal shapes of individual cells can systematically bias the long-axis orientations of their adjacent mitotic neighbors. Strikingly, analyses of both animal epithelia and plant epidermis confirm a robust and nearly identical correlation between local cell topology and cleavage-plane orientation in vivo. Using simple mathematics, we show that this effect derives from fundamental packing constraints. Our results suggest that local epithelial topology is a key determinant of cleavage-plane orientation, and that cleava! ge-plane bias may be a widespread property of polygonal cell sheets in plants and animals.
  • Reference Maps of Human ES and iPS Cell Variation Enable High-Throughput Characterization of Pluripotent Cell Lines
    - cell 144(3):439-452 (2011)
    The developmental potential of human pluripotent stem cells suggests that they can produce disease-relevant cell types for biomedical research. However, substantial variation has been reported among pluripotent cell lines, which could affect their utility and clinical safety. Such cell-line-specific differences must be better understood before one can confidently use embryonic stem (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells in translational research. Toward this goal we have established genome-wide reference maps of DNA methylation and gene expression for 20 previously derived human ES lines and 12 human iPS cell lines, and we have measured the in vitro differentiation propensity of these cell lines. This resource enabled us to assess the epigenetic and transcriptional similarity of ES and iPS cells and to predict the differentiation efficiency of individual cell lines. The combination of assays yields a scorecard for quick and comprehensive characterization of pluri! potent cell lines.
  • SnapShot: Chromatin Remodeling: ISWI
    - cell 144(3):453-453.e1 (2011)

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