Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hot off the presses! Apr 29 Cell

The Apr 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 145(3):325, 327 (2011)
  • Vision
    - cell 145(3):329, 331 (2011)
    According to the World Health Organization, 45 million people are blind worldwide, including 1.4 million children. This Select highlights how recent advancements in stem cell technology and human genetics have accelerated the identification of molecular mechanisms underlying common eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and pediatric cataracts, while also pointing to new strategies for therapies.
  • Translational Control by the Eukaryotic Ribosome
    - cell 145(3):333-334 (2011)
    The ribosome plays a universally conserved role in catalyzing protein synthesis. Kondrashov et al. (2011) now provide evidence that the loss of function of ribosomal protein L38 in mice leads to a selective reduction in the translation of Hox mRNAs, thus suggesting that ribosomal proteins play a critical role during embryonic development.
  • An Antioxidant Link between Sickle Cell Disease and Severe Malaria
    - cell 145(3):335-336 (2011)
    Although a link between sickle cell disease and resistance to severe malaria is well established, the biochemical relationship between the two is unknown. Ferreira et al. (2011) show that carriers of the sickle cell mutation increase expression of the heme oxygenase-1 enzyme, which produces antioxidant molecules that may prevent severe disease symptoms.
  • Does Metabolite Deficiency Mark Oncogenic Cell Cycles?
    - cell 145(3):337-338 (2011)
    Genome instability occurs early in the development of most cancers. Bester et al. now provide evidence that oncogenic signals trigger cell division without coordinate nucleotide synthesis, engendering aberrant DNA replication and damage that could promote carcinogenesis. A mismatch between proliferation and metabolite production may characterize oncogenic cell cycles.
  • Protease Power Strokes Force Proteins to Unfold
    - cell 145(3):339-340 (2011)
    ATP-dependent proteases degrade proteins in the cytosol of cells. Two recent articles, by Aubin-Tam et al. (2011) and Maillard et al. (2011 [this issue]), use single-molecule optical tweezers to show directly that these molecular machines use the energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to mechanically unfold and translocate its substrates into the proteolytic chamber.
  • Macrophages in the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis
    - cell 145(3):341-355 (2011)
    In atherosclerosis, the accumulation of apolipoprotein B-lipoproteins in the matrix beneath the endothelial cell layer of blood vessels leads to the recruitment of monocytes, the cells of the immune system that give rise to macrophages and dendritic cells. Macrophages derived from these recruited monocytes participate in a maladaptive, nonresolving inflammatory response that expands the subendothelial layer due to the accumulation of cells, lipid, and matrix. Some lesions subsequently form a necrotic core, triggering acute thrombotic vascular disease, including myocardial infarction, stroke, and sudden cardiac death. This Review discusses the central roles of macrophages in each of these stages of disease pathogenesis.
  • NEMO/NLK Phosphorylates PERIOD to Initiate a Time-Delay Phosphorylation Circuit that Sets Circadian Clock Speed
    - cell 145(3):357-370 (2011)
    The speed of circadian clocks in animals is tightly linked to complex phosphorylation programs that drive daily cycles in the levels of PERIOD (PER) proteins. Using Drosophila, we identify a time-delay circuit based on hierarchical phosphorylation that controls the daily downswing in PER abundance. Phosphorylation by the NEMO/NLK kinase at the "per-short" domain on PER stimulates phosphorylation by DOUBLETIME (DBT/CK1δ/) at several nearby sites. This multisite phosphorylation operates in a spatially oriented and graded manner to delay progressive phosphorylation by DBT at other more distal sites on PER, including those required for recognition by the F box protein SLIMB/β-TrCP and proteasomal degradation. Highly phosphorylated PER has a more open structure, suggesting that progressive increases in global phosphorylation contribute to the timing mechanism by slowly increasing PER susceptibility to degradation. Our findings identify NEMO as a clock kinase and demon! strate that long-range interactions between functionally distinct phospho-clusters collaborate to set clock speed.
  • A Conserved F Box Regulatory Complex Controls Proteasome Activity in Drosophila
    - cell 145(3):371-382 (2011)
    The ubiquitin-proteasome system catalyzes the degradation of intracellular proteins. Although ubiquitination of proteins determines their stabilities, there is growing evidence that proteasome function is also regulated. We report the functional characterization of a conserved proteasomal regulatory complex. We identified DmPI31 as a binding partner of the F box protein Nutcracker, a component of an SCF ubiquitin ligase (E3) required for caspase activation during sperm differentiation in Drosophila. DmPI31 binds Nutcracker via a conserved mechanism that is also used by mammalian FBXO7 and PI31. Nutcracker promotes DmPI31 stability, which is necessary for caspase activation, proteasome function, and sperm differentiation. DmPI31 can activate 26S proteasomes in vitro, and increasing DmPI31 levels suppresses defects caused by diminished proteasome activity in vivo. Furthermore, loss of DmPI31 function causes lethality, cell-cycle abnormalities, and defects in protein degr! adation, demonstrating that DmPI31 is physiologically required for normal proteasome activity.
  • Ribosome-Mediated Specificity in Hox mRNA Translation and Vertebrate Tissue Patterning
    - cell 145(3):383-397 (2011)
    Historically, the ribosome has been viewed as a complex ribozyme with constitutive rather than regulatory capacity in mRNA translation. Here we identify mutations of the Ribosomal Protein L38 (Rpl38) gene in mice exhibiting surprising tissue-specific patterning defects, including pronounced homeotic transformations of the axial skeleton. In Rpl38 mutant embryos, global protein synthesis is unchanged; however the translation of a select subset of Homeobox mRNAs is perturbed. Our data reveal that RPL38 facilitates 80S complex formation on these mRNAs as a regulatory component of the ribosome to confer transcript-specific translational control. We further show that Rpl38 expression is markedly enriched in regions of the embryo where loss-of-function phenotypes occur. Unexpectedly, a ribosomal protein (RP) expression screen reveals dynamic regulation of individual RPs within the vertebrate embryo. Collectively, these findings suggest that RP activity may be highly regulate! d to impart a new layer of specificity in the control of gene expression and mammalian development. 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 (7839 K)
  • Sickle Hemoglobin Confers Tolerance to Plasmodium Infection
    - cell 145(3):398-409 (2011)
    Sickle human hemoglobin (Hb) confers a survival advantage to individuals living in endemic areas of malaria, the disease caused by Plasmodium infection. As demonstrated hereby, mice expressing sickle Hb do not succumb to experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). This protective effect is exerted irrespectively of parasite load, revealing that sickle Hb confers host tolerance to Plasmodium infection. Sickle Hb induces the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in hematopoietic cells, via a mechanism involving the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Carbon monoxide (CO), a byproduct of heme catabolism by HO-1, prevents further accumulation of circulating free heme after Plasmodium infection, suppressing the pathogenesis of ECM. Moreover, sickle Hb inhibits activation and/or expansion of pathogenic CD8+ T cells recognizing antigens expressed by Plasmodium, an immunoregulatory effect that does not involve Nrf2 and/or HO-1. Our findings provide insight into molecu! lar mechanisms via which sickle Hb confers host tolerance to severe forms of malaria.
  • Induced Ectopic Kinetochore Assembly Bypasses the Requirement for CENP-A Nucleosomes
    - cell 145(3):410-422 (2011)
    Accurate chromosome segregation requires assembly of the multiprotein kinetochore complex at centromeres. Although prior work identified the centromeric histone H3-variant CENP-A as the important upstream factor necessary for centromere specification, in human cells CENP-A is not sufficient for kinetochore assembly. Here, we demonstrate that two constitutive DNA-binding kinetochore components, CENP-C and CENP-T, function to direct kinetochore formation. Replacing the DNA-binding regions of CENP-C and CENP-T with alternate chromosome-targeting domains recruits these proteins to ectopic loci, resulting in CENP-A-independent kinetochore assembly. These ectopic kinetochore-like foci are functional based on the stoichiometric assembly of multiple kinetochore components, including the microtubule-binding KMN network, the presence of microtubule attachments, the microtubule-sensitive recruitment of the spindle checkpoint protein Mad2, and the segregation behavior of foci-cont! aining chromosomes. We additionally find that CENP-T phosphorylation regulates the mitotic assembly of both endogenous and ectopic kinetochores. Thus, CENP-C and CENP-T form a critical regulated platform for vertebrate kinetochore assembly.
  • Hydroxylation of 5-Methylcytosine by TET1 Promotes Active DNA Demethylation in the Adult Brain
    - cell 145(3):423-434 (2011)
    Cytosine methylation is the major covalent modification of mammalian genomic DNA and plays important roles in transcriptional regulation. The molecular mechanism underlying the enzymatic removal of this epigenetic mark, however, remains elusive. Here, we show that 5-methylcytosine (5mC) hydroxylase TET1, by converting 5mCs to 5-hydroxymethylcytosines (5hmCs), promotes DNA demethylation in mammalian cells through a process that requires the base excision repair pathway. Though expression of the 12 known human DNA glycosylases individually did not enhance removal of 5hmCs in mammalian cells, demethylation of both exogenously introduced and endogenous 5hmCs is promoted by the AID (activation-induced deaminase)/APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme complex) family of cytidine deaminases. Furthermore, Tet1 and Apobec1 are involved in neuronal activity-induced, region-specific, active DNA demethylation and subsequent gene expression in the dentate gyrus of the adult m! ouse brain in vivo. Our study suggests a TET1-induced oxidation-deamination mechanism for active DNA demethylation in mammals.
  • Nucleotide Deficiency Promotes Genomic Instability in Early Stages of Cancer Development
    - cell 145(3):435-446 (2011)
    Chromosomal instability in early cancer stages is caused by stress on DNA replication. The molecular basis for replication perturbation in this context is currently unknown. We studied the replication dynamics in cells in which a regulator of S phase entry and cell proliferation, the Rb-E2F pathway, is aberrantly activated. Aberrant activation of this pathway by HPV-16 E6/E7 or cyclin E oncogenes significantly decreased the cellular nucleotide levels in the newly transformed cells. Exogenously supplied nucleosides rescued the replication stress and DNA damage and dramatically decreased oncogene-induced transformation. Increased transcription of nucleotide biosynthesis genes, mediated by expressing the transcription factor c-myc, increased the nucleotide pool and also rescued the replication-induced DNA damage. Our results suggest a model for early oncogenesis in which uncoordinated activation of factors regulating cell proliferation leads to insufficient nucleotides th! at fail to support normal replication and genome stability.
  • Live-Cell Chromosome Dynamics and Outcome of X Chromosome Pairing Events during ES Cell Differentiation
    - cell 145(3):447-458 (2011)
    Random X inactivation represents a paradigm for monoallelic gene regulation during early ES cell differentiation. In mice, the choice of X chromosome to inactivate in XX cells is ensured by monoallelic regulation of Xist RNA via its antisense transcription unit Tsix/Xite. Homologous pairing events have been proposed to underlie asymmetric Tsix expression, but direct evidence has been lacking owing to their dynamic and transient nature. Here we investigate the live-cell dynamics and outcome of Tsix pairing in differentiating mouse ES cells. We find an overall increase in genome dynamics including the Xics during early differentiation. During pairing, however, Xic loci show markedly reduced movements. Upon separation, Tsix expression becomes transiently monoallelic, providing a window of opportunity for monoallelic Xist upregulation. Our findings reveal the spatiotemporal choreography of the X chromosomes during early differentiation and indicate a direct role for pairin! g in facilitating symmetry-breaking and monoallelic regulation of Xist during random X inactivation.
  • ClpX(P) Generates Mechanical Force to Unfold and Translocate Its Protein Substrates
    - cell 145(3):459-469 (2011)
    AAA+ unfoldases denature and translocate polypeptides into associated peptidases. We report direct observations of mechanical, force-induced protein unfolding by the ClpX unfoldase from E. coli, alone, and in complex with the ClpP peptidase. ClpX hydrolyzes ATP to generate mechanical force and translocate polypeptides through its central pore. Threading is interrupted by pauses that are found to be off the main translocation pathway. ClpX's translocation velocity is force dependent, reaching a maximum of 80 aa/s near-zero force and vanishing at around 20 pN. ClpX takes 1, 2, or 3 nm steps, suggesting a fundamental step-size of 1 nm and a certain degree of intersubunit coordination. When ClpX encounters a folded protein, it either overcomes this mechanical barrier or slips on the polypeptide before making another unfolding attempt. Binding of ClpP decreases the slip probability and enhances the unfolding efficiency of ClpX. Under the action of ClpXP, GFP unravels cooper! atively via a transient intermediate.
  • A High-Resolution C. elegans Essential Gene Network Based on Phenotypic Profiling of a Complex Tissue
    - cell 145(3):470-482 (2011)
    High-content screening for gene profiling has generally been limited to single cells. Here, we explore an alternative approach—profiling gene function by analyzing effects of gene knockdowns on the architecture of a complex tissue in a multicellular organism. We profile 554 essential C. elegans genes by imaging gonad architecture and scoring 94 phenotypic features. To generate a reference for evaluating methods for network construction, genes were manually partitioned into 102 phenotypic classes, predicting functions for uncharacterized genes across diverse cellular processes. Using this classification as a benchmark, we developed a robust computational method for constructing gene networks from high-content profiles based on a network context-dependent measure that ranks the significance of links between genes. Our analysis reveals that multi-parametric profiling in a complex tissue yields functional maps with a resolution similar to genetic interaction-based profil! ing in unicellular eukaryotes—pinpointing subunits of macromolecular complexes and components functioning in common cellular processes. 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 (12684 K)
  • Uncovering a Tumor Suppressor for Triple-Negative Breast Cancers
    - cell 145(3):483 (2011)
  • SnapShot: The Hippo Signaling Pathway
    - cell 145(3):484-484.e1 (2011)

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