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Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Emily M Hatch
The nuclear envelope (NE), which is a critical barrier between the DNA and the cytosol, is capable of extensive dynamic membrane remodeling events in interphase. One of these events, interphase NE rupture and repair, can occur in both normal and disease states and results in the loss of nucleus compartmentalization. NE rupture is not lethal, but new research indicates that it could have broad impacts on genome stability and activate innate immune responses. These observations suggest a new model for how changes in NE structure could be pathogenic in cancer, laminopathies, and autoinflammatory syndromes, and redefine the functions of nucleus compartmentalization...
February 16, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Minerva Bosch-Fortea, Fernando Martín-Belmonte
Mechanical signals from the extracellular space are paramount to coordinate tissue morphogenesis and homeostasis. Although there is a wide variety of cellular mechanisms involved in transducing extracellular forces, recent literature emphasizes the central role of two main adhesion complexes in epithelial mechanosensitive processes: focal adhesions and adherens junctions. These biomechanical sensors can decode physical signals such as matrix stiffness or intercellular tension into a wide range of coordinated cellular responses, which can impact cell differentiation, migration, and proliferation...
February 14, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Francisco J Calero-Cuenca, Cátia S Janota, Edgar R Gomes
The position of the nucleus within cells is a key event during cell migration. The movement and positioning of the nucleus strongly impacts cell migration. Notably, the last two years largely contributed to emphasise the dynamicity of the nucleus-cytoskeleton interactions that occur during cell migration. Nuclei are under continuous tension from opposing intracellular forces and its tether to the cytoskeleton can be regulated at different levels. Interestingly, it was showed how nuclear positioning is highly related to cell function...
February 14, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Lisa E Kursel, Harmit S Malik
During female meiosis, only one of four meiotic products is retained in the egg. It was previously proposed that chromosomes might compete for inclusion in the egg via their centromere 'strength'. Recent findings have revealed the primary requirements for such 'centromere drive'. First, CDC42 signaling from the oocyte cortex renders the meiotic I spindle asymmetric. Second, 'stronger' centromeres preferentially detach from microtubules in cortical proximity, making them more likely to orient away from the cortex, and be included in the egg...
February 14, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Cyril Addi, Jian Bai, Arnaud Echard
Cytokinesis is the process by which a mother cell is physically cleaved into two daughter cells. In animal cells, cytokinesis begins with the contraction of a plasma membrane-associated actomyosin ring that is responsible for the ingression of a cleavage furrow. However, the post-furrowing steps of cytokinesis are less understood. Here, we highlight key recent findings that reveal a profound remodeling of several classes of cytoskeletal elements and cytoplasmic filaments (septins, microtubules, actin and ESCRT) in the late steps of cytokinesis...
February 10, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Carmen Morales, Ana Losada
Replicated chromatids are held together from the time they emerge from the replication fork until their separation in anaphase. This process, known as cohesion, promotes faithful DNA repair by homologous recombination in interphase and ensures accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis. Identification of cohesin thirty years ago solved a long-standing question about the nature of the linkage keeping together the sister chromatids. Cohesin is an evolutionarily conserved complex composed of a heterodimer of the Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) family of ATPases, Smc1 and Smc3, the kleisin subunit Rad21 and a Huntingtin/EF3/PP2A/Tor1 (HEAT) repeat domain-containing subunit named SA/STAG...
February 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Daniel J Cohen, W James Nelson
Cell-cell junctions, acting as 'secret handshakes', mediate cell-cell interactions and make multicellularity possible. Work over the previous century illuminated key players comprising these junctions including the cadherin superfamily, nectins, CAMs, connexins, notch/delta, lectins, and eph/Ephrins. Recent work has focused on elucidating how interactions between these complex and often contradictory cues can ultimately give rise to large-scale organization in tissues. This effort, in turn, has enabled bioengineering advances such as cell-mimetic interfaces that allow us to better probe junction biology and to develop new biomaterials...
February 2, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Azadeh Paksa, Jayaraj Rajagopal
Cellular plasticity is now recognized as a fundamental feature of tissue biology. The steady-state differentiation of stem and progenitor cells into mature cells is, in itself, the index form of cellular plasticity in adult organisms. Following injury, when it is critical to quickly regenerate and restore tissue integrity and function, other types of cellular plasticity may be crucial for organismal survival. In these contexts, alterations in the epigenetic landscape of tissues are likely to occur in order to allow normally restricted cell fate transitions...
February 2, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Priyanka R Dharampuriya, Giorgia Scapin, Colline Wong, K John Wagner, Jennifer L Cillis, Dhvanit I Shah
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The hierarchical nature of the hematopoietic system provides an ideal model system to illustrate the features of lineage tracing. We have outlined the utility of lineage tracing methods in establishing the origin and development of hematopoietic cells. RECENT FINDINGS: Methods such as CRISPR/Cas9, Polylox barcoding, and single-cell RNA-sequencing have improved our understanding of hematopoiesis. SUMMARY: This review chronicles the fate of the hematopoietic cells emerging from the mesoderm that subsequently develops into the adult blood lineages...
February 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Haiqing Fu, Adrian Baris, Mirit I Aladjem
DNA replication proceeds along spatially and temporally coordinated patterns within the nucleus, thus protecting the genome during the synthesis of new genetic material. While we have been able to visualize replication patterns on DNA fibers for 50 years, recent developments and discoveries have provided a greater insight into how DNA replication is controlled. In this review, we highlight many of these discoveries. Of great interest are the physiological role of the replication timing program, cis and trans-acting factors that modulate replication timing and the effects of chromatin structure on the replication timing program...
January 31, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Tolga Çağatay, Yuh Min Chook
Malfunction of nuclear-cytoplasmic transport contributes to many diseases including cancer. Defective nuclear transport leads to changes in both the physiological levels and temporal-spatial location of tumor suppressors, proto-oncogenes and other macromolecules that in turn affect the tumorigenesis process and drug sensitivity of cancer cells. In addition to their nuclear transport functions in interphase, Karyopherin nuclear transport receptors also have important roles in mitosis and chromosomal integrity...
January 29, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Brian Burke
Meiosis is a key processes of sexual reproduction in eukaryotes. By combining two cell division cycles with a single round of DNA replication meiosis provides a mechanism to generate haploid gametes. Coincidentally, processes involved in ensuring appropriate segregation of homologous chromosomes also result in genetic recombination and shuffling of genes between each generation. During the first meiotic prophase, rapid telomere-led chromosome movements facilitate alignment and pairing of homologous chromosomes...
January 29, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Nils C Gauthier, Pere Roca-Cusachs
Integrin-mediated adhesions between cells and the extracellular matrix are fundamental for cell function, and one of their main roles is to sense and respond to mechanical force. Here we discuss the different mechanisms that can confer mechanosensitivity to adhesions. We first address molecular mechanisms mediated by force-induced changes in molecular properties, such as binding dynamics or protein conformation. Then, we discuss recent evidence on how these mechanisms are integrated with cellular and extracellular parameters such as myosin and actin activity, membrane tension, and ECM properties, endowing cells with an exquisite ability to both detect and respond to physical and mechanical cues from their environment...
January 26, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Mahya Hemmat, Brian T Castle, David J Odde
Microtubule self-assembly dynamics serve to facilitate many vital cellular functions, such as chromosome segregation during mitosis and synaptic plasticity. However, the detailed atomistic basis of assembly dynamics has remained an unresolved puzzle. A key challenge is connecting together the vast range of relevant length-time scales, events happening at time scales ranging from nanoseconds, such as tubulin molecular interactions (Å-nm), to minutes-hours, such as the cellular response to microtubule dynamics during mitotic progression (μm)...
January 16, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Vivian Fu, Steven W Plouffe, Kun-Liang Guan
The Hippo pathway is a universal governor of organ size, tissue homeostasis, and regeneration. A growing body of work has advanced our understanding of Hippo pathway regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and spatial patterning not only in organ development but also upon injury-induced regeneration. The pathway's central role in stem cell biology thus implicates its potential for therapeutic manipulation in mammalian organ regeneration. In this review, we survey recent literature linking the Hippo pathway to the development, homeostasis, and regeneration of various organs, including Hippo-independent roles for YAP, defined here as YAP functions that are not regulated by the Hippo pathway kinases LATS1/2...
January 6, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Hans-Willem Snoeck
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) preferentially use glycolysis rather than mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for energy production. While glycolysis in HSC is typically viewed as response to a hypoxic bone marrow environment that protects HSC from damaging reactive oxygen species, other interpretations are possible. Furthermore, recent evidence directly supports a critical role for mitochondria in the maintenance and function of HSCs that goes beyond ATP production. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of metabolism and the role of mitochondria in the biology of HSCs...
January 5, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Larry Gerace, Olga Tapia
The nuclear lamina (NL) is a protein scaffold lining the nuclear envelope that consists of nuclear lamins and associated transmembrane proteins. It helps to organize the nuclear envelope, chromosomes, and the cytoplasmic cytoskeleton. The NL also has an important role in regulation of signaling, as highlighted by the wide range of human diseases caused by mutations in the genes for NL proteins with associated signaling defects. This review will consider diverse mechanisms for signaling regulation by the NL that have been uncovered recently, including interaction with signaling effectors, modulation of actin assembly and compositional alteration of the NL...
January 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Zhongwen Chen, Dongmyung Oh, Alok Kumar Dubey, Mingxi Yao, Beverly Yang, Jay T Groves, Michael Sheetz
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), such as the EGF receptor family, and adhesion molecules, such as integrins, have historically been viewed to have distinctly separable roles in the cell. In this classical view, integrins mediate mechanical interactions between the cell and its surrounding extracellular matrix while RTKs handle signaling to modulate cellular behavior. Although crosstalk between these receptor pathways has been known to exist for a long time, this has generally been attributed to effects significantly downstream from the receptors themselves...
December 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Ashley Ceinwen Humphries, Marek Mlodzik
Planar cell polarity (PCP) provides positional information to direct tissue patterning and morphogenesis. While much of the molecular detail of the pathway has been delineated in Drosophila, ensuing studies have shown considerable conservation of both the components and mechanisms of signaling in vertebrates. A recognized feature of PCP is the asymmetric localization of components that translates a global directional cue into a polarized downstream output. Here we discuss recent advances in the PCP field, from the organization of these asymmetric complexes to their upstream directional regulation by Wnt ligands...
December 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Sarah J Bray, Maria Gomez-Lamarca
The discovery that Notch activation involves a proteolytic cleavage to release the intracellular domain (NICD) revolutionized the field of Notch signaling. It resulted in a simple model whereby the cleaved NICD enters the nucleus and activates expression of genes by forming a DNA bound complex with CSL. However, is it really this simple? The realization that the outcome from activating Notch varies greatly from cell to cell raised many questions about what governs the target gene selections in different cell types...
December 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
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