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Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Boris Simonetti, Peter J Cullen
Endosomes constitute major sorting compartments within the cell. There, a myriad of transmembrane proteins (cargoes) are delivered to the lysosome for degradation or retrieved from this fate and recycled through tubulo-vesicular transport carriers to different cellular destinations. Retrieval and recycling are orchestrated by multi-protein assemblies that include retromer and retriever, sorting nexins, and the Arp2/3 activating WASH complex. Fine-tuned control of actin polymerization on endosomes is fundamental for the retrieval and recycling of cargoes...
September 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Esha Madan, Rajan Gogna, Eduardo Moreno
Cell competition is a biological mechanism conserved from Drosophila to vertebrates wherein neighboring cells compare their relative fitness status resulting in the elimination of less fit cells by those with higher fitness. This is an active process that is essential for embryonic and organ development, tissue homeostasis, delay of ageing and in various disease models such as cancer. Recent research is beginning to unravel the various mechanisms of cell competition and the sensing of fitness status. Fitness fingerprints, death receptors, mechanical cell competition and a set of unknown genetic or signaling pathways are emerging as important pathways governing the mechanisms for cell to compare their relative fitness levels...
September 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Jonathan D Humphries, Megan R Chastney, Janet A Askari, Martin J Humphries
Integrin adhesion complexes (IACs) have evolved over millions of years to integrate metazoan cells physically with their microenvironment. It is presumed that the simultaneous interaction of thousands of integrin receptors to binding sites in anisotropic extracellular matrix (ECM) networks enables cells to assemble a topological description of the chemical and mechanical properties of their surroundings. This information is then converted into intracellular signals that influence cell positioning, differentiation and growth, but may also influence other fundamental processes, such as protein synthesis and energy regulation...
September 5, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Yosuke Senju, Pekka Lappalainen
The actin cytoskeleton is indispensable for several cellular processes, including migration, morphogenesis, polarized growth, endocytosis, and phagocytosis. The organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in these processes are regulated by Rho family small GTPases and kinase-phosphatase pathways. Moreover, membrane phospholipids, especially the phosphatidylinositol phosphates have emerged as important regulators of actin dynamics. From these, PI(4,5)P2 is the most abundant at the plasma membrane, and directly regulates the activities and subcellular localizations of numerous actin-binding proteins...
September 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Matthias Plessner, Robert Grosse
While it is long known that actin is part of the nuclear proteome, its properties and functions as regulated, functional and dynamically assembled actin filaments are only recently emerging. Thus, newly uncovered roles for intranuclear actin filaments are opening new perspectives on how the nucleus and its genomic content may be organized in particular with regard to a given stage of the cell cycle. Here, we summarize recent studies on actin filament polymerization and turnover within the nuclear compartment of mammalian cells...
September 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Westley Heydeck, Lorraine Fievet, Erica E Davis, Nicholas Katsanis
Cilia are microtubule-based appendages present on almost all vertebrate cell types where they mediate a myriad of cellular processes critical for development and homeostasis. In humans, impaired ciliary function is associated with an ever-expanding repertoire of phenotypically-overlapping yet highly variable genetic disorders, the ciliopathies. Extensive work to elucidate the structure, function, and composition of the cilium is offering hints that the `static' representation of the cilium is a gross oversimplification of a highly dynamic organelle whose functions are choreographed dynamically across cell types, developmental, and homeostatic contexts...
August 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Nicholas Stroustrup
Many dietary, pharmaceutical, and genetic interventions have been found to increase the lifespan of laboratory animals. Several are now being explored for clinical application. To understand the physiologic action and therapeutic potential of interventions in aging, researchers must build quantitative models. Do interventions delay the onset of aging? Slow it down? Merely ameliorate some of its symptoms? If interventions slow some aging mechanisms but accelerate others, can we detect or predict the systemic consequences? Statistical and analytic models provide a crucial framework in which to answer these questions and clarify the systems-level effect of molecular interventions in aging...
August 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Tatiana Merle, Emmanuel Farge
Embryonic development is made of complex tissue shape changes and cell differentiation tissue patterning. Both types of morphogenetic processes, respectively biomechanical and biochemical in nature, were historically long considered as disconnected. Evidences of the biochemical patterning control of morphogenesis accumulated during the last 3 decades. Recently, new data revealed reversal mechanotransductive feedback demonstrating the strong coupling between embryonic biomechanical and biochemical patterning...
August 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Martina Pesaresi, Sergi A Bonilla-Pons, Maria Pia Cosma
The past few years have witnessed an exponential increase of interest in the reprogramming process. This has been motivated by the enthusiasm of unravelling key aspects not only of cell identity and dedifferentiation, but also of the endogenous regenerative capacities of mammalian organs. Here, we present the most recent advances in the field of reprogramming, stressing how they are re-defining the rules of cell fate and plasticity in vivo. Specifically, we focus on the emerging role of the tissue microenvironment, with particular emphasis on tissue damage, inflammation and senescence that can facilitate in vivo reprogramming and regeneration through cell-extrinsic mechanisms...
July 30, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Nicholas Heitman, Nivedita Saxena, Michael Rendl
Adult tissue-specific stem cells are essential for homeostatic tissue maintenance and key to regeneration during injury repair or disease. Many critical stem cell functions rely on the presence of well-timed cues from the microenvironment or niche, which includes a diverse range of components, including neuronal, circulating and extracellular matrix inputs as well as an array of neighboring niche cells directly interacting with the stem cells. However, studies of stem cells and their niche have been challenging due to the complexity of adult stem cell functions, their intrinsic controls and the multiple regulatory niche components...
July 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Tatiana Sandoval-Guzmán, Joshua D Currie
The process of building an organ, appendage, or organism requires the precise coordination of cells in space and time. Regeneration of those same tissues adds an additional element of complexity, emerging from the chaos of disease or injury to build a mass of progenitors from mature tissue. Translating insights from natural examples of tissue regeneration into engineered regenerative therapies requires a deep understanding of the journey of a cell directly following injury to its contribution to functional, scaled replacement tissue...
July 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Yara E Sánchez-Corrales, Katja Röper
One of the most fascinating aspects of development is the complexity and diversity of tissues and organs that are formed from simple primordia, involving complex coordination between large groups of cells. Lack of coordination leads to developmental defects and failure in organ formation. The simple primordia are often polarised epithelial sheets, with cells connected to neighbours apically via Cadherin-based cell-cell junctions that intracellularly link to the cytoskeleton. Coordination of cells in epithelia during morphogenesis occurs in part at these junctions...
July 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Deborah J Henderson, David A Long, Charlotte H Dean
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls a variety of morphological events across many species. During embryonic development, the PCP pathway regulates coordinated behaviour of groups of cells to direct morphogenetic processes such as convergent extension and collective cell migration. In this review we discuss the increasingly prominent role of the PCP pathway in organogenesis, focusing on the lungs, kidneys and heart. We also highlight emerging evidence that PCP gene mutations are associated with adult diseases...
July 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Rita Aires, André Dias, Moisés Mallo
The large display of body shapes and sizes observed among vertebrates ultimately represent variations of a common basic body plan. This likely results from the use of homologous developmental schemes, just differentially tinkered both in amplitude and timing by natural selection. In this review, we will revisit, discuss and combine old ideas with new concepts to update our view on how the vertebrate body is built. Recent advances, particularly at the molecular level, will guide our deconstruction of the individual developmental modules that sequentially produce head, neck, trunk and tail structures, and the transitions between them...
July 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Anna Czarkwiani, Maximina H Yun
Cellular senescence is a ubiquitous stress response that restricts the proliferative capacity of cells. During ageing, senescent cells accumulate in various tissues leading to a number of age-related pathologies and physiological decline. Previously thought to be a process restricted to adult organisms, cellular senescence has been recently demonstrated to occur during embryonic development of animals ranging from fish to mammals. Together, these studies suggest that developmentally programmed senescence is a transient but intrinsic biological process that contributes to the remodelling of developing structures by promoting immune-mediated cell clearance of particular cell populations or modifying the tissue microenvironment...
July 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Ozren Stojanović, Silas Kieser, Mirko Trajkovski
Adipose tissues play an essential role in regulating the metabolic homeostasis and can be found in almost all parts of the body. Excessive adiposity leads to obesity and can contribute to metabolic and other disorders. Adipocytes show remarkable plasticity in their function, which can be pushed toward energy storage, or energy expenditure-a `browning' of fat. Browning is controlled by the cellular milieu of the adipose tissue, with sympathetic innervation and by immune responses as key integrators of the signals that promote browning...
July 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Gabriella Clarke, Peter Harley, Ella-Louise Hubber, Teodora Manea, Luigi Manuelli, Emily Read, Fiona M Watt
Regenerative medicine is a diverse and rapidly evolving field, employing core expertise from biologists, engineers, and clinicians. Recently the field has made significant progress towards regenerating or replacing tissues lost to age, disease or injury. Current strategies include transplantation of adult or pluripotent stem cells to replace tissue or support tissue healing. Promising approaches for the future of regenerative medicine include stimulating endogenous stem cells for in situ repair, transplantation of organoids to repair minor tissue injury, and the use of interspecies chimerism to produce functional metabolic organs for transplantation...
July 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Alessio Paolini, Salim Abdelilah-Seyfried
Over a lifetime, rhythmic contractions of the heart provide a continuous flow of blood throughout the body. An essential morphogenetic process during cardiac development which ensures unidirectional blood flow is the formation of cardiac valves. These structures are largely composed of extracellular matrix and of endocardial cells, a specialized population of endothelial cells that line the interior of the heart and that are subjected to changing hemodynamic forces. Recent studies have significantly expanded our understanding of this morphogenetic process...
July 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Xosé R Bustelo, Piero Crespo, Isabel Fernández-Pisonero, Sonia Rodríguez-Fdez
Deregulated RAS signaling is associated with increasing numbers of congenital diseases usually referred to as RASopathies. The spectrum of genes and mutant alleles causing these diseases has been significantly expanded in recent years. This progress has triggered new challenges, including the origin and subsequent selection of the mutations driving these diseases, the specific pathobiological programs triggered by those mutations, the type of correlations that exist between the genotype and the clinical features of patients, and the ancillary genetic factors that influence the severity of the disease in patients...
July 11, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
Michael Heide, Wieland B Huttner, Felipe Mora-Bermúdez
Since their recent development, organoids that emulate human brain tissue have allowed in vitro neural development studies to go beyond the limits of monolayer culture systems, such as neural rosettes. We present here a review of organoid studies that focuses on cortical wall development, starting with a technical comparison between pre-patterning and self-patterning brain organoid protocols. We then follow neocortex development in space and time and list those aspects where organoids have succeeded in emulating in vivo development, as well as those aspects that continue to be pending tasks...
July 10, 2018: Current Opinion in Cell Biology
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