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Trends in Cell Biology

Henri-François Renard, Ludger Johannes, Pierre Morsomme
Membrane fission is essential to life. It is required for many fundamental cellular processes, as diverse as cyto- and karyokinesis, organelle division, membrane repair, and membrane trafficking and endocytosis. While membrane fission was originally seen as resulting from the action of mechanoenzymes such as dynamin, it is clear that the reality is more complex. In this review, we propose an updated overview of fission mechanisms, and try to extract essential requirements for each. We also present examples of cellular processes that involve these fission mechanisms...
January 4, 2018: Trends in Cell Biology
Annegret Holm, Tina Heumann, Hellmut G Augustin
Microvascular mural cells (MMCs), comprising pericytes and microvascular smooth muscle cells, are of increasing interest in multiple fields of research for their plasticity and their organotypic functional roles in microvascular homeostasis and disease. They have been described as a heterogeneous cell population constituting a continuum of cell phenotypes along the microvascular bed with vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) at one end of the spectrum and pericytes at the other end. MMC organotypic subpopulations have been suggested to function in a tissue-context-dependent manner, thereby contributing to organ-specific functional roles...
January 4, 2018: Trends in Cell Biology
Anne K Lagendijk, Alpha S Yap, Benjamin M Hogan
Vascular barrier function is controlled at cell-cell junctions in response to blood flow, but how vascular endothelial cells sense and respond to flow remains to be understood. A recent study describes a flow-sensing pathway involving non-canonical Notch and cadherin signaling that sheds new light on mechanisms controlling the endothelial barrier.
January 2, 2018: Trends in Cell Biology
Chunru Lin, Liuqing Yang
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which are encoded by a vast less explored region of the human genome, may hold missing drivers of cancer and have gained attention recently as a potentially crucial layer of cancer cell regulation. lncRNAs are aberrantly expressed in a broad spectrum of cancers, and they play key roles in promoting and maintaining tumor initiation and progression, demonstrating their clinical potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Recent discoveries have revealed that lncRNAs act as key signal transduction mediators in cancer signaling pathways by interacting with proteins, RNA, and lipids...
December 20, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Antonio P A Ferreira, Emmanuel Boucrot
Clathrin-independent endocytosis (CIE) mediates the cellular uptake of many extracellular ligands, receptors, and pathogens, including several life-threatening bacterial toxins and viruses. So far, our understanding of CIE carrier formation has lagged behind that of clathrin-coated vesicles. Impediments have been the imprecise definition of some CIE pathways, the lack of specific cargoes being transported and of exclusive cytosolic markers and regulators. Notwithstanding these limitations, three distinct molecular mechanisms by which CIE carriers form can be defined...
December 11, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Shuan Rao, Shane J F Cronin, Verena Sigl, Josef M Penninger
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor RANK (TNFRSF11A) and its ligand RANKL (TNFSF11) regulate osteoclast development and bone metabolism. They also control stem cell expansion and proliferation of mammary epithelial cells via the sex hormone progesterone. As such, RANKL and RANK have been implicated in the onset of hormone-induced breast cancer. Recently, RANK/RANKL were identified as crucial regulators for BRCA1 mutation-driven breast cancer. Current prevention strategies for BRCA1 mutation carriers are associated with wide-ranging risks; therefore, the search for alternative, non-invasive strategies is of paramount importance...
December 11, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Adam J Wolpaw, Chi V Dang
Links between oncogenic drivers and cancer cell metabolism have emerged over the past several decades, indicating that constitutive oncogenic growth signaling can render cancers susceptible to metabolic interventions. While significant progress has been achieved in the identification of metabolic vulnerabilities of cancer cells, the complexity of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the dynamic nature of organismal circadian metabolism challenge the precision of targeting cancer metabolism. Here current progress in the areas of cancer metabolism and TME metabolism is reviewed, highlighting how cancer metabolism can be accurately and precisely targeted...
December 8, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Jonathan J Chen, Lorenzo Galluzzi
Tumor progression and resistance to treatment are often accompanied by the polarization of malignant cells towards a mesenchymal or poorly differentiated state. Such a transition generates an accrued vulnerability to the induction of ferroptosis, potentially paving the way to novel therapeutic strategies for targeting residual disease in patients with cancer.
December 6, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Qianhua Xu, Wei Xie
Drastic epigenetic reprogramming takes place during preimplantation development, leading to the conversion of terminally differentiated gametes to a totipotent embryo. Deficiencies in remodeling of the epigenomes can cause severe developmental defects, including embryonic lethality. However, how chromatin modifications and chromatin organization are reprogrammed upon fertilization in mammals has long remained elusive. Here, we review recent progress in understanding how the epigenome is dynamically regulated during early mammalian development...
December 4, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Stefan G Kreft, Elke Deuerling
In eukaryotes, a cytosolic ribosome quality control complex recycles erroneously stalled ribosomes and modifies faulty nascent chains by ubiquitination and by C-terminal Ala- and Thr-extension (CAT-tailing). Reported recently in Cell, Izawa et al. identify cytosolic Vms1 (VCP/Cdc48-associated mitochondrial stress-responsive 1) as an inhibitor of CAT-tailing, which prevents mitochondrial dysfunction caused by imported CAT-tailed polypeptides.
December 1, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Tsveta S Malinova, Stephan Huveneers
Within tissues, key cellular adaptations occur via mechanotransduction responses at cell-cell junctions. Adherens junctions (AJs) typically form between cells as a result of the binding of cadherin receptors of the same type (homotypic), and are linked to the force-propagating and -generating actomyosin cytoskeleton. Recent studies have found that AJs maintain monolayer integrity in dynamic tissues and drive collective cell behavior by converting into asymmetric remodeling entities. Here, we overview the molecular processes that may explain how asymmetric cell-cell junctions sense differences in cytoskeletal geometry between cells...
November 28, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Alexandra Stolz, Ivan Dikic
The biological diversity of ubiquitination resides in the multivalent nature of linkage-specific homotypic and heterotypic ubiquitin (Ub) chains. A recent publication by Yau et al. in Cell describes the development of K11/K48-bispecific antibodies and a physiological role for K11/K48 heterotypic chains in regulation of the cell cycle and clearance of aggregated proteins.
November 27, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Luana Schito, Sergio Rey
Molecular oxygen (O2) is a universal electron acceptor that enables ATP synthesis through mitochondrial respiration in all metazoans. Consequently, hypoxia (low O2) has arisen as an organizing principle for cellular evolution, metabolism, and (patho)biology, eliciting a remarkable panoply of metabolic adaptations that trigger transcriptional, translational, post-translational, and epigenetic responses to determine cellular fitness. In this review we summarize current and emerging cell-autonomous molecular mechanisms that induce hypoxic metabolic reprogramming in health and disease...
November 27, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Vincenzo Torraca, Serge Mostowy
The study of host-pathogen interactions has illuminated fundamental research avenues in both infection and cell biology. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae are genetically tractable, optically accessible, and present a fully functional innate immune system with macrophages and neutrophils that mimic their mammalian counterparts. A wide variety of pathogenic bacteria have been investigated using zebrafish models, providing unprecedented resolution of the cellular response to infection in vivo. In this review, we illustrate how zebrafish models have contributed to our understanding of cellular microbiology by providing an in vivo platform to study host-pathogen interactions from the single cell to whole animal level...
November 21, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Joel Paz, Jens Lüders
Despite decades of molecular analysis of the centrosome, an important microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) of animal cells, the molecular basis of microtubule organization remains obscure. A major challenge is the sheer complexity of the interplay of the hundreds of proteins that constitute the centrosome. However, this complexity owes not only to the centrosome's role as a MTOC but also to the requirements of its duplication cycle and to various other functions such as the formation of cilia, the integration of various signaling pathways, and the organization of actin filaments...
November 21, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Michael Schnoor, Theresia E Stradal, Klemens Rottner
Cortactin fulfills many functions in various cell types. These functions have been considered to derive from its ability to activate the Actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex, and are regulated by post-translational modifications, including phosphorylation and acetylation. New evidence suggests that cortactin regulates cell migration by controlling the deposition of extracellular matrix proteins rather than lamellipodial Arp2/3 activation, and that cortactin also functions in GTPase signaling, vesicular trafficking, and actomyosin contractility...
November 18, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Katerina Rohlenova, Koen Veys, Ines Miranda-Santos, Katrien De Bock, Peter Carmeliet
The metabolism of endothelial cells (ECs) has only recently been recognized as a driving force of angiogenesis. Metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis, fatty acid oxidation, and glutamine metabolism, have distinct, essential roles during vessel formation. Moreover, EC metabolism is markedly perturbed in pathologies such as cancer and diabetes. For instance, because tumor ECs increase glycolysis, lowering hyperglycolysis in tumor ECs induces therapeutic benefits in preclinical tumor models. Expanding our knowledge of how ECs alter their metabolism in disease could pave the way for novel therapeutic opportunities...
November 16, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Christopher Nosala, Kari D Hagen, Scott C Dawson
Protists have evolved a myriad of highly specialized cytoskeletal organelles that expand known functional capacities of microtubule (MT) polymers. One such innovation - the ventral disc - is a cup-shaped MT organelle that the parasite Giardia uses to attach to the small intestine of its host. The molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of suction-based forces by overall conformational changes of the disc remain unclear. The elaborate disc architecture is defined by novel proteins and complexes that decorate almost all disc MT protofilaments, and vary in composition and conformation along the length of the MTs...
November 15, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Anup Parchure, Neha Vyas, Satyajit Mayor
Morphogens are signaling molecules produced by a localized source, specifying cell fate in a graded manner. The source secretes morphogens into the extracellular milieu to activate various target genes in an autocrine or paracrine manner. Here we describe various secreted forms of two canonical morphogens, the lipid-anchored Hedgehog (Hh) and Wnts, indicating the involvement of multiple carriers in the transport of these morphogens. These different extracellular secreted forms are likely to have distinct functions...
November 10, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
Deepak P Patil, Brian F Pickering, Samie R Jaffrey
N(6)-Methyladenosine (m(6)A) is the most prevalent post-transcriptional modification of eukaryotic mRNA and long noncoding RNA. m(6)A mediates its effects primarily by recruiting proteins, including the multiprotein eukaryotic initiation factor 3 complex and a set of proteins that contain the YTH domain. Here we describe the mechanisms by which YTH domain-containing proteins bind m(6)A and influence the fate of m(6)A-containing RNA in mammalian cells. We discuss the diverse, and occasionally contradictory, functions ascribed to these proteins and the emerging concepts that are influencing our understanding of these proteins and their effects on the epitranscriptome...
November 2, 2017: Trends in Cell Biology
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