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Open Biology

Kirsteen J Campbell, Stephen W G Tait
The ability of a cell to undergo mitochondrial apoptosis is governed by pro- and anti-apoptotic members of the BCL-2 protein family. The equilibrium of pro- versus anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins ensures appropriate regulation of programmed cell death during development and maintains organismal health. When unbalanced, the BCL-2 family can act as a barrier to apoptosis and facilitate tumour development and resistance to cancer therapy. Here we discuss the BCL-2 family, their deregulation in cancer and recent pharmaceutical developments to target specific members of this family as cancer therapy...
May 2018: Open Biology
Alexander Krah, Mariel Zarco-Zavala, Duncan G G McMillan
ATP synthases catalyse the formation of ATP, the most common chemical energy storage unit found in living cells. These enzymes are driven by an electrochemical ion gradient, which allows the catalytic evolution of ATP by a binding change mechanism. Most ATP synthases are capable of catalysing ATP hydrolysis to varying degrees, and to prevent wasteful ATP hydrolysis, bacteria and mitochondria have regulatory mechanisms such as ADP inhibition. Additionally, ɛ subunit inhibition has also been described in three bacterial systems, Escherichia coli , Bacillus PS3 and Caldalkalibacillus thermarum TA2...
May 2018: Open Biology
Shervi Lie, Peter Banks, Conor Lawless, David Lydall, Janni Petersen
Nutrient fluctuations in the cellular environment promote changes in cell metabolism and growth to adapt cell proliferation accordingly. The target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling network plays a key role in the coordination of growth and cell proliferation with the nutrient environment and, importantly, nutrient limitation reduces TOR complex 1 (TORC1) signalling. We have performed global quantitative fitness profiling of the collection of Schizosaccharomyces pombe strains from which non-essential genes have been deleted...
May 2018: Open Biology
Shoko Hashimoto, Takaomi C Saido
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response is regarded as an important process in the aetiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The accumulation of pathogenic misfolded proteins and the disruption of intracellular calcium (Ca2+ ) signalling are considered to be fundamental mechanisms that underlie the induction of ER stress, leading to neuronal cell death. Indeed, a number of studies have proposed molecular mechanisms linking ER stress to AD pathogenesis based on results from in vitro systems and AD mouse models...
April 2018: Open Biology
Kirsten Jung, Florian Fabiani, Elisabeth Hoyer, Jürgen Lassak
Every living cell possesses numerous transmembrane signalling systems that receive chemical and physical stimuli from the environment and transduce this information into an intracellular signal that triggers some form of cellular response. As unicellular organisms, bacteria require these systems for survival in rapidly changing environments. The receptors themselves act as 'sensory organs', while subsequent signalling circuits can be regarded as forming a 'neural network' that is involved in decision making, adaptation and ultimately in ensuring survival...
April 2018: Open Biology
Özgün Özer, Ian D Hickson
Oncogene activation during tumour development leads to changes in the DNA replication programme that enhance DNA replication stress. Certain regions of the human genome, such as common fragile sites and telomeres, are particularly sensitive to DNA replication stress due to their inherently 'difficult-to-replicate' nature. Indeed, it appears that these regions sometimes fail to complete DNA replication within the period of interphase when cells are exposed to DNA replication stress. Under these conditions, cells use a salvage pathway, termed 'mitotic DNA repair synthesis (MiDAS)', to complete DNA synthesis in the early stages of mitosis...
April 2018: Open Biology
Xiao Han, Renhua Sun, Tatyana Sandalova, Adnane Achour
Spr1654 from Streptococcus pneumoniae plays a key role in the production of unusual sugars, presumably functioning as a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent aminotransferase. Spr1654 was predicted to catalyse the transferring of amino group to form the amino sugar 2-acetamido-4-amino-2, 4, 6-trideoxygalactose moiety (AATGal), representing a crucial step in biosynthesis of teichoic acids in S. pneumoniae We have determined the crystal structures of the apo-, PLP- and PMP-bound forms of Spr1654. Spr1654 forms a homodimer, in which each monomer contains one active site...
April 2018: Open Biology
Yihua Wang, Chen-Ching Yuan, Katarzyna Kazmierczak, Danuta Szczesna-Cordary, Thomas P Burghardt
Myosin transduces ATP free energy into mechanical work in muscle. Cardiac muscle has dynamically wide-ranging power demands on the motor as the muscle changes modes in a heartbeat from relaxation, via auxotonic shortening, to isometric contraction. The cardiac power output modulation mechanism is explored in vitro by assessing single cardiac myosin step-size selection versus load. Transgenic mice express human ventricular essential light chain (ELC) in wild- type (WT), or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-linked mutant forms, A57G or E143K, in a background of mouse α-cardiac myosin heavy chain...
April 2018: Open Biology
Fengjuan Wang, Anna Salvati, Patricia Boya
Nanoparticles (NPs) typically accumulate in lysosomes. However, their impact on lysosomal function, as well as autophagy, a lysosomal degradative pathway, is still not well known. We have previously reported in the 1321N1 cell line that amine-modified polystyrene (NH2 -PS) NPs induce apoptosis through damage initiated in the lysosomes leading ultimately to release of lysosomal content in the cytosol, followed by apoptosis. Here, by using a combination of biochemical and cell biological approaches, we have characterized in a mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line that the lysosomal alterations induced by NH2 -PS NPs is progressive, initiating from mild lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP), to expansion of lysosomal volume and intensive LMP before the summit of cell death...
April 2018: Open Biology
Xiaofei Sun, Xing Fu, Min Du, Mei-Jun Zhu
Epithelial cultures are commonly used for studying gut health. However, due to the absence of mesenchymal cells and gut structure, epithelial culture systems including recently developed three-dimensional organoid culture cannot accurately represent in vivo gut development, which requires intense cross-regulation of the epithelial layer with the underlying mesenchymal tissue. In addition, organoid culture is costly. To overcome this, a new culture system was developed using mouse embryonic small intestine. Cultured intestine showed spontaneous peristalsis, indicating the maintenance of the normal gut physiological structure...
April 2018: Open Biology
Yulan Zhao, Jinquan Liu, Fenfang Chen, Xin-Hua Feng
The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a cellular reprogramming process converting epithelial cells into mesenchymal cell morphology. Snail is a critical regulator of EMT by both suppressing epithelial gene expression and promoting mesenchymal gene expression. Expression and activity of Snail are tightly controlled at transcriptional and post-translational levels. It has previously been reported that Snail undergoes phosphorylation and ubiquitin-dependent proteasome degradation. Here, we report nuclear phosphatase SCP4/CTDSPL2 acts as a novel Snail phosphatase...
April 2018: Open Biology
Sebastian Bultmann, Stefan H Stricker
It is undeniably one of the greatest findings in biology that (with some very minor exceptions) every cell in the body possesses the whole genetic information needed to generate a complete individual. Today, this concept has been so thoroughly assimilated that we struggle to still see how surprising this finding actually was: all cellular phenotypes naturally occurring in one person are generated from genetic uniformity, and thus are per definition epigenetic. Transcriptional mechanisms are clearly critical for developing and protecting cell identities, because a mis-expression of few or even single genes can efficiently induce inappropriate cellular programmes...
March 2018: Open Biology
Kenichi Sajiki, Yuria Tahara, Alejandro Villar-Briones, Tomáš Pluskal, Takayuki Teruya, Ayaka Mori, Mitsuko Hatanaka, Masahiro Ebe, Takahiro Nakamura, Keita Aoki, Yukinobu Nakaseko, Mitsuhiro Yanagida
Rapamycin inhibits TOR (target of rapamycin) kinase, and is being used clinically to treat various diseases ranging from cancers to fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. To understand rapamycin mechanisms of action more comprehensively, 1014 temperature-sensitive (ts) fission yeast ( Schizosaccharomyces pombe ) mutants were screened in order to isolate strains in which the ts phenotype was rescued by rapamycin. Rapamycin-rescued 45 strains, among which 12 genes responsible for temperature sensitivity were identified...
March 2018: Open Biology
Max D Knickmeyer, Juan L Mateo, Priska Eckert, Eleni Roussa, Belal Rahhal, Aimee Zuniga, Kerstin Krieglstein, Joachim Wittbrodt, Stephan Heermann
The optic fissure is a transient gap in the developing vertebrate eye, which must be closed as development proceeds. A persisting optic fissure, coloboma, is a major cause for blindness in children. Although many genes have been linked to coloboma, the process of optic fissure fusion is still little appreciated, especially on a molecular level. We identified a coloboma in mice with a targeted inactivation of transforming growth factor β2 (TGFβ2). Notably, here the optic fissure margins must have touched, however failed to fuse...
March 2018: Open Biology
Stefan Bresson, David Tollervey
Eukaryotic cells synthesize enormous quantities of RNA from diverse classes, most of which are subject to extensive processing. These processes are inherently error-prone, and cells have evolved robust quality control mechanisms to selectively remove aberrant transcripts. These surveillance pathways monitor all aspects of nuclear RNA biogenesis, and in addition remove nonfunctional transcripts arising from spurious transcription and a host of non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Surprisingly, this is largely accomplished with only a handful of RNA decay enzymes...
March 2018: Open Biology
Yoshimasa Takizawa, Hiroki Tanaka, Shinichi Machida, Masako Koyama, Kazumitsu Maehara, Yasuyuki Ohkawa, Paul A Wade, Matthias Wolf, Hitoshi Kurumizaka
Pioneer transcription factors specifically target their recognition DNA sequences within nucleosomes. FoxA is the pioneer transcription factor that binds to the ALB1 gene enhancer in liver precursor cells, and is required for liver differentiation in embryos. The ALB1 enhancer DNA sequence is reportedly incorporated into nucleosomes in cells, although the nucleosome structure containing the targeting sites for FoxA has not been clarified yet. In this study, we determined the nucleosome structure containing the ALB1 enhancer (N1) sequence, by cryogenic electron microscopy at 4...
March 2018: Open Biology
David Moore Glover
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2018: Open Biology
Dorian Farache, Laurent Emorine, Laurence Haren, Andreas Merdes
Microtubules are major constituents of the cytoskeleton in all eukaryotic cells. They are essential for chromosome segregation during cell division, for directional intracellular transport and for building specialized cellular structures such as cilia or flagella. Their assembly has to be controlled spatially and temporally. For this, the cell uses multiprotein complexes containing γ-tubulin. γ-Tubulin has been found in two different types of complexes, γ-tubulin small complexes and γ-tubulin ring complexes...
March 2018: Open Biology
Huawen Lin, Zhengyan Zhang, Carlo Iomini, Susan K Dutcher
Intraflagellar transport moves proteins in and out of flagella/cilia and it is essential for the assembly of these organelles. Using whole-genome sequencing, we identified splice site mutations in two IFT genes, IFT81 ( fla9 ) and IFT121 ( ift121-2 ), which lead to flagellar assembly defects in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii The splicing defects in these ift mutants are partially corrected by mutations in two conserved spliceosome proteins, DGR14 and FRA10. We identified a dgr14 deletion mutant, which suppresses the 3' splice site mutation in IFT81 , and a frameshift mutant of FRA10 , which suppresses the 5' splice site mutation in IFT121 Surprisingly, we found dgr14-1 and fra10 mutations suppress both splice site mutations...
March 2018: Open Biology
Richard G Held, Pascal S Kaeser
Synaptic vesicle exocytosis relies on the tethering of release ready vesicles close to voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and specific lipids at the future site of fusion. This enables rapid and efficient neurotransmitter secretion during presynaptic depolarization by an action potential. Extensive research has revealed that this tethering is mediated by an active zone, a protein dense structure that is attached to the presynaptic plasma membrane and opposed to postsynaptic receptors. Although roles of individual active zone proteins in exocytosis are in part understood, the molecular mechanisms that hold the protein scaffold at the active zone together and link it to the presynaptic plasma membrane have remained unknown...
February 2018: Open Biology
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