Editors' ChoiceCELLULAR AND ORGANISMAL PHYSIOLOGY

Papers of note in Nature 541 (7636)

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Sci. Signal.  17 Jan 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 462, eaam7549
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aam7549

This week’s articles feature molecular mechanisms controlling metastasis, insights into heart and skeletal muscle regeneration, details of how to engineer a stomach from human stem cells, and the key role for a mechanosensitive channel in controlling respiration.

CANCER

Screening for regulators of metastatic colonization

van der Weyden et al. performed a large-scale screen to identify regulators of the second site colonization step of metastasis and characterized a key role for sphingosine 1-phosphate signaling in suppression of immune cell responses at the site of metastasis.

REGENERATION

A peptide that controls muscle repair

Matsumoto et al. identified a role for a peptide, SPAR (small regulatory polypeptide of amino acid response), encoded within a long noncoding RNA that binds lysosomal v-ATPase and inhibits mTORC1, and found that injuring skeletal muscle reduces the abundance of SPAR, promoting mTORC1 activity and tissue regeneration.

Prolonged hypoxia reactivates cardiomyocytes

Nakada et al. report that exposing mice to gradually increased hypoxia reactivates cardiomyocyte proliferation and enables cardiac tissue regeneration.

APPLIED SIGNALING

Generating stomach organoids

McCracken et al. used insights into how the Wnt/β-catenin pathway regulates stomach development in embyros to develop human fundic-type gastric organoids from human pluripotent stem cells, which will be useful for studying the signaling events that control human gastric physiology and pathophysiology and screening drugs to combat gastric disorders (see commentary by Sáenz and Mills).

MECHANOTRANSDUCTION

PIEZO2 controls breathing

Nonomura et al. used optogenetic and cell-specific ablation techniques to show that the mechanosensitive channel PIEZO2 in airway-innervating sensory neurons is necessary for respiration at birth and maintains normal breathing in adults (see commentary by Goridis).

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