Editors' ChoiceCellular and Molecular Signaling

Papers of note in Science 355 (6328)

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Sci. Signal.  07 Mar 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 469, eaan0849
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan0849

This week's articles highlight immune receptors that protect rice from a fungal pathogen without reducing crop yield, an engineered opioid receptor agonist that relieves pain without side effects, structural analysis of a voltage-gated sodium channel, and the biophysics of bacteriorhodopsin folding.

PLANT BIOLOGY

Widespread resistance, localized relief

Deng et al. found that heterodimerization of immune receptors protects rice plants from blast disease without affecting the growth of rice grains.

PHARMACOLOGY

A pain killer without side effects

Spahn et al. engineered a novel opioid that selectively activates peripheral opioid receptors only in inflamed tissue.

STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

Navigating regulated cell excitation

Shen et al. present the cryo–electron microscopy structure of a voltage-gated sodium channel from cockroach that provides a foundation for understanding the function of similar channels and their contribution to disease mechanisms.

BIOPHYSICS

Pulling apart protein unfolding

Yu et al. report that mechanical unfolding of a membrane protein reveals previously undetected intermediates and equilibrium refolding (see the Perspective by Müller and Gaub).

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