Editors' ChoiceCellular and Molecular Signaling

Papers of note in Nature 545 (7652)

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Sci. Signal.  09 May 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 478, eaan5821
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan5821

This week’s articles highlight a role for a polyglutamine tract in regulating autophagy; how cytokinesis affects the mechanosensitivity of cell junctions; the effect of interferon-γ on tumor vasculature; advances in human brain organoid technology; and biochemical features of a receptor that may aid in developing drugs that specifically target the receptor.

AUTOPHAGY

PolyQ promotes autophagy

Ashkenazi et al. found that the polyglutamine tract of ataxin 3 promotes autophagy by binding to and preventing degradation of beclin 1 (see also Martin and Hayden).

MECHANOTRANSDUCTION

Stretching promotes junction sensitivity

Pinheiro et al. showed that the pulling forces of cytokinesis stretch epithelial cell junctions, which causes a local reduction in E-cadherin and a subsequent increase in the mechanosensitivity of the junctions.

CANCER

Interfering with tumor vasculature

Kammertoens et al. demonstrated that interferon-γ promotes tumor cell necrosis by causing tumor-associated blood vessels to regress.

NEUROSCIENCE

Big leap for minibrains

Quadrato et al. and Birey et al. describe new methods for generating complex human brain organoids that replicate key features of neural development and even respond to sensory input (see also Camp and Treutlein).

STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

Toward a selective PAR2 antagonist

Cheng et al. report on the structural and functional characteristics of agonist- and antagonist-bound forms of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) that may help in developing drugs that target this receptor.

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