Editors' ChoiceCellular and Molecular Signaling

Papers of note in Nature 549 (7670)

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Sci. Signal.  12 Sep 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 496, eaap8921
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aap8921

This week’s articles identify microbial metabolites that stimulate GPCRs; a transmembrane protein that maintains PD-L1 at the plasma membrane; immune enhancer elements that respond to specific extracellular signals; a signaling pathway that defines the right side of the vertebrate embryo; functions for ionotropic glutamate receptors in plants; and structural features of AMPA receptors during activation and desensitization.

HOST-MICROBE INTERACTIONS

Commensals stimulate GPCRs

Cohen et al. found that human intestinal microbiota produce metabolites that influence gastrointestinal physiology by acting as ligands for G protein–coupled receptors.

CANCER

Aiding and abetting immune evasion

Burr et al. and Mezzadra et al. identified a transmembrane protein that maintains the immune checkpoint ligand PD-L1 at the plasma membrane, thus contributing to the ability of tumor cells to evade antitumor immunity.

IMMUNOLOGY

Integrating immune signaling at enhancers

Simeonov et al. found enhancer elements that control the expression of genes implicated in autoimmune disease in response to specific extracellular signals.

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

Specifying the embryo’s right side

Ocaña et al. identified a conserved right-specific signaling pathway that cooperates with previously identified left-specific signaling events to direct heart looping in vertebrates.

Glutamate receptor function in plants

Ortiz-Ramírez et al. found that ionotropic glutamate receptors are required for sperm chemotaxis and zygote development in mosses (see also Steinhorst and Kudla).

STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

AMPA receptor gating

Twomey et al. used cryoelectron microscopy to explore the conformational changes during activation and desensitization of AMPA receptors

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