Editors' ChoiceCellular and Molecular Signaling

Papers of note in Nature 549 (7672)

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Sci. Signal.  26 Sep 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 498, eaaq0242
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaq0242

This week’s articles highlight the role of AMPA receptor diffusion in long-term potentiation; a mutation in an embryonic cell lineage that leads to adult neurodegeneration; the structural basis of cGAS activation; a posttranslational modification of the melanocortin-1 receptor that protects against melanoma; and factors from maternal cells that determine whether daughter cells will proliferate.

NEUROSCIENCE

Receptor diffusion for learning

Penn et al. showed that the diffusion of AMPA receptors into synapses from other areas of the postsynaptic cell membrane is important for long-term potentiation in hippocampal neurons.

Embryonic origin of adult neurodegeneration

Mass et al. found that a somatic mutation that increases ERK signaling in embryonic erythromyeloid progenitors leads to neurodegeneration in adult mice (see also Tarnawsky and Yoder).

BIOCHEMISTRY

How DNA turns on the cGAS

Andreeva et al. described the structural basis of the sensitivity of the cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS.

CANCER

Lipid modification of MC1R protects against skin cancer

Chen et al. reported that palmitoylation is required for activation of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) and that stimulating palmitoylation of melanoma-associated variants of this receptor prevents the development of melanoma (see also Jackson and Patton).

CELL BIOLOGY

Molecular memories influence proliferation

Yang et al. identified two factors inherited from maternal cells that determine whether daughter cells proliferate or become quiescent (see also Kedziora and Purvis).

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