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Table of Contents for this page:

  • Current Issue
  • Advanced Online Publications Articles

  • Current Issue of Nature Structural and Molecular Biology

    Nature Structural aamp; Molecular Biology

  • Open-door policies

  • Nature research journals announce new reporting summaries to promote transparency, and our editors welcome early-career researchers to the Springer Nature office in New York to discuss careers in scientific publishing.

  • Chromatin-enriched lncRNAs: a novel class of enhancer RNAs

  • Long noncoding (lnc)RNAs are postulated to control diverse biological processes by modulating transcription, yet for most lncRNAs evidence supporting this function has been lacking. A new report describes the role of a novel class of lncRNAs—chromatin-associated enhancer RNAs or cheRNAs—in the regulation of proximal gene expression.

  • Switching dynein motors on and off

  • Cytoplasmic dyneins transport cellular components from the periphery toward the center of the cell. By moving cargoes along microtubules, dyneins ensure proper cell division, regulate exchange of materials between organelles, and contribute to the internal organization of eukaryotic cells. Two recent studies show that, upon dimerization, cytoplasmic dyneins intrinsically adopt an autoinhibited configuration that can be relieved by other factors to precisely control motor activity and regulate dynein-based transport.

  • Human antibody pieces together the puzzle of the trimeric Lassa virus surface antigen

  • The envelope glycoprotein spike, the sole antigen on the Lassa virus (LASV) surface, constitutes the focal point of the host neutralizing immune response. A high-resolution structure of the trimeric LASV glycoprotein in an antibody-bound form illuminates the molecular architecture of the antigen and reveals the mode of action of the most abundant known class of Lassa-specific human neutralizing antibodies.

  • RNA fate determination through cotranscriptional adenosine methylation and microprocessor binding

  • Microprocessor components Dgcr8 and Drosha associate with transcriptionally active coding and noncoding genes in a Mettl3-dependent manner and, upon temperature stress, relocate to heat-shock genes, where they mark mRNAs for subsequent degradation.

  • Structural basis for the cooperative allosteric activation of the free fatty acid receptor GPR40

  • Crystal structures of hGPR40, a target for treatment of type 2 diabetes, bound to a partial and an allosteric agonist explain the binding cooperativity between these ligands and present new opportunities for structure-guided drug design.

  • Structural analysis of MDM2 RING separates degradation from regulation of p53 transcription activity

  • MDM2 mutations that prevent E2–ubiquitin binding without altering RING domain structure lead to loss of E3-ligase activity, while the ability to limit p53 transcriptional activity is retained, allowing cells to respond more quickly to cellular stress.

  • Rif1 maintains telomeres and mediates DNA repair by encasing DNA ends

  • Structure determination and functional analyses of budding yeast Rif1 reveal a novel, hooked N-terminal DNA-binding domain required for telomere maintenance and checkpoint control and show that Rif1's role in DNA-repair pathway choice is conserved in yeast and mammalian cells.

  • Chromatin-enriched lncRNAs can act as cell-type specific activators of proximal gene transcription

  • Functional characterization of chromatin enriched lncRNAs (cheRNAs) reveals their role as cis-acting transcriptional activators that couple enhancers at sites of cheRNA synthesis to promoters of proximal target genes.

  • A MILI-independent piRNA biogenesis pathway empowers partial germline reprogramming

  • MILI-mediated piRNA processing and amplification is not essential for all MIWI2 male germline reprogramming activity, indicating the existence of a MILI-independent piRNA biogenesis pathway.

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    Nature -Advance Online Publications

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    Nature Structural aamp; Molecular Biology

  • A two-helix motif positions the lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase active site for catalysis within the membrane bilayer

  • The crystal structure of Thermotoga maritima lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase reveals a two-helix motif that positions the active site for catalysis within the membrane bilayer.

  • Musashi 1 regulates the timing and extent of meiotic mRNA translational activation by promoting the use of specific CPEs

  • New data reveal how Musashi binding to Xenopus oocyte mRNAs promotes changes in RNA secondary structure that modulate CPEB1 binding and influence polyadenylation and translational efficiency.

  • PAR-TERRA directs homologous sex chromosome pairing

  • New analyses reveal that TERRA transcripts arising from the subtelomeric pseudoautosomal (PAR) region of sex chromosomes nucleate pairing of X alleles in mouse ES cells.

  • Multi-domain utilization by TUT4 and TUT7 in control of let-7 biogenesis

  • Structural analysis of the uridyl transferases TUT4 and TUT7 reveals the use of two functional modules in the switch from monouridylation of pre-let-7, which promotes let-7 expression, to oligouridylation of pre-let-7, which marks it for degradation.

  • Mechanochemical evolution of the giant muscle protein titin as inferred from resurrected proteins

  • Single-molecule spectroscopy analyses of titin fragments from modern animals and reconstructed from the last common ancestors to mammals, sauropsids and tetrapods shed light on the evolution of the mechanical properties of muscle titin from the Paleozoic to our days.

  • Regulator-dependent mechanisms of C3b processing by factor I allow differentiation of immune responses

  • The structure of C3b in complex with factor I and a shortened version of factor H, along with functional analyses, leads to a mechanistic model for how regulators determine sequential cleavage events on C3b.

  • Asparagine endopeptidase cleavesα-synuclein and mediates pathologic activities in Parkinson's disease

  • Asparagine endopeptidase (AEP) cleaves humanα-synuclein at Asn103, yielding a fragment with higher aggregation propensity than that of the full-length protein. Truncatedα-synuclein is also more neurotoxic and leads to dopaminergic neuronal loss and motor impairments in mice.
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