Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Nature Chemical Biology Contents: March 2017, Volume 13 No 3 pp 243 - 338

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Nature Chemical Biology


March 2017 Volume 13, Issue 3

Research Highlights
News and Views
Brief Communications

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Research Highlights


Plant infection: A decoy tactic | mRNA localization: If you have to ASH | Enzyme mechanisms: Fickle about fluorine | Metabolism: A-way with biofilms

News and Views


Redox regulation: Taking AKTion on HNEs   pp244 - 245
Eranthie Weerapana
Differential redox regulation of kinase isoforms serves to provide intricate control of cellular signaling events. In a new study, a single isoform of Akt, Akt3, is shown to be preferentially modified by lipid-derived electrophiles to modulate downstream signaling events in mammalian cells and zebrafish.

See also: Article by Long et al.

Synthetic biology: Synthetic gene networks that smell   pp245 - 246
Fahim Farzadfard and Timothy K Lu
Bioengineers have endowed a consortium of human cells with an artificial sense of smell, enabling the cells to detect, quantify, and remember the presence of gaseous volatile compounds in their environment.

See also: Article by Müller et al.

G-Protein-coupled receptors: Decoding mixed signals   pp247 - 248
Thomas J Gardella
A new mechanism of functional crosstalk between two distinct G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs)—the parathyroid hormone receptor (PTHR) and β2-adrenergic receptor (β2 Ar)—that occurs at the level of G protein βγ subunits and a specific adenylyl cyclase isoform is identified. This crosstalk augments cAMP signaling by the PTHR from endosomes, and thus promotes the actions of PTH ligands in bone target cells.

See also: Brief Communication by Jean-Alphonse et al.

Chemical Biology
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Accelerating the semisynthesis of alkaloid-based drugs through metabolic engineering   pp249 - 258
Amy M Ehrenworth and Pamela Peralta-Yahya

Recent advances in metabolic engineering provide possible new approaches for the production of advanced intermediates as tractable semisynthetic starting materials for alkaloid-derived pharmaceuticals and potential new drugs.

Brief Communications


β2-adrenergic receptor control of endosomal PTH receptor signaling via Gβγ   pp259 - 261
Frédéric G Jean-Alphonse, Vanessa L Wehbi, Jingming Chen, Masaki Noda, Juan M Taboas et al.

The synergistic effect of the GPCR β2AR on signaling through another GPCR, PTHR, is explained by the release of Gβγ from the heterotrimeric Gαiβγ protein, activating adenylate cyclase AC2 and subsequent prolonged cAMP signaling in internal compartments

See also: News and Views by Gardella

Biomimetic spinning of artificial spider silk from a chimeric minispidroin   pp262 - 264
Marlene Andersson, Qiupin Jia, Ana Abella, Xiau-Yeen Lee, Michael Landreh et al.

The combination of an extremely soluble chimeric spider silk protein (spidroin) and a biomimetic spinning method that recapitulates the endogenous pH gradient in silk glands produces a remarkably strong artificial spider silk.

MraY-antibiotic complex reveals details of tunicamycin mode of action   pp265 - 267
Jonna K Hakulinen, Jenny Hering, Gisela Branden, Hongming Chen, Arjan Snijder et al.

A structural study of MraY, an essential enzyme from Clostridium bolteae involved in bacterial cell wall synthesis, in complex with the natural product antibiotic tunicamycin, provides a basis for future antibiotic design.



Orthogonal lipid sensors identify transbilayer asymmetry of plasma membrane cholesterol   pp268 - 274
Shu-Lin Liu, Ren Sheng, Jae Hun Jung, Li Wang, Ewa Stec et al.

Orthogonal cholesterol sensors that are useful for imaging cholesterol in the plasma membrane leaflets reveal an asymmetry in which a high outer leaflet concentration is important for signaling processes and is potentially actively maintained.

Structural and functional insights into asymmetric enzymatic dehydration of alkenols   pp275 - 281
Bettina M Nestl, Christopher Geinitz, Stephanie Popa, Sari Rizek, Robert J Haselbeck et al.

Structural characterization of the bifunctional enzyme linalool dehydratase isomerase and exploration of its substrate scope demonstrate its potential for catalyzing desirable transformations of various tertiary alcohols.
Chemical compounds

Visualizing the secondary and tertiary architectural domains of lncRNA RepA   pp282 - 289
Fei Liu, Srinivas Somarowthu and Anna Marie Pyle

SHAPE and DMS in vitro chemical probing analysis reveals the secondary structure of the RepA long noncoding RNA, and UV-cross-linking and RNA modeling analyses produce a 3D model of RepA depicting phylogenetically conserved domains.

Lysine relay mechanism coordinates intermediate transfer in vitamin B6 biosynthesis   pp290 - 294
Matthew J Rodrigues, Volker Windeisen, Yang Zhang, Gabriela Guedez, Stefan Weber et al.

Crystallographic snapshots illustrate the catalytic cycle and illuminate the mechanism by which the enzyme Pdx1 shuttles intermediates between lysine residues in its two active sites during the biosynthesis of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate.

Recurrent RNA motifs as scaffolds for genetically encodable small-molecule biosensors   pp295 - 301
Ely B Porter, Jacob T Polaski, Makenna M Morck and Robert T Batey

In vitro selection of RNA libraries constructed by randomization of RNA structural scaffolds from known ribozymes and riboswitches led to the identification of aptamers that were readily translated into functional biosensors in cells.

Chemical proteomics reveals ADP-ribosylation of small GTPases during oxidative stress   pp302 - 308
Nathan P Westcott, Joseph P Fernandez, Henrik Molina and Howard C Hang

The use of an alkyne-adenosine analog enables the labeling and detection of ADP-ribosylated proteins under oxidative stress and reveals a role of Hras ADP-ribosylation to regulate its signaling.

Designed cell consortia as fragrance-programmable analog-to-digital converters   pp309 - 316
Marius Müller, Simon Ausländer, Andrea Spinnler, David Ausländer, Julian Sikorski et al.

A synthetic biology approach involving engineered mammalian cell consortia converts analog sensing of fragrance molecules into control of reporter-gene expression and amplifies the signal, thus enabling the digitization of molecular signals for cybernetic devices.

See also: News and Views by Farzadfard & Lu

The SUV4-20 inhibitor A-196 verifies a role for epigenetics in genomic integrity   pp317 - 324
Kenneth D Bromberg, Taylor R H Mitchell, Anup K Upadhyay, Clarissa G Jakob, Manisha A Jhala et al.

SUV4-20 members mediate the di- and trimethylation of lysine 20 on histone H4. A chemical screen led to the identification of A-196 as a potent and selective inhibitor of SUV4-20 that decreases H4K20 methylation and alters DNA damage response.
Chemical compounds

Enzyme-catalyzed cationic epoxide rearrangements in quinolone alkaloid biosynthesis   pp325 - 332
Yi Zou, Marc Garcia-Borras, Mancheng C Tang, Yuichiro Hirayama, Dehai H Li et al.

Discovery and characterization of two Bronsted acid enzymes from quinolone alkaloid biosynthesis provides new biocatalytic approaches for the challenging but synthetically useful cationic rearrangement of epoxides.
Chemical compounds

Akt3 is a privileged first responder in isozyme-specific electrophile response   pp333 - 338
Marcus J C Long, Saba Parvez, Yi Zhao, Sanjna L Surya, Yiran Wang et al.

The use of the T-REX redox targeting platform to identify proteins that react with lipid-derived electrophiles in cells and zebrafish reveals that hydroxynoneal (HNE)-mediated modification of Akt3 C119 decreases Akt3 activity.

See also: News and Views by Weerapana

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