Short, accessible synopses of recent important articles concerning signalling pathways.
Epidermal homeostasis is maintained by stem cell renewal and differentiation and is known to involve signals from the extracellular matrix (ECM). Watt and colleagues now show that these signals are transduced by a cascade involving actin and the transcription factor serum response factor (SRF).
Original research paper Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 11 540 - 541 doi:10.1038/nrm2943
Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) is a key regulator of synaptic strength, but the exact mechanisms underlying this regulation are not known. Now, Lisman and colleagues show that the phosphorylation state of the amino acids T305 and T306 of CaMKII determines whether long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) is induced.
Original research paper Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11 538 doi:10.1038/nrn2895
Loss of the retinoblastoma (RB) tumour suppressor pathway commonly occurs in tumours and is associated with chromosome instability (CIN). The RB pathway is famous for its role in mediating G1–S cell cycle checkpoint control, but can this role alone account for its tumour suppressive function?
Original research paper Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 11 541 doi:10.1038/nrm2951
Deregulated expression of MYC enjoys an almost omnipresent status in tumours — hence its nickname, McGene. Wherever you look, there it is. So understanding how MYC propels and maintains tumour growth is paramount.
Original research paper Nature Reviews Cancer 10 532 - 533 doi:10.1038/nrc2908
The Aurora family of cell cycle kinases regulates centrosome stability and thus influences cell cycle progression. Cytoskeletal remodelling proteins such as p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) have been predicted to regulate mitosis by activating Aurora A, although it has been unclear how. In the Journal of Cell Biology, Molli et al. provide evidence that the cytoskeletal remodelling protein ARPC1B, a component of the actin-related protein 2/3 (ARP2/3) complex, binds and activates Aurora A and is a novel regulator of centrosome integrity.
Original research paper Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 11 542 - 543 doi:10.1038/nrm2946