Journal Club – July 2023

Featured Articles

  • Guo et al. and Gouveia et al. Nature Comm, June 2023
    Back-to-back papers by the Polenova and Petry labs provide valuable insights into the complex processes of microtubule nucleation and cell division, highlighting the roles of TPX2 and chromosomes in these processes.
    • In the publication authored by Changmiao Guo, researchers investigate the role of the Targeting protein for Xklp2 (TPX2) in stimulating branching microtubule nucleation. The researchers use magic-angle-spinning NMR to determine the structure of the TPX2 C-terminal minimal active domain (TPX2α5-α7) on the microtubule lattice. They find that TPX2α5-α7 forms a co-condensate with soluble tubulin on microtubules at the intersection of four tubulin heterodimers, thus revealing the structural basis of the branch site.
      » Read the article.
    • In the publication by Bernardo Gouveia, researchers explore the mechanisms of microtubule nucleation at chromosomes during acentrosomal spindle assembly in Xenopus egg extracts. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, the authors find that branching microtubule nucleation is the primary source of chromosomal microtubules. The authors further demonstrate that effectors for branching nucleation form a concentration gradient to spatially bias branched microtubule nucleation near chromosomes. In the presence of motors, these branched networks are ultimately organized into functional spindles, where the number of emergent spindle poles scales with the number of chromosomes and total chromatin area.
      » Read the article.
  • Djutanta et al. PNAS, 2023 A study by Djutanta et al. investigates the hydrodynamic properties of bacteria propellers. Using advanced imaging techniques, researchers visualize the 3D motion of isolated E. coli flagella considered as colloidal particles. The study reveals that these flagella are highly inefficient propellers, with a maximum propulsion efficiency of less than 3%. This research opens new possibilities for studying particle motility in complex environments.
    » Read the article.
  • Minckley et al. JCB, 2023 Minckley et al. investigates the effects of Zn2+ signals on neuron function. Minckley et al. investigate the effects of Zn2+ signals on neuron function. The authors find that elevated Zn2+ reduces both lysosomal and mitochondrial motility in primary rat hippocampal neurons and HeLa cells by directly binding to microtubules and promoting the detachment of certain microtubule associated proteins. This research provides valuable insights into the role of Zn2+ in neuron function and could have implications for understanding and treating neurological disorders. » Read the article.


purple question mark

Solve the Structure

This enzyme creates the energy storage molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Human ATP synthase

Notable Retractions

Highly cited long COVID study retracted and republished. Read the article.

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