These papers were selected from multiple disciplines from the Faculty of 1000, a Web-based literature-awareness tool
R. Ando et al., "Regulated fast nucleocytoplasmic shuttling observed by reversible protein highlighting,"
The authors describe a new fluorophore (Dronpa) that has a high quantum yield as well as being remarkably photochromic. Dronpa can be interconverted between bright (fluorescent) and dark (nonfluorescent) states by light of different wavelengths and so can be highlighted, erased, and highlighted again in a nondestructive manner in living cells.
- Murray Stewart
J.S. Weinger et al., "Substrate-assisted catalysis of peptide bond formation by the ribosome."
Although high-resolution structures of bacterial ribosomes have been available for four years, the mechanism of peptide bond formation remains elusive. In this paper, the authors find that the 2'OH of nucleotide A76 within the 3' CCA end of a tRNA plays an essential role in peptide bond formation. The evolutionarily archaic nature of such a substrate-assisted catalysis lends further support to the idea that prebiotic catalytic strategies are still functioning.
- Reinhard Lührmann
M.N. Poy et al., "A pancreatic islet-specific microRNA regulates insulin secretion."
One of the first functional characterizations of a mammalian microRNA: miR-375 appears to inhibit insulin secretion by targeting the myotrophin mRNA. Overexpression and inhibition of mir-375 have clear physiological effects, so this is the first physiologically validated microRNA/target combination in mammals, with plausibly a single target site in the myotrophin mRNA.
- Chris Sander