Top 7 in cell biology

A snapshot of the most highly ranked articles in cell biology and related areas, from Faculty of 1000

By | May 3, 2011

linkurl:1. Cytokines, infection blockers; Patients infected by Candida albicans -- the causative agent of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis disease (CMCD), an infection of the oral and genital mucosae, skin, and nails -- and possibly Staphylococcus aureus, often have mutations in genes encoding interleukin-17 receptor A (IL-17RA) and IL-17F, suggesting an essential role of these cytokines in protecting against such infections. A. Puel et al., "Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis in humans with inborn errors of interleukin-17 immunity," linkurl:Science,; 332:65-8, 2011. Evaluated by Dan Conrad, Virginia Commonwealth Univ; Jay Kolls, LSU Health Sciences Cen; Klaus Ley, La Jolla Inst for Allergy & Immunology; Sarah Gaffen, Univ Pitt; Joshua Milner, National Inst of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:2. AMPK structure revealed; Researchers detail the crystal structure of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps regulate cell metabolism and has been implicated in diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. The results provide new information about how nucleotide binding and subsequent phosphorylation of the activation loop affects the catalytic activity of the enzyme. B. Xiao et al., "Structure of mammalian AMPK and its regulation by ADP," linkurl:Nature,; 472:230-33, 2011. Evaluated by Chris Marshall and Mitsuhiko Ikura, Ontario Cancer Inst; Eduardo Rial, CSIC; Paul Clarke, Univ Dundee; John Kyriakis, Tufts Med Cen. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:3. New nano-communication?;
Scanning electron micrographs of B. subtilis
Image: Courtesy of the Ben-Yehuda laboratory
Bacteria may be able to exchange proteins and genetic materials via newly identified intercellular nanotube structures, possibly representing a novel form of interspecies communication -- a finding that could shed light on how antibiotic resistance spreads. G.P. Dubey and S. Ben-Yehuda, "Intercellular nanotubes mediate bacterial communication," linkurl:Cell,; 144:590-600, 2011. Evaluated by Ramanujam Srinivasan, Mithilesh Mishra and Mohan Balasubramanian, National Univ Singapore; Mélanie Hamon and Pascale Cossart, Institut Pasteur; Fabio Bagnoli and Rino Rappuoli, Novartis; Adrian Mehlitz and Roy Gross, Univ Würzburg. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:4. A long-term memory chemical; During the formation of long-term memories, neurons in the brain must import lactate, which forms when an energy reserve molecule called glycogen is broken down by specialized brain cells known as astrocytes. A. Suzuki, et al., "Astrocyte-neuron lactate transport is required for long-term memory formation," linkurl:Cell,; 144:810-23, 2011. Evaluated by James Bamburg, Colo St Univ; David Wolfer, Univ Zurich; Faraz Sultan and David Sweatt, Univ Ala Birmingham; Karl-Peter Giese, King's Coll, UK. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:5. Selfing RNA?; Researchers describe an RNA polymerase ribozyme that can synthesize another naturally occurring RNA ribozyme, hinting at the possibility of a self-replicating RNA molecule -- a key requirement of the RNA world hypothesis, which posits that life began with RNA molecules making copies of themselves. A. Wochner et al., "Ribozyme-catalyzed transcription of an active ribozyme," linkurl:Science,; 332:209-12, 2011. Evaluated by Yan Xu and Makoto Komiyama, Univ Tokyo; Peter Unrau, Simon Fraser Univ; Niles Lehman, Portland State Univ; Michael Yarus, Univ Colorado at Boulder; William Scott, Univ California at Santa Cruz. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:6. Molding microtubules; MEC-17, an enzyme that is crucial to the function of touch receptors in C. elegans, takes part in the post-translational modification of alpha-tubulin essential for proper microtubule structure and function in neurons. J.S. Akella, et al., "MEC-17 is an alpha-tubulin acetyltransferase," linkurl:Nature,; 467:218-22, 2010. Evaluated by Carl Victor Lundin and Yanmin Yang, Stanford Univ Sch of Med; Mark Winey, Univ Colo; Hong-Wei Wang, Yale Univ. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; linkurl:7. Cell division with a twist; Researchers identify thin spiral fibers that appear to physically cut one daughter cell from the other during the final stages of mitosis, elucidating a fundamental biological process and possibly leading to a better understanding of cancer, which can be caused by improper cell division. J. Guizetti et al., "Cortical constriction during abscission involves helices of ESCRT-III-dependent filaments," linkurl:Science,; 331:1616-20, 2011. Evaluated by Martin Lowe, Univ Manchester; Roger Williams, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Christopher Janetopoulos, Vanderbilt Univ. linkurl:Free F1000 evaluation; The F1000 Top 7 is a snapshot of the highest ranked articles from a 30-day period on Faculty of 1000 in Cell Biology, as calculated on April 29, 2011. Faculty Members evaluate and rate the most important papers in their field. To see the latest rankings, search the database, and read daily evaluations, visit linkurl:;
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Volcanic origin of proteins?;
[21st March 2011]*linkurl:Trading resistance via nanotubes?;
[17th February 2011]*linkurl:Cell division with a twist;
[10th February 2011]


Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 15

May 3, 2011

This "novel" discovery is actually very old and there are electron micrographs in the literature showing bacterial conjugation by "nanotubes" from more than 20 years ago. Just google bacterial conjugation and use your eyes for goodness sake.\n\nThe only difference is that the term "nanotube" is a modern invention. Shame on you F1000 for your ignorance.
Avatar of: Mikael Ros

Mikael Ros

Posts: 6

May 12, 2011

Bacterial conjugation is not the same as this type of transfer. Nanotubes have earlier been described in eukaryotes, but not in prokaryotes.

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