Top 7 in biochemistry

A snapshot of the most highly ranked articles in biochemistry, from Faculty of 1000

Cristina Luiggi
Nov 29, 2010
linkurl:1. New role for non-coding RNA; Some long non-coding RNAs are required for the expression of neighboring protein-coding genes in humans — yet another role the mysterious non-coding transcriptome plays in regulating gene expression.U.A. Ørom et al., linkurl:Cell,; 143:46-58, 2010. Evaluated by Leonie Ringrose, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology; A. Clery, D. Theler, and F. Allain, ETH; J. Abrams, Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; E. Lara-Pezzi and N. Rosenthal, EMBL. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation;
E. coli
Image: Wikimedia commons, NIAID
linkurl:2. It takes three to replicate; Using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, researchers observed for the first time the DNA replication machinery at work in living E. coli cells in real time. The novel technique revealed that DNA replication in the bacterium requires the concerted action of three, and not two (as previously thought), polymerases.R. Reyes-Lamothe et al., linkurl:Science,; 328:498-501, 2010. Evaluated by Martin Marinus, UMass Medical School; Sabine Müller, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald; Manju Hingorani, Wesleyan Univ; Gottfried Otting, Australian National Univ. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation; linkurl:3. Folding, at atomic-scale; Researchers simulate the folding of proteins, while keeping track of every atom, using a specially designed supercomputer named Anton. The simulations track the virtual proteins for up to 1 millisecond — nearly 100 times longer than what previous simulations have achieved. D.E. Shaw, et al., linkurl:Science,; 330:341-6, 2010. Evaluations by Gottfried Otting, Australian National Univ; Torleif Härd, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation; linkurl:4. Tricky proteins targeted; Proteins that have phosphate groups attached to their histidines have been notoriously hard to study because phosphorylated histidines are highly unstable species, making them difficult targets. To circumvent this, researchers synthesized a stable phosphohistidine analog and used it to develop the first antibody capable of recognizing proteins bearing the phosphorylated amino acid. J.M. Kee, et al., linkurl:J Am Chem Soc,; 132:14327-9, 2010. Evaluations by Michael Gelb, Univ. Washington; Derek Macmillan, Macromolecular Chemistry, UK; Michael Pirrung, UC Riverside. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation; linkurl:5. Defense mechanism elucidated; Hardwired into the genomes of prokaryotes are pieces of foreign DNA cells use to recognize and ward off new invading genetic material, and new research uncovers more molecular clues of how the process works. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the endoribonuclease Csy4 processes the raw RNA transcripts produced by these sequences, while a family of proteins called Cas use these RNAs to silence the matching invader. R.E. Haurwitz, et al., linkurl:Science,; 329:1355-8, 2010. Evaluations by Rachel Senturia and Feng Guo, UCLA; Jim Maher, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Robert Batey, U Colorado at Boulder. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation;
Heme group B
Image: Wikimedia commons, Ronk01
linkurl:6. How cells traffic heme; Better known for its enzymatic role in glycolysis, GAPDH also carries out the crucial function of delivering the heme group (a central component of hemoproteins such as hemoglobin) to the heme-containing nitric oxide synthase — thus becoming the first mammalian "heme chaperone" to be identified.R. Chakravarti, et al., linkurl:PNAS,; 107:18004-9, 2010. Evaluations by David Wink, National Cancer Institute; Jack Lancaster, U Alabama at Birmingham. linkurl:Free F1000 Evaluation; linkurl:7. Keys to splitting chromosomes; Two key steps are required to efficiently separate chromosomes during the metaphase and anaphase stages of mitosis: the cleaving of a ring-shaped complex called cohesin and the inhibition of the kinase Cdk1.R.A. Oliveira et al., linkurl:Nat Cell Bio,; 12:185-92, 2010. Evaluations by Tony Maxwell, John Innes Centre, UK; Gennaro D'Urso, U Miami School of Med; Hanna Windecker and Silke Hauf, Max Planck Society. 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 Biochemistry, as calculated on November 29, 2010. 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:;
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