Scanning electron micrographs of B. subtilisIMAGE: COURTESY OF THE BEN-YEHUDA LABORATORY

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," 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. Free F1000 evaluation

2. AMPK structure revealed

Researchers detail the crystal structure of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which helps regulate cell metabolism and has...

B. Xiao et al., "Structure of mammalian AMPK and its regulation by ADP," 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. Free F1000 evaluation

3. New nano-communication?

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," Cell, 144:590-600, 2011. Evaluated by Ramanujam Srinivasan, Mithilesh Mishra and Mohan Balasubramanian, National Univ Singapore; M?lanie Hamon and Pascale Cossart, Institut Pasteur; Fabio Bagnoli and Rino Rappuoli, Novartis; Adrian Mehlitz and Roy Gross, Univ W?rzburg. Free F1000 evaluation

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," 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. Free F1000 evaluation

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," 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. Free F1000 evaluation

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," 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. Free F1000 evaluation

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," Science, 331:1616-20, 2011. Evaluated by Martin Lowe, Univ Manchester; Roger Williams, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Christopher Janetopoulos, Vanderbilt Univ. 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

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