Category Archives: Insight on Research

New insights into the architecture of organelle contact sites, and the sites’ roles in cellular lipid fluxes

Correlative microscopy, in situ imaging of protein organisation and yeast genetics refine our understanding of ER-plasma membrane contact sites
By combining fluorescence microscopy and electron tomography, Wanda Kukulski’s lab in Cell Biology Division has visualised protein structures that bridge contact sites between the endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membrane in yeast,

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New understanding of protein abundance control

Translating ribosomes display a beacon that is exploited for selective mRNA degradation
Cells tightly control the levels of ‘housekeeping’ proteins to maintain smooth operation of basic life processes. The most common way cells accomplish this task is feedback control of transcription to turn on or turn off genes in response to perceived need of their protein products.

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Decade-long collaboration results in the first structure of the Fanconi anaemia core complex

The first structure of the FA core complex provides new insights into its function in DNA crosslink repair and why disease-causing mutations are only seen in some parts of the complex
Our DNA contains all of the information required to tell a cell what it needs to do,

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Fast, simple, accessible and affordable: The future of cryo-EM

Demonstration of a new direction in electron cryo-microscopy at the LMB promises a new era in resolving biological structures
Is it possible to improve imaging of purified biological specimens in electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) while also reducing its cost? The latest proof-of-principle paper from Chris Russo’s group says yes,

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Structural insights into control of cell growth by nutrient availability

Structures of active Rag dimers bound to mTORC1 provide greater understanding of control of cell growth and identify potential targets for development of new cancer drugs
Control of cell division is crucially important, as unregulated cell division is a hallmark of cancer.

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How chromosomes are bound to be separated in cell division

The first structure of the inner kinetochore bound to a centromeric nucleosome shows how chromosomes are bound before being segregated into two new cells
When our cells divide, it is important that the pairs of chromosomes are correctly segregated, as errors in this process cause serious problems.

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Mapping the human kidney

Scientists use single cell RNA sequencing data to generate the world’s first healthy human kidney cell atlas, providing a critical stepping-stone to understanding the pathways that lead to kidney disease and help identify future therapies
Chronic kidney disease affects more than 500 million patients worldwide,

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How the brain orchestrates head movement

While reaching for our morning cup of coffee, we experience the movement of our arm as continuous and smooth. It is natural then to think that the representation of these movements in our brain would also be continuous and smooth. Studying how such target-oriented movements are controlled,

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New cell death pathway in tuberculosis indicates potential use of commonly used drugs

Macrophages are a critical part of our immune system. They patrol our tissues, and when they encounter debris or invaders such as bacteria and parasites, they engulf the particles and destroy them. But if, in the course of tuberculosis, these infected macrophages die through a process called necrosis,

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Characterisation of recombinant human proteasome complexes

Proteasomes are the main protein recycling centres in all eukaryotic cells. Apart from their role in maintaining a healthy protein population, these complex molecules are critical as they also control key signals that determine the onset of crucial cellular events, including cell division.

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