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Structure with actin reveals how Lifeact affects cells

November 20, 2020

Structure with actin reveals how Lifeact affects cells

Lifeact is a short actin-binding peptide that is widely used to visualize filamentous actin structures in live cell fluorescence microscopy. This cryo-EM study by Alexander Belyy, Stefan Raunser and colleagues, reveals how Lifeact competes with actin-binding proteins such as cofilin and myosin, providing an explanation for how Lifeact alters cell morphology.

Image credit: pbio.3000925

PLOS Biologue

Community blog for PLOS Biology, PLOS Genetics and PLOS Computational Biology.

PLOS BIOLOGUE

11/20/2020

Methods and Resources

SCRINSHOT: Mapping cell states with single-cell resolution

Alexandros Sountoulidis, Christos Samakovlis and co-authors present SCRINSHOT, an amenable, multiplex RNA-mapping method, applicable to a wide variety of tissue types and conditions. It can function quantitatively across a broad range of expression levels and detect even rare cell types, facilitating the creation of digital tissue maps with single-cell resolution.

Image credit: pbio.3000675

SCRINSHOT: Mapping cell states with single-cell resolution

Recently Published Articles

Current Issue

Current Issue October 2020

11/19/2020

Short Reports

Transmissible cancer, sex and the Red Queen

Recently, it has been suggested that early multicellular organisms with basic anticancer defenses were plagued by antagonistic interactions with transmissible cancers, and that this could have played a pivotal role in the evolution of sex. Thomas Aubier, Hanna Kokko and co-workers use mathematical models to show that coevolution between multicellular organisms and transmissible cancers does not easily favour sexual reproduction.

Image credit: pbio.3000916

Transmissible cancer, sex and the Red Queen

11/18/2020

Research Article

Integrating past and present to infer the future

Cen Yang and Yuji Naya reveal that three neuronal operations in the macaque hippocampus combine retrieved memory and incoming perceptual information to construct goal-directed information; this constructive memory process may equip us to use past knowledge flexibly according to the current situation.

Image credit: pbio.3000876

Integrating past and present to infer the future

11/17/2020

Research Article

The complex slumber of birds

Previous studies concluded that avian sleep lacked many features characteristic of mammalian sleep, suggesting that specialized sleep must have evolved independently in birds and mammals. However, Sofija Canavan and Daniel Margoliash show that the architecture of sleep in budgerigars is surprisingly similar to that in human adults, raising new questions about the evolution of complex mammalian-like sleep structure.

The complex slumber of birds

Image credit: Flickr user Chobist

11/17/2020

Research Article

Making extraocular muscles

Glenda Comai, Shahragim Tajbakhsh and co-workers present the first integrative blueprint for morphogenesis of the extraocular muscle (EOM) functional unit, providing genetic evidence for the existence of a retinoic acid signaling module that coordinates the emergence of individual EOMs, their tendons and insertion sites.

Making extraocular muscles

Image credit: pbio.3000902

11/16/2020

Research Article

Myelin defects, ATP and spastic paraplegia

Imaging of ATP dynamics in the optic nerve axons of mice lacking the major myelin protein PLP (a model of spastic paraplegia), by Andrea Trevisiol, Kathrin Kusch, Klaus-Armin Nave, Johannes Hirrlinger and colleagues, reveals complex alterations in the metabolic interaction between oligodendrocytes and axons, associated with structural deficits of myelin.

Myelin defects, ATP and spastic paraplegia

Image credit: pbio.3000943

11/13/2020

Unsolved Mystery

Sperm–egg recognition

How do cells from two individuals fuse to generate a new, genetically distinct organism of the same species? This article explores the molecular mechanisms underlying sperm–egg interaction and fusion, a fascinating topic that is under increasing investigation.

Sperm–egg recognition

Image credit: pbio.3000953

11/13/2020

Research Article

Strut, saunter or stroll: regulating walking speed

How the pacemaker nerons in the central pattern generator regulate the locomotor rhythm remains unknown. This study reveals how two opposing sub-threshold conductances represent essential substrates to regulate the speed of locomotion.

Strut, saunter or stroll: regulating walking speed

Image credit: pbio.3000738

11/12/2020

Research Article

Exiting mitosis

A logical compartmental model of the yeast mitotic exit network (MEN) represents spatial aspects of regulation, correctly predicts the majority of published MEN phenotypes, and reveals both the role of the Cdc14 early anaphase release and a link between mitosis length and checkpoint competence.

Exiting mitosis

Image credit: pbio.3000917

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