Volume 492 Number 7428



Life on land p.153

Evidence for the first land life is controversial, but the fossil record has a tendency to surprise.

doi: 10.1038/492153b


Words are not enough p.153

The political inertia that characterizes the world’s response to global warming cannot continue. Politicians and policy-makers must follow the climate’s lead — and change.

doi: 10.1038/492153a

ネイチャー・パブリッシング・グループ(NPG)が、Nature を含む9つのジャーナルを閲覧可能な、iPadアプリの新バージョンの提供を開始。

Announcement: A new iPad app for Nature readers p.154

doi: 10.1038/492154a



Duelling visions stall NASA p.161

A US plan to send humans to explore an asteroid is losing momentum.

doi: 10.1038/492161a


Ancient fungi found in deep-sea mud p.163

Discovery raises hopes that sea floor could yield previously unknown antibiotics.

doi: 10.1038/492163a


Hopes surface for exotic insulator p.165

Findings by three teams may solve a 40-year-old mystery.

doi: 10.1038/492165a


Clusters of coronavirus cases put scientists on alert p.166

Surveillance ramped up after novel virus is identified in three Middle Eastern countries.

doi: 10.1038/492166a


NIH tackles major workforce issues p.167

US agency aims to expand training options for graduate students and to increase demographic diversity.

doi: 10.1038/492167a


Cash injection set to revive Swiss drug site p.168

Merck Serono facility could become biotech research hub.

doi: 10.1038/492168a

News Features


Polar research: Trouble bares its claws p.170


doi: 10.1038/492170a


Computer engineering: Feeling the heat p.174


doi: 10.1038/492174a

News & Views


Synthesis: A constructive debate p.188


doi: 10.1038/492188a


Cell biology: All clear for ribosome landing p.189


doi: 10.1038/492189a


Astrophysics: A pas de trois birth for wide binary stars p.191


doi: 10.1038/nature11762


Astronomy: Clearing up the dust p.192


doi: 10.1038/492192a


Economics: Conservation in the red p.193


doi: 10.1038/492193a


Cell biology: Death by deacetylation p.194


doi: 10.1038/nature11761


Biochemistry: Molecular hurdles cleared with ease p.195


doi: 10.1038/nature11758


Applied physics: Molecules that convert heat into light p.197


doi: 10.1038/492197a



The NAD-dependent deacetylase SIRT2 is required for programmed necrosis p.199

Although initially viewed as unregulated, increasing evidence suggests that cellular necrosis often proceeds through a specific molecular program. In particular, death ligands such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α activate necrosis by stimulating the formation of a complex containing receptor-interacting protein 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein 3 (RIP3). Relatively little is known regarding how this complex formation is regulated. Here, we show that the NAD-dependent deacetylase SIRT2 binds constitutively to RIP3 and that deletion or knockdown of SIRT2 prevents formation of the RIP1–RIP3 complex in mice. Furthermore, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of SIRT2 blocks cellular necrosis induced by TNF-α. We further demonstrate that RIP1 is a critical target of SIRT2-dependent deacetylation. Using gain- and loss-of-function mutants, we demonstrate that acetylation of RIP1 lysine 530 modulates RIP1–RIP3 complex formation and TNF-α-stimulated necrosis. In the setting of ischaemia-reperfusion injury, RIP1 is deacetylated in a SIRT2-dependent fashion. Furthermore, the hearts of Sirt2−/− mice, or wild-type mice treated with a specific pharmacological inhibitor of SIRT2, show marked protection from ischaemic injury. Taken together, these results implicate SIRT2 as an important regulator of programmed necrosis and indicate that inhibitors of this deacetylase may constitute a novel approach to protect against necrotic injuries, including ischaemic stroke and myocardial infarction.

doi: 10.1038/nature11700


Bypass of a protein barrier by a replicative DNA helicase p.205

Replicative DNA helicases generally unwind DNA as a single hexamer that encircles and translocates along one strand of the duplex while excluding the complementary strand (known as steric exclusion). By contrast, large T antigen, the replicative DNA helicase of the simian virus 40 (SV40), is reported to function as a pair of stacked hexamers that pumps double-stranded DNA through its central channel while laterally extruding single-stranded DNA. Here we use single-molecule and ensemble assays to show that large T antigen assembled on the SV40 origin unwinds DNA efficiently as a single hexamer that translocates on single-stranded DNA in the 3′-to-5′ direction. Unexpectedly, large T antigen unwinds DNA past a DNA–protein crosslink on the translocation strand, suggesting that the large T antigen ring can open to bypass bulky adducts. Together, our data underscore the profound conservation among replicative helicase mechanisms, and reveal a new level of plasticity in the interactions of replicative helicases with DNA damage.

doi: 10.1038/nature11730


Structure of the TatC core of the twin-arginine protein transport system p.210

The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway is one of two general protein transport systems found in the prokaryotic cytoplasmic membrane and is conserved in the thylakoid membrane of plant chloroplasts. The defining, and highly unusual, property of the Tat pathway is that it transports folded proteins, a task that must be achieved without allowing appreciable ion leakage across the membrane. The integral membrane TatC protein is the central component of the Tat pathway. TatC captures substrate proteins by binding their signal peptides. TatC then recruits TatA family proteins to form the active translocation complex. Here we report the crystal structure of TatC from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus. This structure provides a molecular description of the core of the Tat translocation system and a framework for understanding the unique Tat transport mechanism.

doi: 10.1038/nature11683


Automated design of ligands to polypharmacological profiles p.215

The clinical efficacy and safety of a drug is determined by its activity profile across many proteins in the proteome. However, designing drugs with a specific multi-target profile is both complex and difficult. Therefore methods to design drugs rationally a priori against profiles of several proteins would have immense value in drug discovery. Here we describe a new approach for the automated design of ligands against profiles of multiple drug targets. The method is demonstrated by the evolution of an approved acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drug into brain-penetrable ligands with either specific polypharmacology or exquisite selectivity profiles for G-protein-coupled receptors. Overall, 800 ligand–target predictions of prospectively designed ligands were tested experimentally, of which 75% were confirmed to be correct. We also demonstrate target engagement in vivo. The approach can be a useful source of drug leads when multi-target profiles are required to achieve either selectivity over other drug targets or a desired polypharmacology.

doi: 10.1038/nature11691



Formation of the widest binary stars from dynamical unfolding of triple systems p.221

An explanation for the formation of binary systems in which the components are extremely far apart is proposed: triple systems can break up and send one component far away by taking energy from the remaining binary, bringing the two stars so close together that from a distance they appear like one star.

doi: 10.1038/nature11662

物理:Fe XVII発光問題の起源としての予想外に低い振動子強度

An unexpectedly low oscillator strength as the origin of the Fe xvii emission problem p.225

Fluorescence of iron ions induced by an X-ray laser allows the relative oscillator strength for Fe xvii emission to be determined; it is found to differ by 3.6σ from the best quantum mechanical calculations, suggesting that the poor agreement between prediction and observations of the brightest Fe xvii line is rooted in the quality of the underlying atomic wavefunctions used in the models.

doi: 10.1038/nature11627


Mid-infrared frequency comb based on a quantum cascade laser p.229

A broadband, compact, all-electrically driven mid-infrared frequency comb based on a quantum cascade laser widens the scope of application of combs in this frequency range beyond that of sources which depend on a chain of optical components.

doi: 10.1038/nature11620


Highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes from delayed fluorescence p.234

A class of metal-free organic electroluminescent molecules is designed in which both singlet and triplet excitons contribute to light emission, leading to an intrinsic fluorescence efficiency greater than 90 per cent and an external electroluminescence efficiency comparable to that achieved in high-efficiency phosphorescence-based organic light-emitting diodes.

doi: 10.1038/nature11687


Increased future ice discharge from Antarctica owing to higher snowfall p.239

Climate models predict that precipitation will increase in Antarctica, leading to potential ice mass gain and an offset to sea level rise, but here it is shown that enhanced snowfall on Antarctica is likely to increase ice discharge and thereby negate 30% to 65% of the snowfall-induced ice gain.

doi: 10.1038/nature11616


Deep penetration of molten iron into the mantle caused by a morphological instability p.243

A morphological instability causing blobs of iron-rich liquid to penetrate iron oxides is described, providing a mechanism for the iron-rich regions in the mantle.

doi: 10.1038/nature11663


Nonlinear dendritic integration of sensory and motor input during an active sensing task p.247

Recordings from cortical neuron dendrites of head-fixed mice during an object-localization task provide direct evidence that a novel global nonlinearity has a role in integrating sensory and motor information during a behaviour-related computation.

doi: 10.1038/nature11601


Interleukin receptor activates a MYD88–ARNO–ARF6 cascade to disrupt vascular stability p.252

Interleukin-1β-induced disruption to endothelial stability and vascular permeability in a human in vitro model is shown to be independent of downstream nuclear factor-κB activation, relying instead on a MYD88–ARNO–ARF6 signalling cascade; inhibiting proteins involved in this pathway is shown to improve outcomes in animal models of inflammatory disease.

doi: 10.1038/nature11603


A soybean cyst nematode resistance gene points to a new mechanism of plant resistance to pathogens p.256

This study reports the identification of the first soybean gene that has a role in resistance to soybean cyst nematode; this finding should help to improve crop resistance to nematodes.

doi: 10.1038/nature11651


An early age increase in vacuolar pH limits mitochondrial function and lifespan in yeast p.261

Vacuolar acidity in yeast is shown to decline with age, and preventing this decrease suppresses mitochondrial dysfunction and extends the lifespan of yeast.

doi: 10.1038/nature11654


Ubiquitin chain conformation regulates recognition and activity of interacting proteins p.266

Single-molecule FRET assays used to probe the conformational dynamics of ubiquitin chains reveal that conformational selection is an important mechanism of ubiquitin chain recognition.

doi: 10.1038/nature11722


Activated GTPase movement on an RNA scaffold drives co-translational protein targeting p.271

Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques are used to elucidate features of the highly conserved protein-targeting machinery known as the signal recognition particle (SRP); the long SRP RNA is shown to be crucial for correct timing and precision of cargo handover to the protein-translocation machinery, a finding that could help to explain how other ribonucleosome complexes function during complex cellular processes.

doi: 10.1038/nature11726


Centralspindlin links the mitotic spindle to the plasma membrane during cytokinesis p.276

Structural and functional analysis of the centralspindlin complex shows that it connects the mitotic spindle to the plasma membrane during cytokinesis through interactions of the C1 domain of centralspindlin’s MgcRacGAP subunit with phosphoinositide lipids.

doi: 10.1038/nature11773


Regulation of ISWI involves inhibitory modules antagonized by nucleosomal epitopes p.280

Two separate regulatory regions on the Drosophila chromatin remodeller ISWI are defined, AutoN and NegC, which negatively regulate ATP hydrolysis and the coupling of ATP hydrolysis to productive DNA translocation, respectively; epitopes on nucleosomes activate ISWI by inhibiting these negative regulatory domains, ensuring that remodelling occurs only in the appropriate chromatin context.

doi: 10.1038/nature11625


The TEL patch of telomere protein TPP1 mediates telomerase recruitment and processivity p.285

Using separation-of-function mutations of TPP1 that inhibit telomerase binding while maintaining telomere capping, a region on the surface of TPP1, the TEL patch, is identified and found to be required for both binding telomerase and enhancing its processivity.

doi: 10.1038/nature11648

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