Volume 550 Issue 7677



News Features

To stay young, kill zombie cells p.448

Killing off cells that refuse to die on their own has proved a powerful anti-ageing strategy in mice. Now it's about to be tested in humans.

doi: 10.1038/550448a

News & Views

Memory beyond immunity p.460

Epithelial stem cells maintain the skin's epidermis and promote wound healing in response to injury. Scientists from two fields discuss implications of the discovery that these stem cells harbour a memory of previous injuries, which enables skin to respond rapidly to subsequent assaults. See Article p.475

doi: 10.1038/nature24154

Atomistic views of deformation p.461

Laser experiments and computer simulations have been used to analyse the jiggling of atoms in compressed solids. The results take us closer to designing materials that can withstand extreme conditions. See Letters p.492 & p.496

doi: 10.1038/550461a

Origins in the oesophagus p.463

The cellular origins of a precancerous condition called Barrett's oesophagus have been unclear. Tracking and analysis of epithelial cells at the affected site could shed light on the problem. See Letter p.529

doi: 10.1038/nature24150

Rapid mass changes measured in cells p.465

An ultrasensitive balance has been developed to weigh single or multiple cells, at high time and mass resolution — revealing fast and subtle mass fluctuations during the cell cycle and viral infection. See Letter p.500

doi: 10.1038/550465a

Twenty years of drying droplets p.466

When a particle-laden droplet evaporates on a solid surface, the particles form a ring-like deposit. The explanation for this phenomenon, provided in 1997, has led to advances in many areas of science and engineering.

doi: 10.1038/550466a

How flowers get the blues to lure bees p.467

The petals of a range of flowers harbour repeated patterns of nanostructures that show similar levels of disorder across species. This degree of disorder produces a blue halo of scattered light that helps bees to find flowers. See Article p.469

doi: 10.1038/nature24155



Indirect effects drive coevolution in mutualistic networks p.511

An approach to ecological interactions that integrates coevolutionary dynamics and network structure, showing that selection in mutualisms is shaped not only by the mutualistic partners but also by all sorts of indirect effects from other species in the network.

doi: 10.1038/nature24273

Single-molecule imaging reveals receptor–G protein interactions at cell surface hot spots p.543

G-protein-coupled receptors mediate the biological effects of many hormones and neurotransmitters and are important pharmacological targets. They transmit their signals to the cell interior by interacting with G proteins. However, it is unclear how receptors and G proteins meet, interact and couple. Here we analyse the concerted motion of G-protein-coupled receptors and G proteins on the plasma membrane and provide a quantitative model that reveals the key factors that underlie the high spatiotemporal complexity of their interactions. Using two-colour, single-molecule imaging we visualize interactions between individual receptors and G proteins at the surface of living cells. Under basal conditions, receptors and G proteins form activity-dependent complexes that last for around one second. Agonists specifically regulate the kinetics of receptor–G protein interactions, mainly by increasing their association rate. We find hot spots on the plasma membrane, at least partially defined by the cytoskeleton and clathrin-coated pits, in which receptors and G proteins are confined and preferentially couple. Imaging with the nanobody Nb37 suggests that signalling by G-protein-coupled receptors occurs preferentially at these hot spots. These findings shed new light on the dynamic interactions that control G-protein-coupled receptor signalling.

doi: 10.1038/nature24264