Volume 552 Number 7683



News Features

News & Views

DNA self-assembly scaled up p.34

DNA can be designed to self-assemble into target shapes, but the size and quantity of objects that can be prepared have been limited. Methods to overcome these problems have now been found.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07690-y

A tip of the hat to evolutionary change p.35

The relative roles of biological and environmental factors in driving evolutionary change have been unclear. Now fossil analysis shows that their action depends on where an animal group is in its evolutionary trajectory.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07440-0

A steamy proposal for Martian clays p.37

Martian clays present a conundrum: the models proposed to explain their formation require conditions that are not predicted by computational climate simulations. Experiments now suggest an alternative scenario.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07661-3

Vivid views of the PINK1 protein p.38

Structures of an unusual enzymatic domain in PINK1 provide insights into how this protein regulates the function of organelles called mitochondria, and how mutations in PINK1 contribute to Parkinson’s disease.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07691-x

Two-dimensional tellurium p.40

Materials that consist of just one or a few layers of atoms could have a range of useful applications. Computer simulations now show that the element tellurium might form three such phases, and that they have potentially useful properties.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07159-y

The dark side of PD-1 receptor inhibition p.41

Inhibiting the protein PD-1 can activate T cells that trigger immune responses against tumour cells. But it emerges that, in mice, this immunotherapy exacerbates a cancer that involves the T cells themselves. See Letter p.121

doi: 10.1038/nature24759

Quantum-teleportation experiments turn 20 p.42

In 1997, it was demonstrated that quantum states can be teleported from one location to a distant one. The discovery had huge consequences for the development of quantum communication and computing.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-017-07689-5



Biotechnological mass production of DNA origami p.84

All necessary strands for DNA origami can be created in a single scalable process by using bacteriophages to generate single-stranded precursor DNA containing the target sequences interleaved with self-excising DNA enzymes.

doi: 10.1038/nature24650

Reconciling taxon senescence with the Red Queen’s hypothesis p.92

Focusing attention on the expansion of taxa, rather than their survival, resolves the apparent contradiction between seemingly deterministic patterns of waxing and waning of taxa over time and the randomness of extinction implied by the Red Queen’s hypothesis.

doi: 10.1038/nature24656

Genetic diversity of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae p.96

Genome sequencing analyses from 765 specimens of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii from 15 locations across Africa characterize patterns of gene flow and variations in population size, and provide a resource for studying the evolution of natural malaria vector populations.

doi: 10.1038/nature24995

IL-11 is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular fibrosis p.110

Fibroblast-specific IL-11 expression causes heart and kidney fibrosis and organ failure, whereas IL-11 inhibition prevents fibroblast activation and organ fibrosis, indicating that IL-11 inhibition is a potential therapeutic strategy to treat fibrotic diseases.

doi: 10.1038/nature24676

Promoter-bound METTL3 maintains myeloid leukaemia by m6A-dependent translation control p.126

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is an abundant internal RNA modification in both coding and non-coding RNAs that is catalysed by the METTL3–METTL14 methyltransferase complex. However, the specific role of these enzymes in cancer is still largely unknown. Here we define a pathway that is specific for METTL3 and is implicated in the maintenance of a leukaemic state. We identify METTL3 as an essential gene for growth of acute myeloid leukaemia cells in two distinct genetic screens. Downregulation of METTL3 results in cell cycle arrest, differentiation of leukaemic cells and failure to establish leukaemia in immunodeficient mice. We show that METTL3, independently of METTL14, associates with chromatin and localizes to the transcriptional start sites of active genes. The vast majority of these genes have the CAATT-box binding protein CEBPZ present at the transcriptional start site, and this is required for recruitment of METTL3 to chromatin. Promoter-bound METTL3 induces m6A modification within the coding region of the associated mRNA transcript, and enhances its translation by relieving ribosome stalling. We show that genes regulated by METTL3 in this way are necessary for acute myeloid leukaemia. Together, these data define METTL3 as a regulator of a chromatin-based pathway that is necessary for maintenance of the leukaemic state and identify this enzyme as a potential therapeutic target for acute myeloid leukaemia.

doi: 10.1038/nature24678