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Current Issue of Nature

Current Issue : Nature

Current Issue

Volume 548 Number 7669 pp499-618

31 August 2017

About the cover

Most adult organs are in a constant state of renewal, with old cells continually being replaced by the progeny of stem cells. For organs to keep the same size, there must be strict equilibrium between cell production and cell loss, but how such control is exercised is unclear. In this issue, Lucy Erin O’Brien and her colleagues reveal that tissue-level equilibrium, and thus constant organ size, result from localized communication between cells during renewal. Investigating the intestine of the fruit fly Drosophila (pictured on the cover), O’Brien and her team uncovered a feedback mechanism in which the deaths of old enterocytes release a block on stem-cell division. In healthy enterocytes, the protein E-cadherin prevents the secretion of epidermal growth factors (EGFs) by suppressing the EGF-activating protease rhomboid. When an enterocyte undergoes its natural death, loss of E-cadherin triggers induction of rhomboid, which in turn activates EGF receptors on nearby stem cells, sparking replacement of the dying cell. By limiting cell replacement to the time and place of tissue need, this mechanism ensures tissue-level equilibrium. Cover image: Lucy Erin O’Brien and Jackson Liang

This Week



World View

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  • Geode

    Breaking new ground.

    • John Gilbey



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    • Anand S. Merchant
    • Gautam U. Mehta
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    • Eric Tran
    • Robert Eil
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    The authors describe a two-cell-type CRISPR screen to identify tumour-intrinsic genes that regulate the sensitivity of cancer cells to effector T cell function.

  • Mammals divert endogenous genotoxic formaldehyde into one-carbon metabolism

    • Guillermo Burgos-Barragan
    • Niek Wit
    • Johannes Meiser
    • Felix A. Dingler
    • Matthias Pietzke
    • Lee Mulderrig
    • Lucas B. Pontel
    • Ivan V. Rosado
    • Thomas F. Brewer
    • Rebecca L. Cordell
    • Paul S. Monks
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    The mechanism by which formaldehyde, a potent DNA and protein crosslinking agent, is generated from folate is described, with implications for the treatment of certain cancers.

    See also


  • Proper-motion age dating of the progeny of Nova Scorpii AD 1437

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    • K. Iłkiewicz
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    • A. Pagnotta
    • M. F. Bode
    • L. A. Crause
    • K. Drozd
    • J. Faherty
    • I. Fuentes-Morales
    • J. E. Grindlay
    • A. F. J. Moffat
    • M. L. Pretorius
    • L. Schmidtobreick
    • F. R. Stephenson
    • C. Tappert
    • D. Zurek

    The re-discovery of the binary star system that created the Nova Scorpii AD 1437 stellar outburst shows that it is now a dwarf nova, suggesting that nova systems spend some time as dwarf novae in between larger outbursts.

    See also
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    • Ulrich K. Rößler
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    • Gufeng Wang
    • Robert Pal
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    Rotary molecular machines, activated by ultraviolet light, are able to perturb and drill into cell membranes in a controllable manner, and more efficiently than those exhibiting flip-flopping or random motion.

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    • Juhyun Kim
    • Dong Won Kim
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    • Myrto Denaxa
    • Szu-Aun Lim
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    • Ian R. Wickersham
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    GABAergic Lhx6+ neurons in the ventral zona incerta promote both rapid eye movement and non-rapid eye movement sleep and inhibit the activity of wake-promoting GABAergic and Hcrt+ neurons of the lateral hypothalamus.

  • Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson’s disease model

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    • Hiroaki Magotani
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    • Takuya Hayashi
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    • Ryosuke Takahashi
    • Haruhisa Inoue
    • Satoshi Morita
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    In a preclinical study, dopaminergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells were implanted into a primate model of Parkinson’s disease, where they were found to exhibit long-term survival, function as mid-brain dopaminergic neurons, and increase spontaneous movements.

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    • Kathrin Pieper
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    • Luca Piccoli
    • Mathilde Foglierini
    • Sonia Barbieri
    • Yiwei Chen
    • Chiara Silacci-Fregni
    • Tobias Wolf
    • David Jarrossay
    • Marica Anderle
    • Abdirahman Abdi
    • Francis M. Ndungu
    • Ogobara K. Doumbo
    • Boubacar Traore
    • Tuan M. Tran
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    • John D. Bagert
    • Manuel M. Müller
    • Uyen T. T. Nguyen
    • Felix Wojcik
    • Zachary Z. Brown
    • Jeffrey Bos
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  • Corrigendum: Complex pectin metabolism by gut bacteria reveals novel catalytic functions

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    • Artur Rogowski
    • Alan Cartmell
    • Ana S. Luis
    • Arnaud Baslé
    • Joseph Gray
    • Immacolata Venditto
    • Jonathon Briggs
    • Xiaoyang Zhang
    • Aurore Labourel
    • Nicolas Terrapon
    • Fanny Buffetto
    • Sergey Nepogodiev
    • Yao Xiao
    • Robert A. Field
    • Yanping Zhu
    • Malcolm A. O’Neill
    • Breeanna R. Urbanowicz
    • William S. York
    • Gideon J. Davies
    • D. Wade Abbott
    • Marie-Christine Ralet
    • Eric C. Martens
    • Bernard Henrissat
    • Harry J. Gilbert