Subject: PLOS Biology Volume 17(12) December 2019 Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


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New Articles in PLOS Biology

PUBLISHED: December 01, 2019 to December 31, 2019


Can postfertile life stages evolve as an anticancer mechanism?

Why menopause evolved in the females of some species remains enigmatic. This Essay proposes that existing adaptive explanations have underestimated an important factor operating both at the specific and the individual levels: the balance between cancer risks and cancer defences.

Community Page

Viewing the Invisible: Exploring common methodology across disciplines

This Community Page article describes "Viewing the Invisible," a multimedia collaboration where artists painted portraits of scientists, mutually discovering the creativity of science and the technical precision of art.

Research Articles

Dynamic trafficking and turnover of JAM-C is essential for endothelial cell migration

A novel proximity-labelling proteomic approach, together with light and electron microscopy in primary endothelial cells, reveals the crucial role of receptor trafficking and ubiquitylation in the function of the junctional adhesion molecule JAM-C; dynamic trafficking of this receptor is essential for normal endothelial cell migration.

Transcription-induced formation of extrachromosomal DNA during yeast ageing

Transcription can cause the de novo formation of protein-coding extrachromosomal DNA that accumulates in ageing yeast cells; these extrachromosomal circular DNA molecules form frequently by a DNA double strand break repair mechanism.

Coinfections by noninteracting pathogens are not independent and require new tests of interaction

If pathogen species, strains, or clones do not interact, intuition suggests the proportion of coinfected hosts can be obtained by simply multiplying the individual prevalences. However, even simple epidemiological models show this to be untrue. This study develops new tests for interaction between pathogens that account for this surprising lack of statistical independence.

Enhanced translation expands the endo-lysosome size and promotes antigen presentation during phagocyte activation

Activation of phagocytes rapidly expands the endo-lysosomal system and promotes antigen presentation. Endo-lysosome expansion was driven by mTORC1-dependent enhanced translation, revealing regulated translation as a mechanism to remodel membrane organelles in response to external signals and stresses.

Bidirectional cingulate-dependent danger information transfer across rats

This study shows that when one rat witnesses another receive electric shocks, the rats transfer information in both directions in a way that is independent of familiarity but is increased by prior experience with shocks. Simulations show that a phenomenon typically associated with empathy and prosociality may actually have evolved to serve the more selfish purpose of danger detection.

The homeostatic dynamics of feeding behaviour identify novel mechanisms of anorectic agents

A quantitative study of rodent feeding behaviour reveals that anorectic agents may have substantially different behavioural effects from one another and from the satiated state they are intended to evoke. In silico studies suggest alternative strategies for reducing food intake.

The tricellular vertex-specific adhesion molecule Sidekick facilitates polarised cell intercalation during Drosophila axis extension

This study identifies the adhesion molecule Sidekick as a resident protein of tricellular vertices between cells, at the level of adherens junctions. A combination of quantitative methods and modelling provides evidence that Sidekick facilitates polarised cell intercalation during Drosophila axis extension.

Mediator MED23 regulates inflammatory responses and liver fibrosis

Liver fibrosis is characterized by hepatic damage, an inflammatory response, and hepatic stellate cell activation, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study reveals that the transcriptional Mediator subunit MED23 regulates the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis by controlling the production of inflammatory cytokines such as CCL5 and CXCL10.

Intestinal peroxisomal fatty acid beta -oxidation regulates neural serotonin signaling through a feedback mechanism

As a neuromodulator, serotonin regulates numerous behavioral and emotional states. This study shows in the nematode C. elegans, metabolic cues that originate in the organism's periphery modulate neurally regulated serotonergic processes, including feeding behavior and egg laying, revealing a homeostatic signal that informs the nervous system of the organism's nutritional state.

Cilia-based peptidergic signaling

Peptide-mediated intercellular communication is an essential process, and those peptides are usually released from secretory granules. This study demonstrates that peptidergic signals are also secreted through vesicular ectosomes that bud from the ciliary membrane.

A conserved regulatory mechanism mediates the convergent evolution of plant shoot lateral organs

Ancestral land plants lacked leaves; instead, these evolved independently in each lineage and were key innovations that allowed the radiation of plants on land during the lower Palaeozoic. This study of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha reveals that each time they evolved they used the same molecular mechanism to control leaf development.

Spatial encoding in primate hippocampus during free navigation

A neurophysiology study of marmoset monkey hippocampus during free navigation identified place cells analogous to those seen in other species, but the limited interaction observed between the activity of these neurons and theta oscillations suggests notable divergence from rodent models.

BMPR2 acts as a gatekeeper to protect endothelial cells from increased TGFbeta responses and altered cell mechanics

Balanced TGFß/BMP-signaling is essential for tissue formation and homeostasis; this study shows that the receptor BMPR2 serves as gatekeeper of this balance, protecting cells from increased TGFß-responses and integrin-mediated mechanotransduction.

High-order interactions distort the functional landscape of microbial consortia

Can we predict the function of a microbial consortium? This study shows that even a simple function can exhibit substantial complexity and be dominated by complex interactions, illustrating the important challenges that arise when trying to design synthetic microbial consortia from first principles.

Photosensing and quorum sensing are integrated to control Pseudomonas aeruginosa collective behaviors

Photosensing and quorum sensing are integrated to control collective behaviors of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa; the information is transduced via a phosphorylation'dephosphorylation sensory system. The study has implications for light-mediated control of P. aeruginosa infectivity.

A kinase-dependent checkpoint prevents escape of immature ribosomes into the translating pool

Here we show that the kinase Rio1, the nuclease Nob1, and its partner Pno1 establish a checkpoint that prevents the escape of immature ribosomes into polysomes. Bypass of this checkpoint perturbs ribosome fidelity, and mRNA specificity, and can be caused by cancer-associated mutations.

The deubiquitinase USP6 affects memory and synaptic plasticity through modulating NMDA receptor stability

This study identifies the hominoid-specific USP6 as a novel deubiquitinase of NMDA receptors, and shows that neuronal expression of human USP6 transgene enhances cognitive and synaptic function in mice, suggesting a potential role of USP6 in the evolution of human intelligence.

Glioblastoma cells vampirize WNT from neurons and trigger a JNK/MMP signaling loop that enhances glioblastoma progression and neurodegeneration

Glioblastoma is the most lethal brain tumor and is characterized by progressive neurological deficits. However, whether these symptoms result from direct or indirect damage to neurons is still unresolved. This study shows that glioblastoma cells compete with healthy neurons for survival, depleting the signaling molecule Wg and causing neurodegeneration.

Lipoprotein signatures of cholesteryl ester transfer protein and HMG-CoA reductase inhibition

Inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein does not affect size-specific low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, but may lower coronary heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol concentrations in other apolipoprotein-B containing atherogenic lipoproteins, and by lowering triglyceride content of high-density lipoprotein particles.

Human sperm displays rapid responses to diet

Sperm motility in healthy young men is highly sensitive to diet and is associated with changes in specific populations of tRNA fragments. In non-human animals, similar molecular changes correlate with metabolic effects in the offspring. These results not only show that human sperm may rapidly respond to diet, but that these changes may potentially ripple into the next generation.

Short Reports

Universal antibiotic tolerance arising from antibiotic-triggered accumulation of pyocyanin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Treatment of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa with sublethal concentrations of diverse antibiotics promotes the accumulation of pyocyanin, an important virulence factor; in turn, pyocyanin confers general tolerance against antibiotics for both P. aeruginosa and other bacteria.

Methods and Resources

Inferring the mammal tree: Species-level sets of phylogenies for questions in ecology, evolution, and conservation

This study presents a newly robust evolutionary timescale for ~6000 extant species of mammals, aimed at understanding their species-specific rates of diversification and distinct phylogenetic history. Ages and relationships in the tree of life are estimated with probabilistic confidence levels to help future tests of eco-evolutionary hypotheses.

A generic cell surface ligand system for studying cell'cell recognition

This study describes a generic cell-surface ligand system that allows precise manipulation of ligand densities, valency, dimensions, and affinity. The system is validated for a range of immunoreceptors, including the T-cell receptor, and can be readily broadened to other cell-surface receptor-ligand interactions.

A new branched proximity hybridization assay for the quantification of nanoscale protein'protein proximity

Many membrane proteins are preorganized in nanoscale compartments, and their reorganization can play a crucial role in receptor activation and cell signalling. This study describes a new branched proximity hybridization assay that provides quantitative measurement of protein-protein interactions at the nanoscale.

Image-based analysis of living mammalian cells using label-free 3D refractive index maps reveals new organelle dynamics and dry mass flux

A combination of holo-tomographic microscopy and computer vision allows the label-free observation of novel shape and dry mass dynamics of mammalian organelles such as lipid droplets and the investigation of complex organellar motion using pattern matching and homography analysis.

High-resolution 3D imaging and topological mapping of the lymph node conduit system

Extended-volume confocal imaging allowed 3D visualisation of the fine network of conduits within lymph nodes; the resulting map of conduit topology underscores structural differences between the deep and superficial T cell zone and identifies "follicular reservoirs" within B cell follicles that concentrate lymphoid fluid around follicular dendritic cells.


Retraction: Brain'Computer Interface'Based Communication in the Completely Locked-In State

Retraction: Response to: "Questioning the evidence for BCI-based communication in the complete locked-in state"


Correction: Open science challenges, benefits and tips in early career and beyond

Correction: Single-cell selectivity and functional architecture of human lateral occipital complex

Correction: Hotspots of human impact on threatened terrestrial vertebrates


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