Subject: PLOS Biology Volume 17(9) September 2019 Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit


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PUBLISHED: September 01, 2019 to September 30, 2019


The world needs BRICS countries to build capacity in invasion science

This Perspective article proposes that facilitated networks of invasion biologists in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) can quickly build the capacity needed to advance policy relating to invasive species.

Community Page

The Tara Pacific expedition'A pan-ecosystemic approach of the "-omics" complexity of coral reef holobionts across the Pacific Ocean

This Community Page article presents the Tara Pacific expedition, which aims to shed light on the complex links between genomes, transcriptomes, metabolomes, organisms, and ecosystem functions in coral reefs, and providing a reference of the biological state of modern reef systems.

Research Articles

Loss of Bardet-Biedl syndrome proteins causes synaptic aberrations in principal neurons

In Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), mutations that affect the function of primary cilia cause retinal degeneration, obesity, kidney failure, and cognitive impairment. The cognitive impairment has yet to be explained, but this study shows that loss of BBS proteins causes synaptic aberrations in principal neurons and can be partially rescued by aerobic exercise.

Inhibition of Notch signaling rescues cardiovascular development in Kabuki Syndrome

Kabuki Syndrome (KS) is a human congenital disorder with mutations in KMT2D. Zebrafish kmt2d mutants recapitulate human KS phenotypes, have aberrant Notch pathway signaling, and implicate vasculogenesis as a driver of abnormal cardiac development. Pharmacological inhibition of the Notch pathway rescues vasculogenesis in KS zebrafish, with potential therapeutic implications.

Changes in chromatin accessibility ensure robust cell cycle exit in terminally differentiated cells

The longer a cell remains in G0, the more refractory it becomes to re-entering the cell cycle. This study shows that in terminally differentiated cells in vivo, regulatory elements at genes encoding just three key cell cycle regulators (cycE, e2f1 and stg) become inaccessible, limiting their aberrant activation and maintaining a prolonged, robust G0.

Strong preference for autaptic self-connectivity of neocortical PV interneurons facilitates their tuning to gamma -oscillations

Parvalbumin-positive interneurons modulate cortical activity via highly specialized connections to excitatory pyramidal neurons and other inhibitory cells. However, this study shows that fast autaptic self-inhibition is the major output of parvalbumin-positive basket cells in the neocortex and serves to modulate phase-locking of these interneurons during gamma-oscillations.

beta -glucan'dependent shuttling of conidia from neutrophils to macrophages occurs during fungal infection establishment

Imaging of the behaviour of white blood cells in living zebrafish embryos infected with fungi reveals "shuttling," a specific and previously undescribed form of microorganism exchange between neutrophils and macrophages.

Single-molecule correlated chemical probing reveals large-scale structural communication in the ribosome and the mechanism of the antibiotic spectinomycin in living cells

Single molecule chemical probing of pair-wise interactions across the ribosome in living cells redefines the domains of the small subunit of the ribosome and reveals that the antibiotic spectinomycin disrupts ribosome function by over-stabilizing interactions that span nearly 100 S.

Peptide presentation by bat MHC class I provides new insight into the antiviral immunity of bats

Bats harbor many viruses, including some that are highly pathogenic in humans and other mammals, but typically asymptomatic in bats. This study reveals the unusual mode of peptide presentation by bat MHC I and the landscape for its recognition by T-cell receptors, shedding light on the role of adaptive immunity in the ability of bats to coexist with viruses.

Nystagmus in patients with congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) originates from synchronously firing retinal ganglion cells

Nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) in cases of congenital stationary night blindness arises from light-induced synchronization of oscillating retinal ganglion cells, revealing that some forms of nystagmus can have a retinal origin, rather than originating from aberrant interactions between brainstem nuclei and foveal cortical pathways, as commonly thought.

Adult bone marrow progenitors become decidual cells and contribute to embryo implantation and pregnancy

Adult bone marrow'derived progenitor cells make a nonhematopoietic contribution to maternal decidua by differentiating into decidual stromal cells during mouse pregnancy. Their ability to rescue pregnancy loss in mice with decidual stromal cell-specific deficiency shows that these bone marrow'derived mesenchymal progenitors play an important role in establishing and maintaining pregnancy.

Activation of the intrinsic fibroinflammatory program in adult pancreatic acinar cells triggered by Hippo signaling disruption

The mechanisms by which epithelial cells orchestrate the intrinsic fibro-inflammatory response and cell proliferation during the repair of injured tissues remains unclear. A study of molecular and cellular changes in pancreatic acinar cells suggests that the Hippo pathway acts as an intrinsic link to coordinate fibro-inflammatory response and proliferation process in epithelial cells.

V1 interneurons regulate the pattern and frequency of locomotor-like activity in the neonatal mouse spinal cord

An optogenetic study in mice shows that inhibitory neurons that express engrailed-1 regulate the pattern and frequency of locomotor-like activity in the developing mouse spinal cord.

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

Microelectrode recordings in the human lateral occipital complex (LOC) yield highly selective single-unit, multi-unit and high-gamma responses to images of objects; contrary to predictions from functional imaging studies, all neuronal properties indicated that this posterior subsector of LOC occupies an unexpectedly high position in the hierarchy of visual areas.

NLRX1 inhibits the early stages of CNS inflammation and prevents the onset of spontaneous autoimmunity

NLRX1 is a guardian protein that inhibits the inflammatory response of glial cells within the central nervous system and prevents the onset of a spontaneous multiple sclerosis'like disease in mice. This study uses a novel mouse model to provide mechanistic insights into the neurodegenerative origin of multiple sclerosis.

MCC950/CRID3 potently targets the NACHT domain of wild-type NLRP3 but not disease-associated mutants for inflammasome inhibition

The diarylsulfonylurea-based Cytokine Release Inhibitory Drugs (CRIDs) potently and selectively inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway, but their molecular target is unknown. This study identifies the NACHT domain of NLRP3 itself as the molecular target of the CRID MCC950/CRID3 and evaluates the functional impact of disease mutations on inflammasome blockade.

Inverted translational control of eukaryotic gene expression by ribosome collisions

Higher rates of translation counterintuitively lead to lower protein levels from eukaryotic mRNAs that encode ribosome stalls; modelling suggests that this occurs when ribosome collisions at stalls trigger abortive termination of the leading ribosome or cause endonucleolytic mRNA cleavage.

Spatiotemporal dynamics of odor responses in the lateral and dorsal olfactory bulb

The mammalian olfactory bulb plays an essential role in odor processing during the perception of smell, but most studies have focused on the dorsal olfactory bulb, which contains only a quarter of all glomeruli. In this study, imaging of the lateral olfactory bulb reveals new properties in smell processing.

The evolution of a new cell type was associated with competition for a signaling ligand

How do new cell types evolve? This study shows that mesoderm cells in sea urchin embryos diversified, at least in part, through a heterochronic shift in the expression of a key transcription factor, which led to competition for a signaling ligand and subsequent gene regulatory independence of the two cell types.

TRPC channels regulate Ca2+-signaling and short-term plasticity of fast glutamatergic synapses

Transient receptor potential (TRP) proteins can form non-selective cation channels, but their role in synaptic transmission is poorly understood. This study shows that calcium-permeable TRPC channels provide an additional calcium entry pathway at presynaptic sites and are efficient regulators of synaptic strength and plasticity.

Control over single-cell distribution of G1 lengths by WNT governs pluripotency

The link between single-cell variation and population-level fate choices lacks a mechanistic explanation. This study finds that the duration of the G1 cell cycle phase in stem cells varies within the population, giving rise to a probability distribution of G1 length that is responsive to Wnt signalling and that predicts cells' differentiation potential upon exit from pluripotency.

Allosteric regulation of a prokaryotic small Ras-like GTPase contributes to cell polarity oscillations in bacterial motility

A study on the mechanism of cell polarity oscillations in Myxococcus xanthus reveals a novel allosteric regulatory mechanism for a small Ras-like GTPase. The motility protein MglB is the first example of both GTPase activating protein (GAP) and guanosine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) activities being integrated into a single regulator of the small Ras-like GTPase MglA.

Opposing signaling pathways regulate morphology in response to temperature in the fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum

This study reveals how temperature controls cell shape and gene expression in the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum, uncovering the interlocking circuitry that allows temperature to trigger a critical developmental choice in these organisms.

Calreticulin is a Critical Cell Survival Factor in Malignant Neoplasms

This study reveals a novel role for the calcium-binding protein calreticulin in the survival of cancer cells; downregulation of calreticulin leads to mitochondrial calcium overload and an induction of non-apoptotic cell death. Calreticulin levels inversely correlate with the survival of patients diagnosed with various types of solid cancers.

Repair of multiple simultaneous double-strand breaks causes bursts of genome-wide clustered hypermutation

This study uses yeast expressing a human cytidine deaminase to reveal simultaneous stretches of long single-strand DNA and multiple vast mutation clusters in a single eukaryotic cell repairing multiple double-strand breaks. This is reminiscent of the phenomenon of "kataegis" or hypermutation observed in cancer genomes, suggesting that a similar mechanism is involved.

EXP1 is critical for nutrient uptake across the parasitophorous vacuole membrane of malaria parasites

Intracellular malaria parasites reside in a vacuole that is formed by the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) that separates the parasite from the host cell. Conditional knock-out reveals that the major integral PVM protein EXP1 is essential for the nutrient permeable channel activity of the PVM, and implicates this channel in parasite nutrient acquisition.

Short Reports

Variation in actuarial senescence does not reflect life span variation across mammals

Looking at human life history, differences in aging rate seem to be the main source of variation in longevity. But analysis of accurate individual lifespan records across 96 non-human mammalian species in captivity suggests that early-life processes and factors that are independent of age play a prominent role, apparently greater than aging.

Methods and Resources

Conservation and divergence of protein pathways in the vertebrate heart

Comparison of cardiac proteomes across four vertebrate model systems reveals species-specific differentially enriched proteins and pathways, including the Xenopus-enriched Kielin/chordin-like protein (Kcp), which is shown to be important for proper heart development.


Correction: Remote reefs and seamounts are the last refuges for marine predators across the Indo-Pacific


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