1【生物】 Identification of essential genes for cancer immunotherapy
Shashank J. Patel, Neville E. Sanjana, Nicholas P. Restifo et al.
（导读 郭思瑶）体细胞基因突变可以改变基于T细胞的免疫疗法对癌细胞的杀伤力。本研究通过包含123,000个sgRNA的CRISPR–Cas9文库筛选癌细胞中能损伤CD8+ T细胞效应物功能的基因突变，鉴定出了APLNR等多个与抗原呈递、干扰素γ信号通路等免疫过程相关的基因，为癌细胞对癌症免疫疗法的敏感性提供了基因层面的支持。
Somatic gene mutations can alter the vulnerability of cancer cells to T-cell-based immunotherapies. Here we perturbed genes in human melanoma cells to mimic loss-of-function mutations involved in resistance to these therapies, by using a genome-scale CRISPR–Cas9 library that consisted of around 123,000 single-guide RNAs, and profiled genes whose loss in tumour cells impaired the effector function of CD8+ T cells. The genes that were most enriched in the screen have key roles in antigen presentation and interferon-γ signalling, and correlate with cytolytic activity in patient tumours from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Among the genes validated using different cancer cell lines and antigens, we identified multiple loss-of-function mutations in APLNR, encoding the apelin receptor, in patient tumours that were refractory to immunotherapy. We show that APLNR interacts with JAK1, modulating interferon-γ responses in tumours, and that its functional loss reduces the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer and checkpoint blockade immunotherapies in mouse models. Our results link the loss of essential genes for the effector function of CD8+ T cells with the resistance or non-responsiveness of cancer to immunotherapies.
2【生物】 Type III CRISPR–Cas systems produce cyclic oligoadenylate second messengers
Martin Jinek et al.
（导读 郭思瑶）在许多原核生物中，III型CRISPR –Cas系统中的CRISPR相关蛋白Csm6可作为RNA酶降解入侵RNA，其机制尚不可知。本研究发现，在与目标RNA结合后，III型干扰复合体的Cas10亚基会将ATP转化为环状寡腺苷酸，环状寡腺苷酸作为第二信使与Csm6的CARF结构域结合并激活Csm6的核酸酶活性。该研究揭示了CRISPR干扰系统调控的新机制。
In many prokaryotes, type III clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)–CRISPR-associated (Cas) systems detect and degrade invasive genetic elements by an RNA-guided, RNA-targeting multisubunit interference complex. The CRISPR-associated protein Csm6 additionally contributes to interference by functioning as a standalone RNase that degrades invader RNA transcripts, but the mechanism linking invader sensing to Csm6 activity is not understood. Here we show that Csm6 proteins are activated through a second messenger generated by the type III interference complex. Upon target RNA binding by the interference complex, its Cas10 subunit converts ATP into a cyclic oligoadenylate product, which allosterically activates Csm6 by binding to its CRISPR-associated Rossmann fold (. CARF domain mutations that abolish allosteric activation inhibit Csm6 activity in vivo, and mutations in the Cas10 Palm domain phenocopy loss of Csm6. Together, these results point to an unprecedented mechanism for regulation of CRISPR interference that bears striking conceptual similarity to oligoadenylate signalling in mammalian innate immunity.
3 【生物】 Mammals divert endogenous genotoxic formaldehyde into one-carbon metabolism
Ketan J. Patel et al.
The folate-driven one-carbon (1C) cycle is a fundamental metabolic hub in cells that enables the synthesis of nucleotides and amino acids and epigenetic modifications. This cycle might also release formaldehyde, a potent protein and DNA crosslinking agent that organisms produce in substantial quantities. Here we show that supplementation with tetrahydrofolate, the essential cofactor of this cycle, and other oxidation-prone folate derivatives kills human, mouse and chicken cells that cannot detoxify formaldehyde or that lack DNA crosslink repair. Notably, formaldehyde is generated from oxidative decomposition of the folate backbone. Furthermore, we find that formaldehyde detoxification in human cells generates formate, and thereby promotes nucleotide synthesis. This supply of 1C units is sufficient to sustain the growth of cells that are unable to use serine, which is the predominant source of 1C units. These findings identify an unexpected source of formaldehyde and, more generally, indicate that the detoxification of this ubiquitous endogenous genotoxin creates a benign 1C unit that can sustain essential metabolism.
4 【物理】Fast automated analysis of strong gravitational lenses with convolutional neural networks
Yashar D. Hezaveh, Laurence Perreault Levasseur et al.
Quantifying image distortions caused by strong gravitational lensing—the formation of multiple images of distant sources due to the deflection of their light by the gravity of intervening structures—and estimating the corresponding matter distribution of these structures (the ‘gravitational lens’) has primarily been performed using maximum likelihood modelling of observations. This procedure is typically time- and resource-consuming, requiring sophisticated lensing codes, several data preparation steps, and finding the maximum likelihood model parameters in a computationally expensive process with downhill optimizers. Accurate analysis of a single gravitational lens can take up to a few weeks and requires expert knowledge of the physical processes and methods involved. Tens of thousands of new lenses are expected to be discovered with the upcoming generation of ground and space surveys. Here we report the use of deep convolutional neural networks to estimate lensing parameters in an extremely fast and automated way, circumventing the difficulties that are faced by maximum likelihood methods. We also show that the removal of lens light can be made fast and automated using independent component analysis of multi-filter imaging data. Our networks can recover the parameters of the ‘singular isothermal ellipsoid’ density profile, which is commonly used to model strong lensing systems, with an accuracy comparable to the uncertainties of sophisticated models but about ten million times faster: 100 systems in approximately one second on a single graphics processing unit. These networks can provide a way for non-experts to obtain estimates of lensing parameters for large samples of data.
5【天文】Proper-motion age dating of the progeny of Nova Scorpii AD 1437
M. M. Shara et al.
‘Cataclysmic variables’ are binary star systems in which one star of the pair is a white dwarf, and which often generate bright and energetic stellar outbursts. Classical novae are one type of outburst: when the white dwarf accretes enough matter from its companion, the resulting hydrogen-rich atmospheric envelope can host a runaway thermonuclear reaction that generates a rapid brightening. Achieving peak luminosities of up to one million times that of the Sun, all classical novae are recurrent, on timescales of months to millennia. During the century before and after an eruption, the ‘novalike’ binary systems that give rise to classical novae exhibit high rates of mass transfer to their white dwarfs. Another type of outburst is the dwarf nova: these occur in binaries that have stellar masses and periods indistinguishable from those of novalikes but much lower mass-transfer rates, when accretion-disk instabilities drop matter onto the white dwarfs. The co-existence at the same orbital period of novalike binaries and dwarf novae—which are identical but for their widely varying accretion rates—has been a longstanding puzzle. Here we report the recovery of the binary star underlying the classical nova eruption of 11 March AD 1437, and independently confirm its age by proper-motion dating. We show that, almost 500 years after a classical-nova event, the system exhibited dwarf-nova eruptions. The three other oldest recovered classical novae display nova shells, but lack firm post-eruption ages, and are also dwarf novae at present. We conclude that many old novae become dwarf novae for part of the millennia between successive nova eruptions.
6【物理】Magnetic antiskyrmions above room temperature in tetragonal Heusler materials
Stuart S. P. Parkin et al.
Magnetic skyrmions are topologically stable, vortex-like objects surrounded by chiral boundaries that separate a region of reversed magnetization from the surrounding magnetized material1, 2, 3. They are closely related to nanoscopic chiral magnetic domain walls, which could be used as memory and logic elements for conventional and neuromorphic computing applications that go beyond Moore’s law. Of particular interest is ‘racetrack memory’, which is composed of vertical magnetic nanowires, each accommodating of the order of 100 domain walls, and that shows promise as a solid state, non-volatile memory with exceptional capacity and performance4, 5. Its performance is derived from the very high speeds (up to one kilometre per second) at which chiral domain walls can be moved with nanosecond current pulses in synthetic antiferromagnet racetracks. Because skyrmions are essentially composed of a pair of chiral domain walls closed in on themselves, but are, in principle, more stable to perturbations than the component domain walls themselves, they are attractive for use in spintronic applications, notably racetrack memory. Stabilization of skyrmions has generally been achieved in systems with broken inversion symmetry, in which the asymmetric Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction modifies the uniform magnetic state to a swirling state6, 7. Depending on the crystal symmetry, two distinct types of skyrmions have been observed experimentally, namely, Bloch7, 8 and Néel skyrmions9. Here we present the experimental manifestation of another type of skyrmion—the magnetic antiskyrmion—in acentric tetragonal Heusler compounds with D2d crystal symmetry. Antiskyrmions are characterized by boundary walls that have alternating Bloch and Néel type as one traces around the boundary. A spiral magnetic ground-state, which propagates in the tetragonal basal plane, is transformed into an antiskyrmion lattice state under magnetic fields applied along the tetragonal axis over a wide range of temperatures. Direct imaging by Lorentz transmission electron microscopy shows field-stabilized antiskyrmion lattices and isolated antiskyrmions from 100 kelvin to well beyond room temperature, and zero-field metastable antiskyrmions at low temperatures. These results enlarge the family of magnetic skyrmions and pave the way to the engineering of complex bespoke designed skyrmionic structures.
· Jacob T. Robinson, Gufeng Wang, Robert Pal, James M. Tour et al.
Beyond the more common chemical delivery strategies, several physical techniques are used to open the lipid bilayers of cellular membranes1. These include using electric2 and magnetic3 fields, temperature4, ultrasound5 or light6 to introduce compounds into cells, to release molecular species from cells or to selectively induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) or uncontrolled cell death (necrosis). More recently, molecular motors and switches that can change their conformation in a controlled manner in response to external stimuli have been used to produce mechanical actions on tissue for biomedical applications7, 8, 9. Here we show that molecular machines can drill through cellular bilayers using their molecular-scale actuation, specifically nanomechanical action. Upon physical adsorption of the molecular motors onto lipid bilayers and subsequent activation of the motors using ultraviolet light, holes are drilled in the cell membranes. We designed molecular motors and complementary experimental protocols that use nanomechanical action to induce the diffusion of chemical species out of synthetic vesicles, to enhance the diffusion of traceable molecular machines into and within live cells, to induce necrosis and to introduce chemical species into live cells. We also show that, by using molecular machines that bear short peptide addends, nanomechanical action can selectively target specific cell-surface recognition sites. Beyond the in vitro applications demonstrated here, we expect that molecular machines could also be used in vivo, especially as their design progresses to allow two-photon, near-infrared and radio-frequency activation10.
8 【地质or地球科学】Very large release of mostly volcanic carbon during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
Marcus Gutjahr et al.
The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum1, 2 (PETM) was a global warming event that occurred about 56 million years ago, and is commonly thought to have been driven primarily by the destabilization of carbon from surface sedimentary reservoirs such as methane hydrates3. However, it remains controversial whether such reservoirs were indeed the source of the carbon that drove the warming1, 3, 4, 5. Resolving this issue is key to understanding the proximal cause of the warming, and to quantifying the roles of triggers versus feedbacks. Here we present boron isotope data—a proxy for seawater pH—that show that the ocean surface pH was persistently low during the PETM. We combine our pH data with a paired carbon isotope record in an Earth system model in order to reconstruct the unfolding carbon-cycle dynamics during the event6, 7. We find strong evidence for a much larger (more than 10,000 petagrams)—and, on average, isotopically heavier—carbon source than considered previously8, 9. This leads us to identify volcanism associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province10, 11, rather than carbon from a surface reservoir, as the main driver of the PETM. This finding implies that climate-driven amplification of organic carbon feedbacks probably played only a minor part in driving the event. However, we find that enhanced burial of organic matter seems to have been important in eventually sequestering the released carbon and accelerating the recovery of the Earth system12
9【进化】The rise of algae in Cryogenian oceans and the emergence of animals
Jochen J. Brocks et al.
The transition from dominant bacterial to eukaryotic marine primary productivity was one of the most profound ecological revolutions in the Earth’s history, reorganizing the distribution of carbon and nutrients in the water column and increasing energy flow to higher trophic levels. But the causes and geological timing of this transition, as well as possible links with rising atmospheric oxygen levels and the evolution of animals, remain obscure. Here we present a molecular fossil record of eukaryotic steroids demonstrating that bacteria were the only notable primary producers in the oceans before the Cryogenian period (720–635 million years ago). Increasing steroid diversity and abundance marks the rapid rise of marine planktonic algae (Archaeplastida) in the narrow time interval between the Sturtian and Marinoan ‘snowball Earth’ glaciations, 659–645 million years ago. We propose that the incumbency of cyanobacteria was broken by a surge of nutrients supplied by the Sturtian deglaciation. The ‘Rise of Algae’ created food webs with more efficient nutrient and energy transfers, driving ecosystems towards larger and increasingly complex organisms. This effect is recorded by the concomitant appearance of biomarkers for sponges and predatory rhizarians, and the subsequent radiation of eumetazoans in the Ediacaran period.
10【生物】Lhx6-positive GABA-releasing neurons of the zona incerta promote sleep
Seth Blackshaw et al.
Multiple populations of wake-promoting neurons have been characterized in mammals, but few sleep-promoting neurons have been identified. Wake-promoting cell types include hypocretin and GABA (γ-aminobutyric-acid γ-氨基丁酸)-releasing neurons of the lateral hypothalamus, which promote the transition to wakefulness from non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Here we show that a subset of GABAergic neurons in the mouse ventral zona incerta, which express the LIM homeodomain factor Lhx6 and are activated by sleep pressure, both directly inhibit wake-active hypocretin and GABAergic cells in the lateral hypothalamus and receive inputs from multiple sleep–wake-regulating neurons. Conditional deletion of Lhx6 from the developing diencephalon leads to decreases in both NREM and REM sleep. Furthermore, selective activation and inhibition of Lhx6-positive neurons in the ventral zona incerta bidirectionally regulate sleep time in adult mice, in part through hypocretin-dependent mechanisms. These studies identify a GABAergic subpopulation of neurons in the ventral zona incerta that promote sleep.
11【生物】Feedback regulation of steady-state epithelial turnover and organ size
Lucy Erin O’Brien et al.
Epithelial organs undergo steady-state turnover throughout adult life, with old cells being continually replaced by the progeny of stem cell divisions. To avoid hyperplasia or atrophy, organ turnover demands strict equilibration of cell production and loss. However, the mechanistic basis of this equilibrium is unknown. Here we show that robustly precise turnover of the adult Drosophila intestine arises through a coupling mechanism in which enterocyte apoptosis breaks feedback inhibition of stem cell division. Healthy enterocytes inhibit stem cell division through E-cadherin, which prevents secretion of mitogenic epidermal growth factors (EGFs) by repressing transcription of the EGF maturation factor rhomboid. Individual apoptotic enterocytes promote divisions by loss of E-cadherin, which releases cadherin-associated β-catenin (Armadillo in Drosophila) and p120-catenin to induce rhomboid. Induction of rhomboid in the dying enterocyte triggers activation of the EGF receptor (Egfr) in stem cells within a discrete radius. When we blocked apoptosis, E-cadherin-controlled feedback suppressed divisions, and the organ retained the same number of cells. When we disrupted feedback, apoptosis and divisions were uncoupled, and the organ developed either hyperplasia or atrophy. Together, our results show that robust cellular balance hinges on the obligate coupling of divisions to apoptosis, which limits the proliferative potential of a stem cell to the precise time and place at which a replacement cell is needed. In this way, localized cell–cell communication gives rise to tissue-level homeostatic equilibrium and constant organ size.
12【生物】Human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons function in a primate Parkinson’s disease model
Jun Takahashi et al.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are a promising source for a cell-based therapy to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD), in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons progressively degenerate. However, long-term analysis of human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in primate PD models has never been performed to our knowledge. Here we show that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitor cells survived and functioned as midbrain dopaminergic neurons in a primate model of PD (Macaca fascicularis) treated with the neurotoxin MPTP. Score-based and video-recording analyses revealed an increase in spontaneous movement of the monkeys after transplantation. Histological studies showed that the mature dopaminergic neurons extended dense neurites into the host striatum; this effect was consistent regardless of whether the cells were derived from patients with PD or from healthy individuals. Cells sorted by the floor plate marker CORIN did not form any tumours in the brains for at least two years. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography were used to monitor the survival, expansion and function of the grafted cells as well as the immune response in the host brain. Thus, this preclinical study using a primate model indicates that human iPS cell-derived dopaminergic progenitors are clinically applicable for the treatment of patients with PD.
13【生物】Public antibodies to malaria antigens generated by two LAIR1 insertion modalities
· Antonio Lanzavecchia et al.
In two previously described donors, the extracellular domain of LAIR1, a collagen-binding inhibitory receptor encoded on chromosome 19 (ref. 1), was inserted between the V and DJ segments of an antibody. This insertion generated, through somatic mutations, broadly reactive antibodies against RIFINs, a type of variant antigen expressed on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes2. To investigate how frequently such antibodies are produced in response to malaria infection, we screened plasma from two large cohorts of individuals living in malaria-endemic regions. Here we report that 5–10% of malaria-exposed individuals, but none of the European blood donors tested, have high levels of LAIR1-containing antibodies that dominate the response to infected erythrocytes without conferring enhanced protection against febrile malaria. By analysing the antibody-producing B cell clones at the protein, cDNA and gDNA levels, we characterized additional LAIR1 insertions between the V and DJ segments and discovered a second insertion modality whereby the LAIR1 exon encoding the extracellular domain and flanking intronic sequences are inserted into the switch region. By exon shuffling, this mechanism leads to the production of bispecific antibodies in which the LAIR1 domain is precisely positioned at the elbow between the VH and CH1 domains. Additionally, in one donor the genomic DNA encoding the VH and CH1 domains was deleted, leading to the production of a camel-like LAIR1-containing antibody. Sequencing of the switch regions of memory B cells from European blood donors revealed frequent templated inserts originating from transcribed genes that, in rare cases, comprised exons with orientations and frames compatible with expression. These results reveal different modalities of LAIR1 insertion that lead to public and dominant antibodies against infected erythrocytes and suggest that insertion of templated DNA represents an additional mechanism of antibody diversification that can be selected in the immune response against pathogens and exploited for B cell engineering.
14【生物】Homeostatic control of metabolic and functional fitness of Treg cells by LKB1 signalling
· Hongbo Chi et al.
Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) have a pivotal role in the establishment and maintenance of immunological self-tolerance and homeostasis1, 2. Transcriptional programming of regulatory mechanisms facilitates the functional activation of Treg cells in the prevention of diverse types of inflammatory responses3, 4. It remains unclear how Treg cells orchestrate their homeostasis and interplay with environmental signals. Here we show that liver kinase B1 (LKB1) programs the metabolic and functional fitness of Treg cells in the control of immune tolerance and homeostasis. Mice with a Treg-specific deletion of LKB1 developed a fatal inflammatory disease characterized by excessive TH2-type-dominant responses. LKB1 deficiency disrupted Treg cell survival and mitochondrial fitness and metabolism, but also induced aberrant expression of immune regulatory molecules including the negative co-receptor PD-1 and the TNF receptor superfamily proteins GITR and OX40. Unexpectedly, LKB1 function in Treg cells was independent of conventional AMPK signalling or the mTORC1–HIF-1α axis, but contributed to the activation of β-catenin signalling for the control of PD-1 and TNF receptor proteins. Blockade of PD-1 activity reinvigorated the ability of LKB1-deficient Treg cells to suppress TH2 responses and the interplay with dendritic cells primed by thymic stromal lymphopoietin. Thus, Treg cells use LKB1 signalling to coordinate their metabolic and immunological homeostasis and to prevent apoptotic and functional exhaustion, thereby orchestrating the balance between immunity and tolerance.
15【生物】ISWI chromatin remodellers sense nucleosome modifications to determine substrate preference
Tom W. Muir et al.
ATP-dependent chromatin remodellers regulate access to genetic information by controlling nucleosome positions in vivo. However, the mechanism by which remodellers discriminate between different nucleosome substrates is poorly understood. Many chromatin remodelling proteins possess conserved protein domains that interact with nucleosomal features. Here we used a quantitative high-throughput approach, based on the use of a DNA-barcoded mononucleosome library, to profile the biochemical activity of human ISWI family remodellers in response to a diverse set of nucleosome modifications. We show that accessory (non-ATPase) subunits of ISWI remodellers can distinguish between differentially modified nucleosomes, directing remodelling activity towards specific nucleosome substrates according to their modification state. Unexpectedly, we show that the nucleosome acidic patch is necessary for maximum activity of all ISWI remodellers evaluated. This dependence also extends to CHD and SWI/SNF family remodellers, suggesting that the acidic patch may be generally required for chromatin remodelling. Critically, remodelling activity can be regulated by modifications neighbouring the acidic patch, signifying that it may act as a tunable interaction hotspot for ATP-dependent chromatin remodellers and, by extension, many other chromatin effectors that engage this region of the nucleosome surface.
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