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Collection  10 March 2022

Top 100 in Cell and Molecular Biology

This collection highlights our most downloaded* cell and molecular biology papers published in 2021. Featuring authors from around the world, these papers showcase valuable research from an international community.

*Data obtained from SN Inights, which is based on Digital Science's Dimensions.

image of closeup of red cells

Antibacterial apple cider vinegar eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and resistant Escherichia coli

  • Darshna Yagnik
  • Malcolm Ward
  • Ajit J. Shah

recent molecular biology research topics

Inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro by suppressing its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, via aryl-hydrocarbon receptor signal

  • Keiji Tanimoto
  • Kiichi Hirota
  • Takemasa Sakaguchi

recent molecular biology research topics

Targeted clearance of senescent cells using an antibody-drug conjugate against a specific membrane marker

  • Marta Poblocka
  • Akang Leonard Bassey
  • Salvador Macip

recent molecular biology research topics

Catechin and curcumin interact with S protein of SARS-CoV2 and ACE2 of human cell membrane: insights from computational studies

  • Atala B. Jena
  • Namrata Kanungo
  • Jagneshwar Dandapat

recent molecular biology research topics

Structure based pharmacophore modeling, virtual screening, molecular docking and ADMET approaches for identification of natural anti-cancer agents targeting XIAP protein

  • Firoz A. Dain Md Opo
  • Mohammed M. Rahman
  • Abdullah M. Asiri

recent molecular biology research topics

Low-dose Drosera rotundifolia induces gene expression changes in 16HBE human bronchial epithelial cells

  • Fabio Arruda-Silva
  • Paolo Bellavite
  • Marta Marzotto

recent molecular biology research topics

Classification and prediction of protein–protein interaction interface using machine learning algorithm

  • Subhrangshu Das
  • Saikat Chakrabarti

recent molecular biology research topics

Carvacrol exhibits rapid bactericidal activity against Streptococcus pyogenes through cell membrane damage

  • Niluni M. Wijesundara
  • Song F. Lee
  • H. P. Vasantha Rupasinghe

recent molecular biology research topics

SHP2 blockade enhances anti-tumor immunity via tumor cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms

  • Morvarid Mohseni
  • Silvia Goldoni

recent molecular biology research topics

Polyunsaturated ω-3 fatty acids inhibit ACE2-controlled SARS-CoV-2 binding and cellular entry

  • Aleksandra Niedzwiecki
  • Matthias Rath

recent molecular biology research topics

Arrayed CRISPR reveals genetic regulators of tau aggregation, autophagy and mitochondria in Alzheimer’s disease model

  • Robert V. Talanian

recent molecular biology research topics

Novel myostatin-specific antibody enhances muscle strength in muscle disease models

  • Hiroyasu Muramatsu
  • Taichi Kuramochi
  • Junichi Nezu

recent molecular biology research topics

Serine 477 plays a crucial role in the interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with the human receptor ACE2

  • Georg Steinkellner
  • Christian C. Gruber

recent molecular biology research topics

Improved methods for RNAseq-based alternative splicing analysis

  • Rebecca F. Halperin
  • Apurva Hegde
  • Nicholas J. Schork

recent molecular biology research topics

SIRT1 promotes lipid metabolism and mitochondrial biogenesis in adipocytes and coordinates adipogenesis by targeting key enzymatic pathways

  • Yasser Majeed
  • Najeeb Halabi
  • Nayef A. Mazloum

recent molecular biology research topics

A directional 3D neurite outgrowth model for studying motor axon biology and disease

  • Xandor M. Spijkers
  • Svetlana Pasteuning-Vuhman
  • R. Jeroen Pasterkamp

recent molecular biology research topics

Structural insights into SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its natural mutants found in Mexican population

  • Yudibeth Sixto-López
  • José Correa-Basurto
  • Sarita Montaño

recent molecular biology research topics

Lipid bilayer degradation induced by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as revealed by neutron reflectometry

  • Alessandra Luchini
  • Samantha Micciulla
  • Giovanna Fragneto

recent molecular biology research topics

Scale-up fermentation of Escherichia coli for the production of recombinant endoglucanase from Clostridium thermocellum

  • Iram Shahzadi
  • Maryam A. Al-Ghamdi
  • Imran Kazmi

recent molecular biology research topics

Drug design and repurposing with DockThor-VS web server focusing on SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic targets and their non-synonym variants

  • Isabella A. Guedes
  • Leon S. C. Costa
  • Laurent E. Dardenne

recent molecular biology research topics

Ultraviolet radiation protection potentials of Methylene Blue for human skin and coral reef health

  • Zheng-Mei Xiong
  • Xiaojing Mao

recent molecular biology research topics

ABBV-744 as a potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 main protease enzyme against COVID-19

  • Zeynab Fakhar
  • Aijaz Ahmad

recent molecular biology research topics

Green synthesis of selenium nanoparticles mediated from Ceropegia bulbosa Roxb extract and its cytotoxicity, antimicrobial, mosquitocidal and photocatalytic activities

  • Vetrivel Cittrarasu
  • Durairaj Kaliannan
  • Maruthupandian Arumugam

recent molecular biology research topics

Random forest classification for predicting lifespan-extending chemical compounds

  • Sofia Kapsiani
  • Brendan J. Howlin

recent molecular biology research topics

Development, characterization, and applications of multi-material stereolithography bioprinting

  • Bagrat Grigoryan
  • Daniel W. Sazer
  • Jordan S. Miller

recent molecular biology research topics

Biosynthesis and characterization of gold nanoparticles using Brazilian red propolis and evaluation of its antimicrobial and anticancer activities

  • C. E. A. Botteon
  • L. B. Silva
  • P. D. Marcato

recent molecular biology research topics

Reporter gene comparison demonstrates interference of complex body fluids with secreted luciferase activity

  • B. A. C. Housmans
  • P. M. van der Kraan

recent molecular biology research topics

High-resolution transcriptional landscape of xeno-free human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cerebellar organoids

  • Samuel Nayler
  • Devika Agarwal
  • Esther B. E. Becker

recent molecular biology research topics

Proteome-wide profiling and mapping of post translational modifications in human hearts

  • Navratan Bagwan
  • Henrik H. El Ali
  • Alicia Lundby

recent molecular biology research topics

Three-dimensional ultrastructure of giant mitochondria in human non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Gerald J. Shami
  • Delfine Cheng
  • Filip Braet

recent molecular biology research topics

Zbp1-positive cells are osteogenic progenitors in periodontal ligament

  • Tsugumi Ueda
  • Tomoaki Iwayama
  • Shinya Murakami

recent molecular biology research topics

Neurotropic influenza A virus infection causes prion protein misfolding into infectious prions in neuroblastoma cells

  • Hideyuki Hara
  • Junji Chida
  • Suehiro Sakaguchi

recent molecular biology research topics

Self-organization and culture of Mesenchymal Stem Cell spheroids in acoustic levitation

  • Nathan Jeger-Madiot
  • Lousineh Arakelian
  • Jean-Luc Aider

recent molecular biology research topics

Blockade of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated cell–cell fusion using COVID-19 convalescent plasma

recent molecular biology research topics

Systematic evaluation of multiple qPCR platforms, NanoString and miRNA-Seq for microRNA biomarker discovery in human biofluids

  • Lewis Z. Hong
  • Shian-Jiun Shih

recent molecular biology research topics

Ionizing radiation exposure of stem cell-derived chondrocytes affects their gene and microRNA expression profiles and cytokine production

  • Ewelina Stelcer
  • Katarzyna Kulcenty
  • Wiktoria Maria Suchorska

recent molecular biology research topics

Improved functional properties of meat analogs by laccase catalyzed protein and pectin crosslinks

  • Kiyota Sakai
  • Yukihide Sato
  • Shotaro Yamaguchi

recent molecular biology research topics

Delivery of functional exogenous proteins by plant-derived vesicles to human cells in vitro

  • Luiza Garaeva
  • Roman Kamyshinsky
  • Tatiana Shtam

recent molecular biology research topics

Identification of germ cell-specific Mga variant mRNA that promotes meiosis via impediment of a non-canonical PRC1

  • Yuka Kitamura
  • Kousuke Uranishi
  • Akihiko Okuda

recent molecular biology research topics

Modified recombinant human erythropoietin with potentially reduced immunogenicity

  • Thanutsorn Susantad
  • Mayuree Fuangthong
  • Ram Sasisekharan

recent molecular biology research topics

Discovery of a new class of integrin antibodies for fibrosis

  • Masahisa Handa

recent molecular biology research topics

DSS-induced colitis is associated with adipose tissue dysfunction and disrupted hepatic lipid metabolism leading to hepatosteatosis and dyslipidemia in mice

  • Jeonghyeon Kwon
  • Chungho Lee
  • Chang-Kee Hyun

recent molecular biology research topics

Activation of NF-κB and induction of proinflammatory cytokine expressions mediated by ORF7a protein of SARS-CoV-2

  • Chia-Ming Su
  • Dongwan Yoo

recent molecular biology research topics

Development of a target identification approach using native mass spectrometry

  • Miaomiao Liu
  • Wesley C. Van Voorhis
  • Ronald J. Quinn

recent molecular biology research topics

Optimized design parameters for CRISPR Cas9 and Cas12a homology-directed repair

  • Mollie S. Schubert
  • Bernice Thommandru
  • Garrett R. Rettig

recent molecular biology research topics

Single-cell differential splicing analysis reveals high heterogeneity of liver tumor-infiltrating T cells

  • Biaofeng Zhou
  • Shiping Liu

recent molecular biology research topics

Generation of proliferating human adult hepatocytes using optimized 3D culture conditions

  • Sophie Rose
  • Frédéric Ezan
  • Georges Baffet

recent molecular biology research topics

Evaluation of microalgae polysaccharides as biostimulants of tomato plant defense using metabolomics and biochemical approaches

  • Farid Rachidi
  • Redouane Benhima
  • Hicham El Arroussi

recent molecular biology research topics

Detection and quantification of γ-H2AX using a dissociation enhanced lanthanide fluorescence immunoassay

  • Felicite K. Noubissi
  • Amber A. McBride
  • Sandra M. Davern

recent molecular biology research topics

Unraveling the stability landscape of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain

  • Mohamed Raef Smaoui
  • Hamdi Yahyaoui

recent molecular biology research topics

A comprehensive analysis of novel disulfide bond introduction site into the constant domain of human Fab

  • Hitomi Nakamura
  • Moeka Yoshikawa
  • Takatoshi Ohkuri

recent molecular biology research topics

Homology between SARS CoV-2 and human proteins

  • Vladimir Khavinson
  • Alexander Terekhov
  • Alexander Maryanovich

recent molecular biology research topics

A genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen to identify phagocytosis modulators in monocytic THP-1 cells

  • Benjamin Lindner
  • Michael Schuler

recent molecular biology research topics

PTEN loss promotes oncogenic function of STMN1 via PI3K/AKT pathway in lung cancer

  • Guangsu Xun

recent molecular biology research topics

Development of a yeast cell surface display method using the SpyTag/SpyCatcher system

  • Kaho Kajiwara
  • Wataru Aoki
  • Mitsuyoshi Ueda

recent molecular biology research topics

The dimer-monomer equilibrium of SARS-CoV-2 main protease is affected by small molecule inhibitors

  • Lucia Silvestrini
  • Norhan Belhaj
  • Francesco Spinozzi

recent molecular biology research topics

In-depth transcriptomic analysis of human retina reveals molecular mechanisms underlying diabetic retinopathy

  • Kolja Becker
  • Holger Klein
  • Remko A. Bakker

recent molecular biology research topics

Identification of extracellular matrix proteins secreted by human dermal fibroblasts cultured in 3D electrospun scaffolds

  • Atena Malakpour-Permlid
  • Irina Buzzi
  • Stina Oredsson

recent molecular biology research topics

Novel methods to establish whole-body primary cell cultures for the cnidarians Nematostella vectensis and Pocillopora damicornis

  • James D. Nowotny
  • Michael T. Connelly
  • Nikki Traylor-Knowles

recent molecular biology research topics

Culture and differentiation of rabbit intestinal organoids and organoid-derived cell monolayers

  • Michael Frese
  • Robyn N. Hall

recent molecular biology research topics

Cannabidiol induces autophagy via ERK1/2 activation in neural cells

  • Talita A. M. Vrechi
  • Anderson H. F. F. Leão
  • Gustavo J. S. Pereira

recent molecular biology research topics

Seaweed cellulose scaffolds derived from green macroalgae for tissue engineering

  • Nurit Bar-Shai
  • Orna Sharabani-Yosef
  • Alexander Golberg

recent molecular biology research topics

Outer membrane vesicles containing OmpA induce mitochondrial fragmentation to promote pathogenesis of Acinetobacter baumannii

  • Varnesh Tiku
  • Eric M. Kofoed
  • Man-Wah Tan

recent molecular biology research topics

A scaffold-free approach to cartilage tissue generation using human embryonic stem cells

  • Lauren A. Griffith
  • Katherine M. Arnold
  • Franchesca D. Houghton

recent molecular biology research topics

The Penn State Protein Ladder system for inexpensive protein molecular weight markers

  • Ryan T. Santilli
  • John E. Williamson III

recent molecular biology research topics

Inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase activity impairs human T cell activation and function

  • Claudia Nastasi
  • Andreas Willerlev-Olsen
  • Anders Woetmann

recent molecular biology research topics

Glucose confers protection to Escherichia coli against contact killing by Vibrio cholerae

  • Cristian V. Crisan
  • Holly L. Nichols
  • Brian K. Hammer

recent molecular biology research topics

Novel standardized method for extracellular flux analysis of oxidative and glycolytic metabolism in peripheral blood mononuclear cells

  • Joëlle J. E. Janssen
  • Bart Lagerwaard
  • Vincent C. J. de Boer

recent molecular biology research topics

3D bioprinting of hepatocytes: core–shell structured co-cultures with fibroblasts for enhanced functionality

  • Rania Taymour
  • David Kilian

recent molecular biology research topics

Role of miRNAs shuttled by mesenchymal stem cell-derived small extracellular vesicles in modulating neuroinflammation

  • Debora Giunti
  • Chiara Marini
  • Antonio Uccelli

recent molecular biology research topics

Isolation of viable Babesia bovis merozoites to study parasite invasion

  • Hassan Hakimi
  • Masahito Asada
  • Shinichiro Kawazu

recent molecular biology research topics

Nutritional, phytochemical, and in vitro anticancer potential of sugar apple ( Annona squamosa ) fruits

  • Mohamed Gamal Shehata
  • Marwa Muhammad Abu-Serie
  • Sobhy Ahmed El-Sohaimy

recent molecular biology research topics

AptaNet as a deep learning approach for aptamer–protein interaction prediction

  • Reza Ferdousi

recent molecular biology research topics

Comprehensive virtual screening of 4.8 k flavonoids reveals novel insights into allosteric inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 M PRO

  • Gabriel Jiménez-Avalos
  • A. Paula Vargas-Ruiz
  • COVID-19 Working Group in Perú

recent molecular biology research topics

Comparison of the sensitivity of Western blotting between PVDF and NC membranes

  • Yufang Xiang
  • Yuanyuan Zheng
  • Weijie Dong

recent molecular biology research topics

Elovanoids downregulate SARS-CoV-2 cell-entry, canonical mediators and enhance protective signaling in human alveolar cells

  • Jorgelina M. Calandria
  • Surjyadipta Bhattacharjee
  • Nicolas G. Bazan

recent molecular biology research topics

The post-translational modification landscape of commercial beers

  • Edward D. Kerr
  • Christopher H. Caboche
  • Benjamin L. Schulz

recent molecular biology research topics

Anticancer potential of rhizome extract and a labdane diterpenoid from Curcuma mutabilis plant endemic to Western Ghats of India

  • T. Lakshmipriya
  • P. R. Manish Kumar

recent molecular biology research topics

Chemotaxis and swarming in differentiated HL-60 neutrophil-like cells

  • Kehinde Adebayo Babatunde
  • Daniel Irimia

recent molecular biology research topics

Integrated, automated maintenance, expansion and differentiation of 2D and 3D patient-derived cellular models for high throughput drug screening

  • Ibrahim Boussaad
  • Gérald Cruciani
  • Rejko Krüger

recent molecular biology research topics

In vitro synthesis of 32 translation-factor proteins from a single template reveals impaired ribosomal processivity

  • David Foschepoth
  • Christophe Danelon

recent molecular biology research topics

Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals resistant and susceptible genes in tobacco cultivars in response to infection by Phytophthora nicotianae

  • Mingming Sun
  • Yuanying Wang

recent molecular biology research topics

Protocol for preparation of heterogeneous biological samples for 3D electron microscopy: a case study for insects

  • Alexey A. Polilov
  • Anastasia A. Makarova
  • Harald Hess

recent molecular biology research topics

Downregulation of E-cadherin in pluripotent stem cells triggers partial EMT

  • A. Lombardi

recent molecular biology research topics

Identification of the first highly selective inhibitor of human lactate dehydrogenase B

  • Sachio Shibata
  • Satoshi Sogabe
  • Tomoyoshi Soga

recent molecular biology research topics

Estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRα) is a key regulator of intestinal homeostasis and protects against colitis

  • Charlotte Scholtes

recent molecular biology research topics

Precision modification of the human gut microbiota targeting surface-associated proteins

  • Raquel Marcos-Fernández
  • Lorena Ruiz
  • Borja Sánchez

recent molecular biology research topics

Test conditions can significantly affect the results of in vitro cytotoxicity testing of degradable metallic biomaterials

  • Eva Jablonská
  • Jiří Kubásek

recent molecular biology research topics

A systems pharmacology approach to identify the autophagy-inducing effects of Traditional Persian medicinal plants

  • Pouria Mosaddeghi
  • Mahboobeh Eslami
  • Younes Ghasemi

recent molecular biology research topics

Molecular dynamics and in silico mutagenesis on the reversible inhibitor-bound SARS-CoV-2 main protease complexes reveal the role of lateral pocket in enhancing the ligand affinity

  • Ying Li Weng
  • Shiv Rakesh Naik
  • Aravindhan Ganesan

recent molecular biology research topics

Cysteine: an overlooked energy and carbon source

  • Luise Göbbels
  • Anja Poehlein
  • Marie Charlotte Schoelmerich

recent molecular biology research topics

Generation of somatic mitochondrial DNA-replaced cells for mitochondrial dysfunction treatment

  • Hideki Maeda
  • Daisuke Kami
  • Satoshi Gojo

recent molecular biology research topics

In silico investigation of critical binding pattern in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2

  • Farzaneh Jafary
  • Sepideh Jafari
  • Mohamad Reza Ganjalikhany

recent molecular biology research topics

Flexibility and mobility of SARS-CoV-2-related protein structures

  • Rudolf A. Römer
  • Navodya S. Römer
  • A. Katrine Wallis

recent molecular biology research topics

The effect of acute moderate-intensity exercise on the serum and fecal metabolomes and the gut microbiota of cross-country endurance athletes

  • Mariangela Tabone
  • Carlo Bressa
  • Mar Larrosa

recent molecular biology research topics

Bloom syndrome DNA helicase deficiency is associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial network changes

  • Veena Subramanian
  • Brian Rodemoyer
  • Kristina H. Schmidt

recent molecular biology research topics

Robust and accurate prediction of protein–protein interactions by exploiting evolutionary information

  • Yan-Bin Wang

recent molecular biology research topics

Iron supplementation regulates the progression of high fat diet induced obesity and hepatic steatosis via mitochondrial signaling pathways

  • Naho Kitamura
  • Yoko Yokoyama
  • Mitsuhiro Watanabe

recent molecular biology research topics

Kokumi taste perception is functional in a model carnivore, the domestic cat ( Felis catus )

  • A. Laffitte
  • S. J. McGrane

recent molecular biology research topics

Decoding empagliflozin’s molecular mechanism of action in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction using artificial intelligence

  • Antoni Bayes-Genis
  • Oriol Iborra-Egea
  • Josep Lupón

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recent molecular biology research topics

Articles on Molecular biology

Displaying 1 - 20 of 56 articles.

recent molecular biology research topics

What is metabolism? A biochemist explains how different people convert energy differently − and why that matters for your health

Travis Nemkov , University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

recent molecular biology research topics

We discovered a ‘gentle touch’ molecule is essential for light tactile sensation in humans – and perhaps in individual cells

Kate Poole , UNSW Sydney and Mirella Dottori , University of Wollongong

recent molecular biology research topics

Customizing mRNA is easy, and that’s what makes it the next frontier for personalized medicine − a molecular biologist explains

Angie Hilliker , University of Richmond

recent molecular biology research topics

Ever wonder how your body turns food into fuel? We tracked atoms to find out

James Carter , Griffith University ; Brian Fry , Griffith University , and Kaitlyn O'Mara , Griffith University

recent molecular biology research topics

A ‘memory wipe’ for stem cells may be the key to better therapies

Sam Buckberry , Australian National University

recent molecular biology research topics

Zooming across time and space simultaneously with superresolution to understand how cells divide

Somin Lee , University of Michigan

recent molecular biology research topics

How does RNA know where to go in the city of the cell? Using cellular ZIP codes and postal carrier routes

Matthew Taliaferro , University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

recent molecular biology research topics

Visualizing the inside of cells at previously impossible resolutions provides vivid insights into how they work

Jeremy Berg , University of Pittsburgh

recent molecular biology research topics

Helping the liver regenerate itself could give patients with end-stage liver disease a treatment option besides waiting for a transplant

Satdarshan (Paul) Singh Monga , University of Pittsburgh

recent molecular biology research topics

Nigeria’s missing virus hunters: university decline robs country of virologists

Oyewale Tomori , Nigerian Academy of Science

recent molecular biology research topics

Nobel Prize: How click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry are transforming the pharmaceutical and material industries

Heyang (Peter) Zhang , University at Buffalo

recent molecular biology research topics

Gonorrhea became more drug resistant while attention was on COVID-19 – a molecular biologist explains the sexually transmitted superbug

Kenneth Keiler , Penn State

recent molecular biology research topics

Yorkicystis , the 500 million-year -old relative of starfish that lost its skeleton

Samuel Zamora , Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME - CSIC)

recent molecular biology research topics

We found a genetic link between routine blood test results and mental health disorders

William Reay , University of Newcastle

recent molecular biology research topics

We’re recycling potato skins to make prebiotics: here’s why that’s good for your gut – and the planet

Eleanor Binner , University of Nottingham and Afroditi Chatzifragkou , University of Reading

recent molecular biology research topics

Florence Bell: the ‘housewife’ who played a key part in our understanding of DNA

Kersten Hall , University of Leeds

recent molecular biology research topics

Antarctic bacteria live on air and make their own water using hydrogen as fuel

Pok Man Leung , Monash University ; Chris Greening , Monash University , and Steven Chown , Monash University

recent molecular biology research topics

The 2021 Nobel Prize for medicine helps unravel mysteries about how the body senses temperature and pressure

Steven D. Munger , University of Florida

recent molecular biology research topics

Research that shines light on how cells recover from threats may lead to new insights into Alzheimer’s and ALS

Brian Andrew Maxwell , St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

recent molecular biology research topics

Lab-grown embryos and human-monkey hybrids: Medical marvels or ethical missteps?

Sahotra Sarkar , The University of Texas at Austin

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“Unheard of in Structural Biology” – New Research Unveils Enzymatic Keys to Immune System Regulation

By Scripps Research Institute April 6, 2024

Illustration of Human Immune System

A recent Scripps Research study has identified the detailed structures of PLD3 and PLD4, enzymes critical for nucleic acid degradation and immune regulation. The discovery, enabling the understanding of diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, reveals novel enzymatic functions and provides a foundation for future therapeutic approaches targeting these enzymes.

Scientists at Scripps Research have developed atomic-level structural models of enzymes linked to autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, such as lupus and Alzheimer’s disease.

When nucleic acids, such as DNA or RNA , accumulate in a cell’s cytoplasm, they trigger an alert to the immune system. Under normal circumstances, enzymes are tasked with clearing out these nucleic acids to prevent problems. However, if these enzymes fail to function properly and the immune system intervenes, it may result in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

In a new study recently published in the journal Structure , Scripps Research scientists present the previously undescribed structure of two of these nucleic acid -degrading enzymes—PLD3 and PLD4. Understanding these enzymes’ structures and molecular details is an important step toward designing therapies for the various diseases that arise when they malfunction, which include lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

“These enzymes are important for cleaning up the cellular environment, and they also set the threshold for what is considered an infection or not,” says senior author David Nemazee, PhD, professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research. “I’m hoping someday we may be able to help patients based on this information.”

Enzyme Functionality and Analysis Techniques

Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions by binding and reacting to specific molecules called substrates. In the case of PLD3 and PLD4, the substrate is a strand of RNA or DNA, which the enzymes break down nucleotide by nucleotide.

The team used X-ray crystallography to build atomic-scale models of the PLD3 and PLD4 in multiple states or situations, allowing them to examine how their shapes changed over the course of the catalytic reaction. This included when the enzymes were resting, or when they were actively bound to a substrate.

“These models allow us to visualize PLD3 and PLD4 very clearly and with high resolution, so we know exactly how every atom interacts, meaning we can deduce how the enzymes work,” says first author Meng Yuan, a staff scientist in the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology at Scripps Research.

Structural Models of PLD3 and PLD4

Structural models of PLD3 and PLD4, enzymes that degrade nucleic acids in the cytoplasm. The enzymes’ active (or binding) sites are indicated with black arrows. Credit: Scripps Research

The structural analyses revealed that PLD3 and PLD4 are structurally similar and that they degrade DNA and RNA in a very similar fashion, even though PLD4 is a larger protein. Both enzymes degrade nucleic acids via a two-step process.

“We call this process a two-step catalysis: bite down and release,” says Yuan. “In the first step, the enzyme bites down on the DNA strand and separates a single ‘brick’ or nucleotide from the rest of the strand, and in the second step, it opens its ‘mouth’ and releases the brick to be recycled.”

Because the enzymatic reaction happens so quickly—within milliseconds—researchers needed to use an alternative substrate to visualize the enzymes’ structure during catalysis. To do this, they incubated the enzymes together with a molecule that looks very similar to the DNA that the enzyme usually degrades, but that the enzymes degrade much more slowly.

Discovering New Enzymatic Functions

This method uncovered a previously unknown function for one of the enzymes: In addition to biting off nucleotides from single-stranded RNA and DNA, PLD4 also showed phosphatase activity, which means it might also be involved in breaking down DNA’s phosphate backbone.

“I think it’s amazing that the crystal structure told us about this phosphatase activity,” says Nemazee. “To discover new enzymatic activity is unheard of in structural biology. It’s only because Meng was able to solve such an amazingly accurate and detailed structure that he could inform us about this extra enzymatic activity that we had no idea about.”

After they had elucidated PLD3 and PLD4’s usual structure, the researchers examined the structure of variants that are associated with diseases, including Alzheimer’s and spinocerebellar ataxia. These analyses revealed that some of these variants had decreased enzymatic capability, while others—including a mutation associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s—appeared to be more active.

“Some of our data suggests that one of these Alzheimer’s-associated enzyme variants might function better, which was a surprise to me, but it also may be less stable and more easily aggregated,” says Nemazee.

The researchers plan to continue investigating the structure and function of these enzymes. Their next steps include exploring possible ways of inhibiting the enzymes in scenarios where they are overactive, and they also plan to investigate the possibility of replacing the enzymes in people who carry non-functional (or non-working) versions.

Reference: “Structural and mechanistic insights into disease-associated endolysosomal exonucleases PLD3 and PLD4” by Meng Yuan, Linghang Peng, Deli Huang, Amanda Gavin, Fangkun Luan, Jenny Tran, Ziqi Feng, Xueyong Zhu, Jeanne Matteson, Ian A. Wilson and David Nemazee, 26 March 2024, Structure . DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2024.02.019

This study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants R01AI142945 and RF1AG070775) and Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at Scripps Research.

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The interplay between cell wall integrity and cell cycle progression in plants

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  • Published: 13 December 2023
  • Volume 113 , pages 367–382, ( 2023 )

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  • Nancy Soni 1 &
  • Laura Bacete   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3171-8181 1 , 2  

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Plant cell walls are dynamic structures that play crucial roles in growth, development, and stress responses. Despite our growing understanding of cell wall biology, the connections between cell wall integrity (CWI) and cell cycle progression in plants remain poorly understood. This review aims to explore the intricate relationship between CWI and cell cycle progression in plants, drawing insights from studies in yeast and mammals. We provide an overview of the plant cell cycle, highlight the role of endoreplication in cell wall composition, and discuss recent findings on the molecular mechanisms linking CWI perception to cell wall biosynthesis and gene expression regulation. Furthermore, we address future perspectives and unanswered questions in the field, such as the identification of specific CWI sensing mechanisms and the role of CWI maintenance in the growth-defense trade-off. Elucidating these connections could have significant implications for crop improvement and sustainable agriculture.

Key message

In this review, we provide a comprehensive exploration of the intricate relationship between plant CWI and cell cycle progression. By drawing parallels from studies in yeast and mammals, we offer new insights into this critical facet of plant cell biology. We underscore the role of endoreplication in cell wall composition and the molecular mechanisms linking CWI perception to cell wall biosynthesis and gene expression regulation. The review also identifies key research avenues that remain to be explored, such as specific CWI sensing mechanisms and the role of CWI maintenance in the growth-defense trade-off. Elucidating these links holds significant potential for crop improvement and sustainable agriculture, thus rendering our work of broad interest to researchers in plant biology, agricultural science, and sustainable farming practices.

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Introduction

In contrast to animal cells, plant cells have a sturdy and organized protective extracellular matrix known as the plant cell wall. Plant cell walls are dynamic, complex structures rich in polysaccharides (cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectins), playing a critical role in plant growth and development. Given the crucial functions of the plant cell wall, plants must possess the ability to perceive and maintain its structural integrity. This enables them to initiate restorative processes when needed. The maintenance of cell wall integrity (CWI) in plants involves specialized mechanisms initially identified in yeast (Bacete and Hamann 2020 ). These CWI mechanisms allow plants to respond adaptively to changes in cell walls created by both internal and external stimuli, which is essential for plant plasticity. Hence, CWI mechanisms consistently survey cell wall functional integrity, initiating compensatory changes in cell walls and metabolism to maintain integrity in the face of developmental processes and stress conditions. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana , the CWI maintenance mechanism uses both osmo- and mechano-perception to detect and respond to cell wall damage (Gigli-Bisceglia et al. 2018 ; Bacete and Hamann 2020 ; Bacete et al. 2022 ). Notwithstanding its importance, how changes in CWI impact cell cycle progression remains unclear, highlighting the need for further research in this area.

This review aims to investigate the intricate interconnections between the cell wall and cell cycle in plants, particularly how CWI regulates cell cycle progression. By drawing on insights from yeast and mammals, we will explore the lesser-known regulatory pathways controlling cell cycle activity in plants in response to changes in CWI. Further understanding of these connections has potential implications for crop improvement and the advancement of sustainable agriculture.

Overview of the cell cycle

The cell cycle, a central process in all living organisms, enables cells to grow, replicate their genetic material, and then segregate the copies into two genetically identical daughter cells (Fig.  1 ). Its core components and progression mechanisms are shared across the biological spectrum. Yet, there are unique variations worthy of exploration. The interplay between the cell cycle and the extracellular matrix represents a fascinating area of study, particularly in organisms characterized by strong cell walls like yeast and plants. This section aims to present a comprehensive understanding of the cell cycle, its regulatory processes, and the unique characteristics of the plant cell cycle.

figure 1

Diagram of the cell cycle. The key stages of the plant cell cycle, Synthesis (S) and Mitosis (M) phases, are separated by gap phases (G1 and G2). Regulatory checkpoints at G1/S, G2/M transitions, during S phase, and before anaphase, are crucial for maintaining DNA fidelity and regulating cell cycle progression. The term G0 is used in plants for meristematic quiescence or terminal differentiation, but its definition is unclear. In addition to the regular cell cycle, plants also exhibit a cell cycle variant known as endoreplication, in which nuclear DNA is replicated without subsequent cell division, resulting in increased ploidy levels or polyploidy

Cell cycle and its phases

Cell division is a cornerstone process of cell biology, encompassing mitosis and meiosis in eukaryotic cells. This section will concentrate primarily on mitosis, a process that allows each new cell to receive a full set of chromosomes, thus conserving genetic consistency. Unlike prokaryotic cells that divide by a simpler method called binary fission, eukaryotic cells undergo a more complex division process. The process defines a series of events sequentially to ensure the proper chromosome duplication and segregation. The eukaryotic cell cycle is typically divided into four main phases: G1 (Gap 1), S (Synthesis), G2 (Gap 2), and M (Mitosis) (Fig.  1 ). The G0 phase is a period of quiescence or differentiation where cells are not actively dividing (Pardee 1974 ) (Fig.  1 ). While well-defined in animals, its definition in plants is unclear due to varied interpretations and limited molecular distinctions from a prolonged G1 state. Despite this ambiguity, G0 cells can re-enter the cell cycle under favorable conditions, except for differentiated and/or senescent cells (Velappan et al. 2017 ).

G1, S, and G2 together are called interphase, which occupies about 23 h of a 24-h cycle in a typical human cell proliferating in culture. The remaining hour is taken up by mitosis, during which the cell’s chromosomes are divided and two new daughter cells are formed (Alberts et al. 2002 ). The cell cycle duration in Arabidopsis and yeast is significantly shorter than in human cells. In Arabidopsis, the cell cycle duration in the root meristem is typically around 15–20 h (Beemster et al. 2005 ), while in yeast, the cell cycle duration is typically around 90 min (Hartwell et al. 1974 ). However, the cell cycle duration for pericycle cells engaged in lateral root initiation in Arabidopsis has been reported to be as short as 8 h. This suggests that the cell cycle can be accelerated during lateral root development, which is important for the rapid formation of new lateral roots (Alberts et al. 2002 ).

The two major cell cycle phases are DNA duplication during the S phase, which takes around 10–12 h for the proper duplication: and chromosome segregation during the M phase, which takes less than an hour. M phase includes mitosis, where the duplicated chromosomes condense, the nuclear envelope breaks down, and the chromosomes align at the equator of the mitotic spindle during metaphase. This is followed by anaphase, where sister chromatids separate and move to opposite spindle poles. Finally, cytokinesis results in the complete division of the cell. Compared to replicating DNA and division, most cells require much more time to grow and double their mass of proteins and organelles. This leads to the insertion of extra gap phases in most cell cycles to allow more time for growth. A G1 phase between the M phase and S phase is inserted where the primary focus of the cells is on growth and metabolic activities. A G2 phase between the S and mitosis allows cells to grow further and prepare for mitosis (Alberts et al. 2002 ).

Mechanisms controlling cell cycle progression

Checkpoints and checkpoint pathways are crucial in overseeing the cell cycle’s integrity, ensuring DNA integrity before replication and segregation, and preventing genetic errors. There are four primary checkpoints (Hartwell and Weinert 1989 ): the G1–S checkpoint, where the cell assesses DNA integrity before entering the S phase; the S checkpoint, monitoring DNA synthesis to ensure accurate replication; the G2–M checkpoint, verifying that DNA replication is complete and undamaged before entering mitosis; and the spindle checkpoint, which ensures proper attachment of chromosomes to the spindle fibres before allowing the cell to progress from metaphase to anaphase during cell division. These checkpoints (Fig.  1 ) contribute to the precise regulation of the cell cycle, safeguarding against errors that could lead to genomic instability and cellular dysfunction.

The cell cycle is meticulously regulated at these checkpoints, primarily driven by the intricate interplay between cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) and cyclins. Cyclins are regulatory proteins that determine the progression of the cell cycle by activating CDKs. In plants, cyclins such as A-, B-, and D-type cyclins show distinct roles in the cell cycle, dictating the timing of cell cycle transitions (Inzé and De Veylder 2006 ).

CDKs, a highly conserved group of serine/threonine kinases, form complexes with specific cyclins at different cell cycle stages, thereby facilitating the phosphorylation of key target proteins necessary for advancing the cell cycle. Arabidopsis genome codes for about 30 CDKs and CDK-like proteins, illustrating the complexity of CDK regulation in plants (Menges et al. 2005 ). In the context of plant cell cycle regulation, CDKs are organized into eight groups, with CDKA and CDKB playing central roles (Vandepoele et al. 2002 ). CDKA’s activity peaks at G1/S and G2/M transitions (Inzé and De Veylder 2006 ; Gutierrez 2009 ), while CDKBs exhibit distinct expression patterns during the cell cycle (Inzé and De Veylder 2006 ).

CDK inhibitors (CKIs) are vital in cell cycle regulation across eukaryotes. In yeast, CKIs like Sic1 control the G1 phase, preventing premature S phase entry (Schwob 1994 ). In animals, two CKI families, INK4 and Cip/Kip, target specific CDKs in response to various cellular signals (Sherr and Roberts 1999 ). In contrast, plant CKIs such as ICK1/KPR1 and ICK2/KRP2in Arabidopsis affect both mitotic and endoreduplication cycles, crucial for plant development and environmental adaptation (Wang et al. 2006 ). This regulatory complexity in plants extends to other key proteins that have adapted distinct functions in plants different from their well-defined roles in yeast and animals. For example, the WEE1 kinase in humans, yeast, and plants inhibits cell division by phosphorylating CDKs, but its roles differ significantly beyond this (Détain et al. 2021 ). In plants, WEE1 is crucial in stress responses, especially to DNA damage and environmental stresses like drought and salinity (Harashima et al. 2013 ; Crncec and Hochegger 2019 ). Additionally, the importance of WEE1 in development varies among plant species; for example, it’s critical in tomato development but not in Arabidopsis (De Schutter et al. 2007 ; Gonzalez et al. 2007 ). This highlights how plants have uniquely adapted familiar cell cycle components to suit their specific life processes.

Transcriptional regulation is also essential for cell cycle regulation, and thus transcription factors have a prominent role. For example, in humans, thousands of enhancer RNAs and associated transcription factors exhibit a strong association with the transcription regulated by the cell cycle (Liu et al. 2017 ). In the plant kingdom, a good example is the transition into the M phase, where the orchestration involves the interplay of G2/M-specific genes and their promoter-bound mitosis-specific activator (MSA) element. This process is regulated by R1R2R3-type MYB transcription factors (Chen et al. 2017 ). The MYB3R family comprises both activators (Act-MYB) and repressors (Rep-MYB), and their intricate interplay governs the surge in mitotic CDK activity before entering M phase (Chen et al. 2017 ). Moreover, MYB3Rs interact with RBR protein and E2Fs, forming a large protein complex named the DREAM/dREAM-like complex, involved in regulating proliferative and quiescent states (Magyar et al. 2016 ; Umeda et al. 2019 ). These factors coordinate various cell cycle regulators, ensuring cells enter mitosis only when prepared.

Specific features of the plant cell cycle

Cytokinesis and phragmoplast formation.

Cytokinesis is a fundamental process in plant development that divides the cytoplasm of a dividing cell into two daughter cells. It is fundamentally different from cytokinesis in animals and fungi, and involves the de novo formation of a cell plate (Sinclair et al. 2022 ). The process starts with the phragmoplast guiding cytokinetic vesicles to the cell division plane. Here, vesicles fuse to form a cell plate, with callose deposition playing a key role in its stiffening and maturation (Otegui et al. 2001 ; Seguié-Simarro et al. 2004 ; McMichael and Bednarek 2013 ; Smertenko et al. 2018 ). This intricate process is orchestrated by a complex interplay of molecular components, including microtubules, microfilaments, and associated proteins like myosins and kinesins. In Arabidopsis, the preprophase band (PPB) and TON1/TRM/PP2A complex determine the division plane early in mitosis (Van Damme et al. 2007 ; Spinner et al. 2013 ). To ensure successful expansion and maturation of the phragmoplast, proteins like myosin VIII, myosin XI members, Kinesin-12 POK1 and POK2, TAN1, AIR9, PHGAPs, and IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) proteins contribute to its structural integrity (Wu and Bezanilla 2014 ; Stöckle et al. 2016 ; Abu-Abied et al. 2018 ; Müller 2019 ). Proteins like KATANIN1 and MACET4/CORD4 are vital for phragmoplast organization, while SNARE proteins such as KNOLLE and SNAP33 drive vesicle fusion and membrane organization (Lauber et al. 1997 ; Zhang et al. 2011 ; El Kasmi et al. 2013 ; Jürgens et al. 2015 ; Karnahl et al. 2017 ; Sasaki et al. 2019 ; Panteris et al. 2021 ). Small GTPases like RABA2 and RABA3 ensure precise vesicle targeting, and complexes like TRAPPII and the exocyst regulate cell plate assembly (Chow et al. 2008 ; Berson et al. 2014 ; Rybak et al. 2014 ). Membrane recycling through clathrin-coated vesicles, involving proteins like Clathrin Light Chain and Dynamin-Related Proteins, also plays a crucial role (Fujimoto et al. 2008 ; McMichael and Bednarek 2013 ).

In Arabidopsis, small GTPases, including RABA2, RABA3, and RABA1 members, ensure vesicle targeting (Chow et al. 2008 ; Berson et al. 2014 ), while tethering complexes like TRAPPII and exocyst sequentially regulate cell plate assembly, expansion and maturation (Rybak et al. 2014 ). Moreover, membrane recycling via clathrin-coated vesicles plays a pivotal role during cytokinesis, with a range of associated proteins involved, including Clathrin Light Chain, Dynamin-Related Proteins, SCD1 and 2, Epsin-like adaptors, and the T-PLATE. These intricate molecular processes ensure the successful formation of the cell plate during plant cytokinesis, a fundamental step in cell division and plant growth.

Recent studies have highlighted the species-specific nature of cytokinesis. Research on the impact of cytokinesis inhibitors like Endosidin7 (ES7) and microtubule disruptors such as chlorpropham (CIPC) demonstrates the complex and varied responses in plant cytokinesis in Arabidopsis and maize (Allsman et al. 2023 ). ES7 induced cell plate defects in Arabidopsis without affecting callose accumulation or cell plate formation in maize. In contrast, CIPC treatment in maize occasionally led to irregular cell plates that split or fragmented but left cell-plate protein accumulation intact. This underlines the multifaceted regulation and the adaptive aspects of this crucial cellular process in different plant species.

Endoreplication and its role in plant development

Endoreplication, a cellular process also known as the endocycle, is a common process in plants. It involves multiple rounds of DNA synthesis without cell division, resulting in polyploid cells with increased DNA content. This unique mechanism allows for enhanced cellular functions such as vibrant colours, improved nutrient storage, and stress resistance (Edgar and Orr-Weaver 2001 ; Orr-Weaver 2015 ). It is especially prominent in higher plants and significant in certain cell types like the endosperm, contributing to metabolic activity, cell differentiation and rapid cell growth (Edgar and Orr-Weaver 2001 ; Bhosale et al. 2019 ).

The process of endoreplication involves multiple G and S phases leading to increased genetic material (Fig.  1 ) (De Veylder et al. 2002 ; Cook et al. 2013 ). This process is intricately regulated by a balance between CDK-cyclin complexes and CDK inhibitors, such as the SIAMESE/SIAMESE RELATED (SIM/SMR) family, and involves the degradation of cyclins by the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) (De Veylder et al. 2002 , 2011 ; Cook et al. 2013 ). These pathways are modulated by protein complexes, phytohormones and biostimulators (Kołodziejczyk et al. 2021 ). In particular, auxin significantly influences the switch from mitotic cycles to endocycles. High levels of auxin signaling maintain cells in mitotic cycles possibly through the expression of CYCLIN A2;3 (CYCA2;3), while lower levels prompt a transition to endocycles (Ishida et al. 2010 ). Transcription factors also play a role, with factors like MED16, LMI1, SOG1, and E2Fa influencing the switch between mitotic cycles and endoreplication (Kołodziejczyk et al. 2021 ).

Extracellular matrix and cell cycle regulation: what do we know from other organisms?

Understanding the relationship between the extracellular matrix and cell cycle regulation is essential since any perturbations on the first can have deep impacts on the latter. This section provides an overview of this interplay in organisms like yeast and mammals, serving as a comparative foundation for plants. We will delve into specific mechanisms such as yeast’s CWI system and its effects on cell cycle progression, mammalian integrins’ role in modulating cell cycle phases, and the influence of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) on extracellular signaling and cell cycle regulation. This knowledge provides a platform to compare these mechanisms in plant systems (Fig.  2 ).

figure 2

Pathways controlling cell cycle progression in function of the integrity of the cell wall or extracellular matrix are similar in different eukaryotes. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae , CWI and plasma membrane damage initiate downstream responses, culminating in a G1/S cell cycle arrest, with receptors Mid2 and Wsc1 playing key roles in damage detection. Similarly, in humans such as Homo sapiens , damage to the extracellular matrix is detected by integrins, which trigger comparable transduction cascades resulting in G1/S cell cycle arrest, a process also elicited by extracellular matrix modifications via metalloproteinases (MMPs). The TGF-β pathway also control cell proliferation, regulating ECM synthesis and degradation, and modulating tissue remodeling processes. Integrins, as primary receptors for ECM proteins, establish bidirectional communication with growth factor and cytokine receptors. In plants like Arabidopsis thaliana , varied pathways respond to folding and wounding, influencing cell elongation or division and prompting cell wall remodeling, detected by THESEUS1 (THE1). FERONIA (FER) could also play a role due to its effect on auxin concentrations, however, while implied, the explicit link to the cell cycle checkpoint remains to be confirmed (dotted lines)

Cell wall/extracellular matrix control of cell cycle progression in the budding yeast

In the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , CWI signaling is intricately involved in various cellular processes. It influences processes such as cell growth, cytokinesis, and cell separation. Defects in CWI signaling can lead to impaired cell separation during the cell cycle, as observed in mutant strains lacking key components of the CWI pathway (González-Rubio et al. 2023 ).

Key CWI sensors like Mid2 and Wsc1 initiate the response to cell wall stress (Levin 2011 ). These sensors activate Rho1, a GTPase, through the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Rom2 (Bickle 1998 ). Rho1 then triggers a cascade involving several elements: activation of the protein kinase C (Pkc1), followed by the MAP kinase cascade components Bck1, Mkk1/2, and the MAP kinase Slt2 (Bickle 1998 ; Kono et al. 2012 ). This pathway culminates in the activation of transcription factors Swi4 and Swi6, which regulate the activity of G1-specific cyclin genes and ensure the entry into the mitotic cycle (Fig.  2 ) (Nasmyth and Dirick 1991 ; Kim et al. 2010 ). In addition to its role in cell wall remodeling, the CWI pathway significantly influences cell cycle progression (Quilis et al. 2021 ). The activation state of Mpk1 is closely linked to cell cycle regulatory proteins such as Cdc28, indicating a functional intersection between cell wall integrity and cell cycle regulation (Levin 2011 ). This pathway is intricately regulated throughout the cell cycle, with its signaling notably peaking during bud emergence, a critical phase for cell wall integrity and remodeling. Pkc1 not only responds to cell wall stress but also impacts nuclear functions, including the arrest of secretion response and G2/M progression, and phospholipid biosynthesis, further underscoring the pathway's expansive role in cell cycle progression and cellular integrity (Levin 2011 ). Protein phosphatases, such as Ptc1, negatively regulate MAPK pathways by dephosphorylating cascade components (González-Rubio et al. 2019 ). Ptc1 specifically dephosphorylates Mkk1 in the CWI pathway (Jiang et al. 1995 ; Du et al. 2006 ). The absence of Ptc1 leads to functional defects associated with CWI pathway activation, including altered growth, cell separation, and mitochondrial inheritance (Du et al. 2006 ; González et al. 2006 ; Li et al. 2010 ; Tatjer et al. 2016 ). Ptc1 also affects other physiological processes, such as the target of the rapamycin 1 (TORC1) complex, which regulates nutrient availability and cell proliferation (González et al. 2009 ). The mechanisms underlying these effects, including the involvement of Slt2 kinase activity, are still being investigated (Sánchez-Adriá et al. 2022 ).

The plasma membrane and the cell wall both pose significant challenges to maintaining cell integrity. Yeast CWI pathways are capable of sensing and responding to membrane damage (Bickle 1998 ). Plasma membrane damage activates a novel G1 checkpoint that involves the Mck1-dependent degradation of Cdc6 and stabilization of Sic1 (Al-Zain et al. 2015 ). Mck1, a yeast glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) kinase, plays a crucial role in ensuring proper DNA replication, preventing DNA damage, and maintaining genome integrity by inhibiting Cdc6 (Fig.  2 ) (Ikui et al. 2012 ).

This intricate network, from CWI perception by sensors to the eventual cellular response mediated by transcription factors, underscores the importance of CWI in maintaining cell structure and function. Understanding these mechanisms in yeast provides valuable insights into similar processes in plants, enriching our grasp of how cells maintain integrity against environmental challenges.

Extracellular matrix control of cell cycle progression in mammals

Integrins and focal adhesion kinase (fak).

Integrins are adhesive receptors that play a critical role in cell cycle regulation by detecting and responding to signals from the extracellular matrix (ECM). They are essential for cell adhesion, survival, proliferation, differentiation, and migration (Moreno-Layseca and Streuli 2014 ). Integrins are heterodimeric receptors composed of one of 18 α and 8 β subunits. They are activated by ligand binding and mechanical force, which induces a conformational shift mediated by cytoplasmic proteins such as talin and kindlin (Lagarrigue et al. 2020 , 2022 ; Lu et al. 2022 ).

Integrin engagement with the ECM leads to the formation of various adhesion complexes, including focal adhesions (FAs) and the activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). This activation, involving FAK’s trans-autophosphorylation at Tyr-397, initiates various downstream signaling pathways crucial for cell cycle regulation (Calalb et al. 1995 ; Acebrón et al. 2020 ). FAK, upon activation, phosphorylates targets like cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) p27 and p21, as well as cyclins D1 and A2, facilitating the transition from the G1 to the S phase of the cell cycle (Fig.  2 ) (Walker and Assoian 2005 ; Moreno-Layseca and Streuli 2014 ; Jones et al. 2019 ). During the G1 to S transition, integrin-FAK signaling activates the PI3K/AKT and MAPK/ERK pathways, upregulating cyclin D and degrading CDKIs to promote cell cycle progression (Zhu et al. 1996 ; Brunet 1999 ; Shanmugasundaram et al. 2013 ). Additionally, cyclin A2/CDK1 regulates FA and actin filament dynamics, crucial for FA growth, stability, and cell morphology changes necessary for mitosis entry (Jones et al. 2018 ; Gough et al. 2021 ). In the G2 phase, integrin adhesion influences the stimulation of PLK1, aiding in the transition to mitosis, with changes in cell morphology and traction forces being essential for successful cell division (Vianay et al. 2018 ; Kamranvar et al. 2022 ).

In plant cells, while integrins are not present, analogous mechanisms involving cell wall integrity receptors play a similar role in perceiving the extracellular environment. Plant CWI receptors detect changes in the cell wall composition and structure, triggering signaling pathways. These receptors, in a similar way to integrins in animal cells, sense mechanical signals from the cell wall, influencing cellular processes (Bacete and Hamann 2020 ).

Cytokines and growth factors

In animals, growth factors and cytokines in animals play a critical role in the regulation of the cell cycle, especially through their interactions with the ECM. The ECM serves as a major reservoir of these signaling molecules, which are bound within the matrix along with bioactive fragments produced from MMPs (Hynes 2009 ). This sequestration and subsequent release of growth factors from the ECM influence immune cell proliferation and differentiation, directly impacting cell cycle progression. Growth factors, binding to receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), initiate critical cell cycle events. These RTKs activate downstream signaling pathways, controlling CDK-cyclin complex activities, and influencing essential cellular functions such as migration, survival, and differentiation (Jones & Kazlauskas 2000 ; Wee & Wang 2017 ). Dysregulation in these pathways, as seen in notable RTK families like the EGF receptor, insulin receptor, PDGF receptor, and NGF receptor, often results in cancerous growth (Wang et al. 2017 ; Wee & Wang 2017 ).

Among the various ECM-bound molecules, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is particularly noteworthy for its multifaceted roles in development, tissue repair, and immune cell function. TGF-β interacts with its receptors to activate Smad proteins, which then regulate gene transcription, balancing ECM production and degradation. (Neuzillet et al. 2015 ; Meng et al. 2016 ; David and Massagué, 2018 ). The signaling cascade ultimately leads to the imbalance between ECM production and degradation, modulating tissue remodeling processes (Frangogiannis 2020 ).

In plants, while growth factors as such are not present, analogous signaling mechanisms involving the cell wall play a significant role in development. For example, Rapid Alkalinization Factor (RALF) peptides in plants function in a reminiscent manner to growth factors in animals (Blackburn et al. 2020 ). The recent insights into the LRX8-RALF4 complex in plants offer a striking example (Moussu et al. 2023 ). This complex’s interaction with demethylesterified pectins in the cell wall, leading to a reticulated network essential for cell wall integrity and expansion, mirrors the TGF-β pathway’s role in ECM modulation. Just as the TGF-β pathway influences the ECM and thus affects cell behavior in animals, the LRX8-RALF4-pectin interaction in plants is a critical determinant of cell wall structure, impacting cell growth and development, particularly in processes like pollen tube growth.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs)

MMPs, a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, play a pivotal role in ECM remodeling, impacting a range of physiological processes from embryonic development to wound healing (Cabral-Pacheco et al. 2020 ; Chan et al. 2020 ; Laghezza et al. 2020 ). In mammals, MMPs, expressed in various tissues and cell types, not only contribute to cell cycle regulation by processing growth factors and signaling molecules (see section above), but also they remodel the ECM by degrading components such as collagens and fibronectin, influencing cell adhesion, migration, and growth factor availability, thereby impacting cell cycle progression (Lu et al. 2011 ; Kleiser and Nyström, 2020 ). Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), a family of proteins, serve to bind and inhibit MMP activity. Maintaining the balance between MMPs and TIMPs is essential for ECM homeostasis (Baker et al. 2002 ; Cabral-Pacheco et al. 2020 ). MMPs also influence intracellular signaling pathways regulating the cell cycle by cleaving and modifying ECM-bound integrins (Fig.  2 ) (Kleiser and Nyström, 2020 ).

Some MMPs display cell cycle-associated expression patterns. For example, MMP-2 and MMP-9 participate in different cell cycle phases, with MMP-2 upregulated during the G1/S transition and MMP-9 during the G2/M transition, and disruptions in this equilibrium contribute to ECM degradation and alterations in cell cycle progression in different diseases (Vu and Werb 2000 ; Wang et al. 2017 ; Cabral-Pacheco et al. 2020 ).

In plants, enzymes like cellulases, pectinases, and expansins modulate the physical properties of the cell wall (Cosgrove 2022 ), akin to how MMPs modulate ECM composition in animals. This remodeling is crucial for facilitating cell growth and expansion, although it is yet to be explored how or if these control cell cycle transitions.

Current understanding of cell wall integrity and cell cycle regulation in plants

The exploration of the connection between plant CWI and cell cycle regulation is a rapidly evolving area of research. Drawing parallels from the established knowledge in other organisms, it is becoming increasingly evident that various signaling molecules and extracellular modifications are intricately linked with complex molecular mechanisms in plants. Furthermore, the entwined hormonal networks, fundamental to both cell cycle progression and cell wall biosynthesis and remodeling, present potential avenues for understanding this interplay. By delving into these connections, we can gain profound insights into the significance of CWI in orchestrating cell cycle progression and influencing plant growth. In this section, we collate and examine the growing body of evidence that underscores this intricate relationship, highlighting the intricate dance of cellular processes that govern plant development and adaptation.

Cytokinins, CYCD3;1, and NIA1/NIA2

Cytokinins are key plant hormones that play a critical role in various aspects of plant growth and development. Their primary function is promoting cell division, particularly in plant roots and shoots, but their influence extends far beyond this process (Mok and Mok 2001 ). Cytokinins regulate leaf senescence, apical dominance, nutrient assimilation, and response to environmental stresses (Werner et al. 2001 ; Rivero et al. 2007 ).

Cytokinins are fundamental in regulating the plant cell cycle, particularly in controlling key phase transitions in response to environmental stresses such as drought (Skirycz et al. 2011 ; Tenhaken 2015 ). During the G1 to S phase transition, cytokinins play a significant role by modulating the expression of D-type cyclins, such as CYCD3;1. CYCD3;1 is essential for the initiation of DNA replication and is a key regulator of the G1/S checkpoint in the plant cell cycle (Fig.  2 ) (Riou-Khamlichi et al. 1999 ). In the G2 to M phase transition, cytokinins modulate the activity of CDKs and their associated cyclins, which are crucial for mitotic entry. Cytokinins can also influence the levels of specific B-type cyclins, which are essential for the G2 to M transition (Boruc et al. 2010 ). Furthermore, cytokinins have been implicated in the regulation of the retinoblastoma-related (RBR). This pathway is a critical regulator of the G1/S transition, with RBR proteins interacting with D-type cyclins like CYCD3;1 (Boruc et al. 2010 ).

In addition to their direct impact on cell cycle regulators, cytokinins also interact with other hormonal pathways, such as those mediated by auxins, to fine-tune cell cycle progression (Perilli et al. 2010 ). This interaction exemplifies the complex network of signaling pathways that converge to regulate the plant cell cycle, with cytokinins playing a central role. Another example of the interaction of cytokinins with other signaling molecules is nitric oxide (NO). Cytokinins and NO can have both synergistic and antagonistic effects on plant growth and development (Freschi 2013 ; Shen et al. 2013 ). For instance, during cell division regulation, NO participates in callus formation and shoot regeneration by activating CYCD3;1 at the G1-S cell-cycle phase transition. On the other hand, NO antagonistically affects root growth, as overproduction of NO inhibits root development (Shen et al. 2013 ) A role for NO in cytokinin signaling has also been suggested for controlling plant cell death (PCD), possibly through the inhibition of mitochondrial respiration (Carimi et al. 2005 ). Furthermore, NO-overproducing Arabidopsis lines and mutant plants show reduced sensitivity to cytokinins, leading to a negative regulation of cytokinin signaling through S-nitrosylation of phosphotransferprotein1 (AHP1), thereby repressing phosphorylation activity during cytokinin-mediated phosphorelay (Feng et al. 2013 ).

Nitrate reductase 1 (NIA1) and NIA2 genes, are key players in this regulatory network. These enzymes are responsible for the reduction of nitrate (NO3-) to nitrite (NO2-), and subsequently to NO (Wilkinson and Crawford 1993 ). Cytokinin treatment in plants has been shown to increase NO levels, which is thought to be mediated by the activation of nitrate reductase enzymes encoded by NIA1 and NIA2 (Yu et al. 1998 ; Tun et al. 2001 ). Furthermore, the interaction is bidirectional. NO, possibly produced via NIA1 and NIA2 activity, can influence cytokinin signaling. In tobacco leaves, the application of NO donors affects the expression of cytokinin-responsive genes, indicating that NO signaling can modulate cytokinin response pathways (Tun et al. 2001 ). This modulation by NO is also evident in processes like root growth, where high levels of NO can antagonize cytokinin signaling, thereby affecting root development (Fernández-Marcos et al. 2011 ).

Interestingly, recent studies have provided some initial evidence supporting the connection between CWI, cytokinins, NO and cell cycle activity in plants. For instance, Arabidopsis NIA1/NIA2, CYCD3;1, and cytokinins have been implicated in this coordination (Gigli-Bisceglia et al. 2018 ). In a study investigating the impact of cell wall damage on A. thaliana seedlings, researchers found that cell wall damage inhibited cell cycle gene expression and increased transition zone cell width in an osmosensitive manner (Gigli-Bisceglia et al. 2018 ). These results were correlated with cell wall damage-induced changes in cytokinin homeostasis, specifically the upregulation of CYTOKININ OXIDASE/DEHYDROGENASE 2 and 3 (CKX2, CKX3) transcript levels. Further investigations using nitrate reductase1 nitrate reductase2 ( nia1 nia2 ) seedlings revealed that the upregulation of CKX2 and CKX3 and the repression of cell cycle gene expression by cell wall damage were absent in these mutants, highlighting the role of NIA1/2-mediated processes in regulating cell wall damage responses (Fig.  2 ) (Gigli-Bisceglia et al. 2018 ). This study suggests that cell wall damage enhances cytokinin degradation rates through a NIA1/2-mediated process, leading to the attenuation of cell cycle gene expression.

Auxin and restorative divisions after wounding in roots

Auxins play a pivotal role in regulating various aspects of plant growth and development. As one of the most important phytohormones, auxins are crucial in processes such as cell division, cell elongation, cell wall loosening and differentiation, influencing the overall plant morphology and adaptive growth responses (Tanimoto 2005 ; Majda and Robert 2018 ). In the context of cell cycle regulation, auxins exert a significant influence by controlling the transition of cells from the G1 phase to the S phase by regulating the expression of various cell cycle genes, including those encoding for D-type cyclins and CDKs (Fig.  2 ) (Perrot-Rechenmann 2010 ). Auxins also interact with other signaling pathways and hormones, such as cytokinins and gibberellins, to finely tune the cell cycle and ensure coordinated growth and development (Mazzoni-Putman et al. 2021 ). One of the most intriguing aspects of auxin biology is its role in spatial patterning within plant tissues. Auxin gradients are established through its polar transport, leading to differential growth responses in different parts of the plant (Galvan-Ampudia et al. 2020 ). This directional movement of auxin is fundamental in shaping plant architecture, including the formation of leaves, flowers, and roots.

Plant cells, unable to migrate, rely on targeted cell division and expansion for wound regeneration. Wound healing in plant tissues involves unique mechanisms distinct from those in animals that encompass the detection of the damage (a process related to CWI monitoring) and the coordination of the restorative divisions (Hoermayer et al. 2020 ). Auxin signaling has been implicated in restorative divisions following wounding in roots. Live imaging studies using laser-based wounding in Arabidopsis’s root provided mechanistic insights into wound perception and coordination of wound responses. The collapse of damaged cells contributes significantly to wound perception, and a specific increase in auxin levels was detected in cells adjacent to the wound. This localized auxin increase plays a dose-dependent role in balancing wound-induced cell expansion and restorative division rates, preventing tumorous overproliferation (Hoermayer et al. 2020 ). Disruption of the canonical TIR1 auxin signaling pathway leads to dysregulation of these processes. Furthermore, auxin and wound-induced turgor pressure changes spatially define the activation of key components of regeneration, such as the transcription regulator ERF115 (Fig.  2 ) (Hoermayer et al. 2020 ). Mechanical cues have been shown to influence ERF114 and ERF115 expression, which correlates with BZR1-mediated brassinosteroid signaling under both regenerative and developmental conditions. Interestingly, CWI surveillance via the Catharanthus roseus receptor-like kinase 1-like (CrRLK1L) CWI sensor FERONIA (FER) antagonistically suppresses their expression in both scenarios, suggesting a molecular framework where cell wall signals and mechanical strains regulate organ development and regenerative responses through ERF114- and ERF115-mediated auxin signaling (Canher et al. 2022 ). These findings suggest that CWI and wound signaling involves the sensing of damaged cell collapse and the activation of local auxin signaling to coordinate downstream transcriptional responses in the immediate vicinity of the wound.

Endoreplication and cell wall composition

The relationship between endoreplication and cell wall composition has recently attracted attention (Bhosale et al. 2019 ). It has been observed that ploidy levels often scale with the final size of cells and organs, suggesting the involvement of endoreplication in these processes (Orr-Weaver 2015 ). However, exceptions to this correlation exist, and the exact nexus between endoreplication and size regulation remains elusive.

Previous studies have revealed that endoreplication plays a significant role in apical hook folding in Arabidopsis. This process is influenced by variations in growth, primarily caused by differences in the distribution of the phytohormone auxin and the mechanical properties of the cell wall. Specifically, the inner cells, which contain high auxin concentrations and stiffer walls, experience suppressed elongation. On the other hand, the rapidly growing outer cells exhibit lower auxin levels and softer walls, allowing for their continued expansion (Baral et al. 2021 ; Jonsson et al. 2021 ). Furthermore, a molecular pathway has been identified, linking endoreplication levels to cell size through cell wall remodeling and stiffness modulation. Remarkably, endoreplication is not solely permissive for growth; reducing endoreplication levels enhances wall stiffening and actively reduces cell size. The feedback loop involved in this process is mediated by the CrRLK1L CWI receptor THESEUS1 (THE1) (Ma et al. 2022 ). These findings provide insights into the nonlinear relationship between ploidy levels and size and offer a molecular mechanism that connects mechanochemical signaling with endoreplication-mediated dynamic control of cell growth.

Although the contribution of ploidy levels to cell growth has been debated, accumulating evidence suggests that the onset of the endocycle, the initiation of endoreplication, may influence cell growth through the transcriptional control of cell wall-modifying genes (Bhosale et al. 2019 ). This transcriptional regulation is believed to drive changes in the cell wall structure, allowing for the expansion required to accommodate turgor-driven rapid cell expansion. It supports the notion that vacuolar expansion, rather than a ploidy-dependent increase in cellular volume, represents the primary force driving cell growth (Bhosale et al. 2019 ). Understanding the interplay between endoreplication, transcriptional control of cell wall-modifying genes, and vacuolar expansion provides valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying cell growth in plants. It highlights the importance of cell wall composition and dynamics in maintaining CWI and facilitating cell expansion.

Recent findings on molecular mechanisms linking CWI perception, cell wall biosynthesis, and gene expression regulation

Plant cell walls play a vital role in maintaining plant structure, safeguarding against various stresses, and facilitating cell-to-cell communication. The CWI monitoring system is essential for sensing mechanochemical changes in the cell wall. It triggers signaling pathways in response, establishing a feedback loop between the living cell’s protoplast and the extracellular matrix of the cell wall, known as the apoplast (Fig.  3 ). The current body of evidence suggests that CWI perturbations can be detected by the CWI monitoring system through the perception of cell wall fragments by receptor like kinases (RLKs) and receptor like proteins (RLPs), distortion of the cell wall-plasma membrane continuum, or displacement of the plasma membrane versus the cell wall (Bacete and Hamann 2020 ).

figure 3

Alterations in different cell wall components could be integrated with cell cycle progression checkpoints. Cell wall mutants with alterations in biosynthesis or deposition of callose (A), cellulose (B), pectins (C), hemicelluloses (D), as well as seedlings under hyperosmotic stress (E) or wounded (F) activate different hormonal pathways which in turn control cell cycle progression. CK cytokinins, AUX auxins, GAs gibberellins, JA jasmonic acid, ET ethylene, SA salicylic acid, ABA abscisic acid, CDK cyclin-dependent kinase, CKI cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, CycD D-type cyclin

To date, only the RLK THE1 has been directly associated with both CWI monitoring and a cell-cycle-related process as endoreplication (Ma et al. 2022 ). Interestingly, THE1 has emerged as a potential CWI mechanoreceptor, playing a crucial role in coordinating cell wall mechanics and processes, such as the regulation of abscisic acid production, a hormone vital for plant stress response and developmental cues (Bacete et al. 2022 ). The intriguing aspect of THE1’s function is its potential to integrate both chemical and physical signals, mirroring how integrins in animals serve as connectors between the internal cellular environment and external matrix. However, this does not exclude a potential role of other CWI RLKs/RLPs in the coordination of CWI and cell cycle progression. In particular, FER seems a promising candidate for this, giving its role in mechanosensitive auxin signaling (Canher et al. 2022 ).

In the intricate interplay between plant development and environmental adaptation, the plant cell wall stands out not just as a structural barrier but as a dynamic mediator in cellular processes, including hormonal pathways (Jonsson et al. 2022 ). This offers a potential link to how cell wall perturbations can influence the cell cycle through hormonal pathways.

The response of the cell wall to environmental stimuli, such as pathogen attacks, exemplifies this dynamic relationship. For instance, when faced with pathogen stress, plants reinforce their cell walls by depositing callose. This adaptive mechanism not only strengthens the cell wall but also intricately triggers ethylene (ET) pathways, essential for plant immunity (Voigt 2014 ). This phenomenon is part of a broader context where modifications in the cell wall components, like cellulose and hemicelluloses have profound effects on the balance and signaling of hormones such as ET, jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA) (Fig.  3 ) (Bacete et al. 2018 ). Pectin modifications in the cell wall also trigger hormonal responses involving JA and SA, which are crucial for the plant’s adaptation to environmental changes. The role of wall-associated kinases (WAKs) in sensing these modifications, leading to the production of SA and/or JA, links the mechanical state of the cell wall to biochemical signaling pathways (Kohorn 2016 ).

The influence of these hormonal changes extends to critical phases of the cell cycle. Hormones like JA, cytokinins, auxins, gibberellins (GAs), and ET are particularly influential at the G2/M checkpoint (Fig.  3 ), a key phase in regulating the transition from growth to cell division (Shimotohno et al. 2021 ). The intricate hormonal interplay, such as the cross-effects effect of SA on ET and JA pathways and the impact of JA on the switch between mitotic cycle and endocycle (Patil et al. 2014 ), highlights the complex regulatory mechanisms plants employ. Moreover, JA, along with ET and ABA, influences the entry in G0 phase (Velappan et al. 2017 ). Conversely, auxins, cytokinins, and GAs are key regulators of CDKs and play a vital role in the G1/S checkpoint (Fig.  3 ) (Shimotohno et al. 2021 ). ABA’s role extends to promoting the expression of CKI-coding genes such as ICK1/KPR1, pivotal in cell cycle control (Wang et al. 1998 ). The cell-wall-dependent production of ABA in response to hyperosmotic stress exemplifies the cell wall’s role in perceiving environmental changes and triggering appropriate hormonal responses that could influence cell cycle progression (Bacete et al. 2022 ). Conversely, the role of these hormones in modifying the cell wall, impacting properties like extensibility and strength, is integral for plant growth and development. This dynamic nature of the cell wall, in conjunction with hormonal signaling, underscores its critical role in not just supporting plant structure but actively participating in the regulation of the cell cycle and adaptation to environmental challenges.

Transcriptional regulation of cell wall metabolism is closely linked to CWI signaling and involves several key components. It has been primarily observed in the context of immune responses. For instance, FER, upon interaction with its ligands (RALF peptides) phosphorylate the transcription factor MYC2, influencing JA signaling (Guo et al. 2018 ). Looking at transcription factors as an end point of CWI-related pathways could be an interesting perspective to look for candidates for CWI-cell cycle coordination. Notably, the transcription factor MYB46 in A. thaliana has emerged as a key player, orchestrating cell growth and cell cycle progression. MYB46 expression is induced upon wounding, leading to the upregulation of genes associated with cell wall biosynthesis and the cell cycle (Shi et al. 2021 ). This coordinated response promotes the biosynthesis of the cell wall by enhancing the expression of cell wall-associated genes. Also, it upregulates a battery of genes involved in cell cycle progression (Shi et al. 2021 ). The involvement of MYB46 in this regulatory network has been observed in seven plant species harboring R2R3-MYB domains, including A. thaliana ,  Fragaria vesca (strawberry), Malus domestica  (apple), Prunus mume (plum blossom), Prunus persica (peach), Pyrus bretschneideri (pear), and Rosa chinensis (China rose), highlighting its evolutionary conservation (Shi et al. 2021 ).

Future perspectives and unanswered questions

As we have discussed above, CWI is a complex process that involves the perception of physical and chemical stimuli. Disturbances in cell wall homeostasis are CWI receptors, initiating various signal transduction pathways that allow plants to identify the origin of such disturbances—either environmental or developmental—and respond appropriately (Bacete and Hamann 2020 ). However, our understanding of CWI and its monitoring system remains partial, derived from diverse studies across various tissues, organs, and species (Vaahtera et al. 2019 ), hindering our comprehensive knowledge of the mechanisms involved. In the context of their influence on cell cycle progression, an interesting approach could look at homologs of the yeast and animal signaling cascades described above and summarized in Fig.  2 . After all, this approach has been successfully exploited in the past to characterize CWI mechanisms in plants (Hamann and Denness 2011 ).

Furthermore, compensatory modifications to the cell walls often serve as a common response to CWI disturbances, as the plant tries to restore cell wall functionality (Denness et al. 2011 ). These modifications can act as both the trigger for the CWI monitoring system (input) or the result of this system’s activation (output). The distinction lies solely in the temporal dimension, emphasizing the importance of considering this aspect for a comprehensive understanding of CWI. Yet, the technical challenges associated with studying dynamic processes remain substantial, due to the lack of spatial and temporal resolution of the employed methods (Alonso Baez and Bacete 2023 ). A nice example of how high-resolution techniques can shed light into how cell wall properties relate to cell division and morphogenesis is the recent study by (Bonfanti et al. 2023 ). By employing time-lapse imaging and atomic force microscopy, the authors systematically mapped the stiffness of cell walls in relation to their age and growth in Marchantia polymorpha and A. thaliana . Intriguingly, it was found that new walls in M. polymorpha gemmae become transiently stiffer and slower-growing compared to older walls, a phenomenon not observed in Arabidopsis leaves. This differential behaviour impacts local cell geometry and junction angles, underlining the significance of cell wall mechanics in plant morphogenesis. Further studies in this direction and with this level of resolution can provide interesting insights into how CWI and cell cycle progression impact each other.

The “growth-defense trade-off” in plant biology underscores the strategic allocation of resources, intricately governed by a network of phytohormones and cell division control. Essentially, plants must decide whether to allocate resources towards growth or defense against various stresses. This trade-off is particularly evident in the context of CWI maintenance. For instance, certain changes in cell wall composition not only enhance stress resistance but can also boost biomass and seed production. The Arabidopsis mutant arr6 serves as a compelling example, displaying modified CWI responses alongside an optimized growth-defense balance (Bacete et al. 2020 ). However, the exact mechanisms driving this trade-off are not fully understood, and manipulating the cell wall doesn’t always enhance plant growth. There is no commonly accepted underlying mechanism for these growth defects, and new approaches are needed to better understand how changes in cell wall composition may quantitatively affect growth. The perspective of cell cycle and cell division playing a significant role in this interaction is a compelling idea and might or might not involve hormonal balance. This knowledge could revolutionize our approach to agriculture, improving crop performance in the face of an increasingly changing environment, and thereby contributing to sustainable food security.

In this review, we provide an extensive overview of the current understanding of the critical relationship between CWI and cell cycle progression in plants. The mechanisms underlying this relationship are multifaceted and complex, involving a wide array of genes, transcription factors, and signaling pathways, underpinning everything from cell wall biosynthesis to CWI perception and adaptive responses.

The plant cell wall, far from being an inert, passive barrier, has emerged as a dynamic and responsive structure that intimately links the physical state of the cell with a myriad of developmental and stress response processes. The complex interplay between CWI maintenance, the cell cycle, and gene expression regulation is central to plant growth and development, with the potential to influence plant resistance to environmental stressors. However, much remains to be elucidated. Key questions persist around the specific CWI sensing mechanisms in plants and the role of CWI maintenance in the growth-defense trade-off. Likewise, our understanding of how these processes might be conserved or divergent across species is still in its infancy. Continued research into these areas will not only shed light on fundamental biological processes but also have the potential to generate practical applications for crop improvement and sustainable agriculture. Ultimately, the potential implications of this research are profound. By connecting our growing understanding of CWI to cell cycle coordination, we could enhance plant productivity and resilience, providing more robust responses to a rapidly changing environment. This would have significant implications for global food security and could contribute to more sustainable agricultural practices.

In conclusion, although we have made significant strides in understanding the intricate dance between CWI and cell cycle progression in plants, this field remains ripe for exploration. As we venture forward, each new discovery not only reveals more about the complex biology of plants but also brings us a step closer to harnessing these insights for the betterment of agriculture and, ultimately, society.

Data availability

Not applicable.

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Soni, N., Bacete, L. The interplay between cell wall integrity and cell cycle progression in plants. Plant Mol Biol 113 , 367–382 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11103-023-01394-w

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  • 1 Centre Eugène Marquis, France

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The combination of nanotechnology with nuclear medicine offers attractive diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities for the management of various conditions, notably cancer. Radiolabeled nanoparticles represent an innovative class of radiopharmaceutical agents holding great promises, by exploiting the intrinsic advantages of nanoparticles, such as increased surface area-to-volume ratio, targeting ability, high payload, and the potential for multiplexing several functionalities within one construct (multimodal imaging, combination therapies, or a mixture of both for theranostics), to provide groundbreaking medical solutions to address unmet medical needs. This Research Topic for Frontiers in Medicine seeks to provide an overview of recent progresses in the field of nanomedicine and radiopharmaceuticals, with new approaches to the design and formulation of innovative radiolabeled nanoconstructs and their applications, advantages, limitations and future prospects and challenges. Research on the combination of different radionuclides or radiopharmaceuticals with passively or actively targeted nanoparticles offers the possibility to increase personalized diagnostic efficacy and radiotherapeutic index. Rare earth elements, i.e. scandium, yttrium and the 15 lanthanoids, are a family of elements which has proven to be particularly useful for cancer management. Wang et al. performed an extensive analysis of the literature dealing with the application of rare earth elements in cancer diagnosis and treatment. It ranged from lanthanide-doped nanomaterials to therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals, using especially yttrium-90, an electron-emitting nuclide particularly suited for radioembolization of liver cancers. Another lanthanide that emerged as particularly attractive for cancer treatment is lutetium-177. Encapsulating both this nuclide and a drug, regorafenib, in PLGA nanoparticles, moreover decorated with receptor-specific ligands, targeting the cancer-overexpressed CXCR4 chemokine receptor, Cruz-Nova et al. demonstrated the interest of the combination of chemotherapy and radiopharmaceutical therapy in a colorectal cancer model. 99mTc-sulfur colloids are a routinely used type of radiolabeled nanoparticles, valuable for a variety of indications, such as gastric emptying, sentinel lymph node scintigraphy, or assessment of functional liver reserve. Klinkert et al. presented us a case report of a patient initially diagnosed with a pancreatic tumor. Using both this agent and a radiolabel somatostatin analog, the authors could conclude it was in fact an intrapancreatic accessory spleen, thus highlighting the clinical usefulness of this diagnostic radiotracer. Finally, a mini-review by Dixit et al. reported the different types of nanoconstructs and targeting strategies currently employed for nanoradiopharmaceuticals, to take advantage of both medical technologies, emphasizing the diversity of investigated approaches.

Keywords: Drug delivery, Molecular Imaging, multimodality, Nanomedicine, Nuclear Medicine, 6 radiolabeled nanomaterials, radionuclide therapy, Radiopharmaceuticals

Received: 05 Apr 2024; Accepted: 08 Apr 2024.

Copyright: © 2024 Lepareur. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Nicolas Lepareur, Centre Eugène Marquis, Rennes, France

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Published by Robert Bruce at August 29th, 2023 , Revised On September 5, 2023

Biology Research Topics

Are you in need of captivating and achievable research topics within the field of biology? Your quest for the best biology topics ends right here as this article furnishes you with 100 distinctive and original concepts for biology research, laying the groundwork for your research endeavor.

Table of Contents

Our proficient researchers have thoughtfully curated these biology research themes, considering the substantial body of literature accessible and the prevailing gaps in research.

Should none of these topics elicit enthusiasm, our specialists are equally capable of proposing tailor-made research ideas in biology, finely tuned to cater to your requirements. 

Thus, without further delay, we present our compilation of biology research topics crafted to accommodate students and researchers.

Research Topics in Marine Biology

  • Impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity and adaptation of deep-sea organisms.
  • Effects of pollution on marine life and ecosystems.
  • Role of marine protected areas in conserving biodiversity.
  • Microplastics in marine environments: sources, impacts, and mitigation.

Biological Anthropology Research Topics

  • Evolutionary implications of early human migration patterns.
  • Genetic and environmental factors influencing human height variation.
  • Cultural evolution and its impact on human societies.
  • Paleoanthropological insights into human dietary adaptations.
  • Genetic diversity and population history of indigenous communities.

Biological Psychology Research Topics 

  • Neurobiological basis of addiction and its treatment.
  • Impact of stress on brain structure and function.
  • Genetic and environmental influences on mental health disorders.
  • Neural mechanisms underlying emotions and emotional regulation.
  • Role of the gut-brain axis in psychological well-being.

Cancer Biology Research Topics 

  • Targeted therapies in precision cancer medicine.
  • Tumor microenvironment and its influence on cancer progression.
  • Epigenetic modifications in cancer development and therapy.
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitors and their role in cancer immunotherapy.
  • Early detection and diagnosis strategies for various types of cancer.

Also read: Cancer research topics

Cell Biology Research Topics

  • Mechanisms of autophagy and its implications in health and disease.
  • Intracellular transport and organelle dynamics in cell function.
  • Role of cell signaling pathways in cellular response to external stimuli.
  • Cell cycle regulation and its relevance to cancer development.
  • Cellular mechanisms of apoptosis and programmed cell death.

Developmental Biology Research Topics 

  • Genetic and molecular basis of limb development in vertebrates.
  • Evolution of embryonic development and its impact on morphological diversity.
  • Stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine approaches.
  • Mechanisms of organogenesis and tissue regeneration in animals.
  • Role of non-coding RNAs in developmental processes.

Also read: Education research topics

Human Biology Research Topics

  • Genetic factors influencing susceptibility to infectious diseases.
  • Human microbiome and its impact on health and disease.
  • Genetic basis of rare and common human diseases.
  • Genetic and environmental factors contributing to aging.
  • Impact of lifestyle and diet on human health and longevity.

Molecular Biology Research Topics 

  • CRISPR-Cas gene editing technology and its applications.
  • Non-coding RNAs as regulators of gene expression.
  • Role of epigenetics in gene regulation and disease.
  • Mechanisms of DNA repair and genome stability.
  • Molecular basis of cellular metabolism and energy production.

Research Topics in Biology for Undergraduates

  • 41. Investigating the effects of pollutants on local plant species.
  • Microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning in a specific habitat.
  • Understanding the genetics of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
  • Impact of urbanization on bird populations and biodiversity.
  • Investigating the role of pheromones in insect communication.

Synthetic Biology Research Topics 

  • Design and construction of synthetic biological circuits.
  • Synthetic biology applications in biofuel production.
  • Ethical considerations in synthetic biology research and applications.
  • Synthetic biology approaches to engineering novel enzymes.
  • Creating synthetic organisms with modified functions and capabilities.

Animal Biology Research Topics 

  • Evolution of mating behaviors in animal species.
  • Genetic basis of color variation in butterfly wings.
  • Impact of habitat fragmentation on amphibian populations.
  • Behavior and communication in social insect colonies.
  • Adaptations of marine mammals to aquatic environments.

Also read: Nursing research topics

Best Biology Research Topics 

  • Unraveling the mysteries of circadian rhythms in organisms.
  • Investigating the ecological significance of cryptic coloration.
  • Evolution of venomous animals and their prey.
  • The role of endosymbiosis in the evolution of eukaryotic cells.
  • Exploring the potential of extremophiles in biotechnology.

Biological Psychology Research Paper Topics

  • Neurobiological mechanisms underlying memory formation.
  • Impact of sleep disorders on cognitive function and mental health.
  • Biological basis of personality traits and behavior.
  • Neural correlates of emotions and emotional disorders.
  • Role of neuroplasticity in brain recovery after injury.

Biological Science Research Topics: 

  • Role of gut microbiota in immune system development.
  • Molecular mechanisms of gene regulation during development.
  • Impact of climate change on insect population dynamics.
  • Genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  • Evolutionary relationships among vertebrate species based on DNA analysis.

Biology Education Research Topics 

  • Effectiveness of inquiry-based learning in biology classrooms.
  • Assessing the impact of virtual labs on student understanding of biology concepts.
  • Gender disparities in science education and strategies for closing the gap.
  • Role of outdoor education in enhancing students’ ecological awareness.
  • Integrating technology in biology education: challenges and opportunities.

Biology-Related Research Topics

  • The intersection of ecology and economics in conservation planning.
  • Molecular basis of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria.
  • Implications of genetic modification of crops for food security.
  • Evolutionary perspectives on cooperation and altruism in animal behavior.
  • Environmental impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Biology Research Proposal Topics

  • Investigating the role of microRNAs in cancer progression.
  • Exploring the effects of pollution on aquatic biodiversity.
  • Developing a gene therapy approach for a genetic disorder.
  • Assessing the potential of natural compounds as anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Studying the molecular basis of cellular senescence and aging.

Biology Research Topic Ideas

  • Role of pheromones in insect mate selection and behavior.
  • Investigating the molecular basis of neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Impact of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions.
  • Genetic diversity and conservation of endangered species.
  • Evolutionary patterns in mimicry and camouflage in organisms.

Biology Research Topics for Undergraduates 

  • Effects of different fertilizers on plant growth and soil health.
  • Investigating the biodiversity of a local freshwater ecosystem.
  • Evolutionary origins of a specific animal adaptation.
  • Genetic diversity and disease susceptibility in human populations.
  • Role of specific genes in regulating the immune response.

Cell and Molecular Biology Research Topics 

  • Molecular mechanisms of DNA replication and repair.
  • Role of microRNAs in post-transcriptional gene regulation.
  • Investigating the cell cycle and its control mechanisms.
  • Molecular basis of mitochondrial diseases and therapies.
  • Cellular responses to oxidative stress and their implications in ageing.

These topics cover a broad range of subjects within biology, offering plenty of options for research projects. Remember that you can further refine these topics based on your specific interests and research goals.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are some good research topics in biology?

A good research topic in biology will address a specific problem in any of the several areas of biology, such as marine biology, molecular biology, cellular biology, animal biology, or cancer biology.

A topic that enables you to investigate a problem in any area of biology will help you make a meaningful contribution. 

How to choose a research topic in biology?

Choosing a research topic in biology is simple. 

Follow the steps:

  • Generate potential topics. 
  • Consider your areas of knowledge and personal passions. 
  • Conduct a thorough review of existing literature.
  •  Evaluate the practicality and viability. 
  • Narrow down and refine your research query. 
  • Remain receptive to new ideas and suggestions.

Who Are We?

For several years, Research Prospect has been offering students around the globe complimentary research topic suggestions. We aim to assist students in choosing a research topic that is both suitable and feasible for their project, leading to the attainment of their desired grades. Explore how our services, including research proposal writing , dissertation outline creation, and comprehensive thesis writing , can contribute to your college’s success.

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Recent Novel High-Tech Researches in Molecular Biology

Calvin yu-chian chen.

1 Human Genetic Center, Department of Medical Research, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan

2 Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

3 School of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan

4 Department of Biomedical Informatics, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan

Kuo-Chen Chou

5 Gordon Life Science Institute, Boston, MA 02478, USA

6 Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine Research (CEGMR), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

James David Adams

7 School of Pharmacy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

Tai-Ping Fan

8 Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Gerhard Litscher

9 Research Unit of Biomedical Engineering in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Research Unit for Complementary and Integrative Laser Medicine, and TCM Research Center Graz, Medical University of Graz, 8036 Graz, Austria

In this special issue recent novel high-tech research in molecular biology is discussed. Since the fast deployment in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science, the recent molecular biology research becomes an evidence-based study even to a single molecular-level study. Thus we call this special issue for novel modern technology including next-generation sequencing methods, proteomics, bioinformatics, genomics, and computational systems biology.

S. El Shamieh et al. reported ophthalmic and genetic findings in families with autosomal recessive rod-cone dystrophy (arRCD) and RP1 mutations. Genomic DNA was investigated using a customized next-generation sequencing panel targeting up to 123 genes implicated in inherited retinal disorders. Sequencing identified 9 RP1 mutations in 7 index cases. Eight of the mutations were novel. Among these mutations, 4 belong to a region previously associated with arRCD and 5 others in a region previously associated with adRCD. Interestingly, a prevalence of ≈2.5% points out the necessity of sequencing RP1 in sporadic and recessive cases of RCD. The authors pointed out that further functional studies would strengthen our knowledge in the physiology of retinal photoreceptors.

The topic of H. Ohashi et al. was “ Next-generation technologies for multiomics approaches including interactome sequencing .” They outlined a variety of new innovative techniques and discussed their use in omics research (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and interactomics). The possible applications of these methods in future medical and life science research were also discussed, including an interactome-sequencing technology, developed by the authors.

J. Guo et al. investigated a virus-resistant transgenic sugarcane involving coat protein gene silencing by RNA interference (RNAi), which is a novel strategy for producing viral resistant plants. It can lead to target gene silencing, thus suppressing target gene expression. In this study, the conserved region of coat protein (CP) genes was selected as the target gene. The genetically modified sorghum mosaic virus-resistant lines of cultivar ROC22 provide resistant germplasm for breeding lines and can also serve as resistant lines having the same genetic background for study of resistance mechanisms.

The paper by T. Al-Edani et al. deals with the influence of female aging on human cumulus cells (CCs) genes. There was a need for an extensive analysis of age impact on transcriptome profile to link oocyte quality and developmental potential with patient's age. CCs from patients of three age groups were analyzed individually using whole genome U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChip Affymetrix microarrays. The authors focused on pathways affected by aging in CCs that may explain the decline of oocyte quality with age. Specific molecular signatures were characterized for the three age categories. It was revealed that the pathways impacted by age were potential targets of specific microRNAs previously identified in CCs small RNAs sequencing.

V. Ambriz-Aviña et al. applied flow cytometry (FCM) to characterize bacterial physiological responses. They reviewed how FCM has been applied to characterize distinct physiological conditions in bacteria including responses to antibiotics and other cytotoxic chemicals and physical factors. Since FCM is suitable for performing studies at the single-cell level, the authors were able to describe how this powerful technique has yielded invaluable information about the heterogeneous distribution of differently and even specialized responding cells and how it may help to provide insights about how cell interaction takes place in complex structures, such as those that prevail in bacterial biofilms.

In the project introduced by Y. Cai et al., a highly precise quantitative method based on the digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) technique was developed to determine the weight of pork and chicken in meat products. Currently, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is used for quantitative molecular analysis of the presence of species-specific DNAs in meat products, but it is limited in several aspects. By using the dPCR method, the authors found that the relationships between the raw meat weight and DNA weight and between the DNA weight and DNA copy number were both close to linear. This enabled them to establish formulae to calculate the raw meat weight based on the DNA copy number. The accuracy was verified using samples of pork and chicken powder mixed in known proportions. Quantitative analysis indicated that dPCR is highly precise and therefore has the potential to be used in routine analysis by government regulators and quality control departments, once some technical flaws have been resolved.

G. N. Sundell and Y. Ivarsson investigated interaction analysis through proteomic phage display, which is a powerful technique for profiling specificities of peptide-binding domains. Using highly diverse combinatorial peptide phage libraries, the method is suited for the identification of high-affinity ligands with inhibitor potential. A complementary but considerably less explored approach is to display expression products from genomic DNA, cDNA, open reading frames (ORFs) or from microarray oligonucleotide libraries designed to encode for defined regions of a target proteome are displayed on phage particles. This review focused on the use of proteomic phage display to uncover protein-protein interactions of potential relevance for cellular function. The method is particularly suited for the discovery of interactions between peptide-binding domains and their targets. The authors discussed the largely unexplored potential of this method in the discovery of domain-motif interactions of potential biological relevance.

Z.-L. Lai et al. contributed a paper entitled “ Methylation-associated gene silencing of RARB in areca carcinogens induced mouse oral squamous cell carcinoma. ” DNA methylation is a major epigenetic alternation of genome that regulates this crucial aspect of its function without changes in the DNA sequence. It is also thought to play an important role in carcinogenesis. Regarding oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) development, chewing areca is known to be a strong risk factor in many Asian cultures. Therefore, the authors established an OSCC induced mouse model by 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO), or arecoline, or both treatments, respectively. These are the main two components of the areca nut that could increase the occurrence of OSCC. The effects were examined with the noncommercial MCGI (mouse CpG islands) microarray for genome wide screening of the DNA methylation aberrant in induced OSCC mice. The results showed that retinoic acid receptor b (RARB) was indicated in hypermethylation at the promoter region and the loss of expression during cancer development. According to the results of real-time PCR, it was shown that de novo DNA methyltransferases were involved in gene epigenetic alternations of OSCC. Collectively, the results showed that RARB hypermethylation was involved in the areca-associated oral carcinogenesis.

W. Eilers et al. explored to which extent isoforms of the regulator of excitation-contraction and excitation-transcription coupling, calcium/calmodulin protein kinase II (CaMKII), contribute to the specificity of myocellular calcium sensing between muscle types and whether concentration transients in its autophosphorylation can be simulated. Qualitative differences existed between fast (gastrocnemius medialis) and slow type (muscle soleus) for the expression pattern of CaMKII isoforms. In silico assessment emphasized the importance of mitochondrial calcium buffer capacity for excitation-induced CaMKII autophosphorylation but did not predict its isoform specificity. The findings exposed that CaMKII autophosphorylation with paced contractions is regulated in an isoform and muscle type-specific fashion and highlight properties emerging for phenotype-specific regulation of CaMKII.

X. Li et al. introduced a novel open-source software (CELLCOUNTER) for counting cell migration and invasion in vitro. In contrast to the usually performed manual counting of cells in Transwell Boyden chamber based migration/invasion assays, this application is reported to be capable of recognizing and counting the total number of cells through an intuitive graphical user interface. The counting can be performed in batch, and the counting results can be visualized and further curated manually. The authors therefore conclude that the new software will be helpful in streamlining the experimental process and improving the reliability of the data acquisition.

In their paper, C.-J. Shen et al. investigated aberrant methylation in cloned porcine genome. Cloned animals usually exhibit defects in physical characteristics or aberrant epigenetic reprogramming, especially in some important organ development, such as heart valve and bone retardation. Osteopontin (OPN) is an extracellular-matrix protein that is involved with heart and bone development and diseases. The authors investigated the correlation between OPN mRNA and its promoter methylation changes by the 5-aza-dc treatment in fibroblast cell and promoter assay. Data revealed that four methylated CpG sites presenting in the −2615 to −2239 bp region cause significant downregulation (approximately 75%) of OPN promoter activity. They also perform the protein-protein docking by software named Z-dock. Besides, the protein-protein complex also performed molecular dynamics simulation for validation. From all the evidences, they propose a novel mechanism and suggest that methylation in the OPN promoter plays a crucial role in the regulation of OPN expression that was found in cloned pigs genome.

The topic of Y.-A. Tsou et al.'s paper was “ Evaluation of correlation of cell cycle proteins and Ki-67 interaction in paranasal sinus inverted papilloma prognosis and squamous cell carcinoma transformation. ” The authors used protein expression patterns by immunohistochemical methods to see that the expression of p53, p16, p21, and p27 belongs to cell-cycle-regulators and PCNA, Ki-67 the proliferation markers in 60 inverted papilloma and 10 of them with squamous cell carcinoma transformation of the sinonasal tract. Significantly elevated levels of Ki67 and PCNA in IP with squamous cell carcinoma transformation of sinonasal tract compared with inverted papilloma were revealed. No variation of p16, p21, p27, and p53 expression was correlated to the IP malignant transformation. In conclusion, this is a first study that showed the correlation of Ki67 interacted with CDK1 and leads to malignant transformation and the elevated PLUNC expression in the sinonasal IPs with multiple recurrences in humans. They also employ the Z-Dock for protein-protein docking of related target proteins, CDK1 with target proteins (a) Ki-67, (b) p27, and (c) PCNA. From dihedrals angle of key binding residues and cluster analyses of all CDK1 and the binding proteins, they propose a novel mechanism of Ki-67, p27, and PCNA in cell cycle.

K.-B. Chen et al. compared the use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) against pregnane X receptor in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The human pregnane X receptor, PXR, plays a crucial role in exogenous and endobiotic metabolism for rabbits, rats, mice, and humans. PXR activation can protect the blood vessels from damage caused by hazardous substances. The authors aimed to investigate the potent lead compounds as PXR receptor agonist against cardiovascular disease. To improve drug development of TCM compounds, they also aimed to investigate the potent lead compounds as PXR agonists from the TCM compounds in TCM Database@Taiwan. The top three TCM compounds, BEMG, Ixerisoside, and Tangshenoside II, displayed higher potent binding affinities than the positive control, PNU-142721, in the docking simulation. They also perform the very time-consuming molecular dynamics simulation for validation of the stability of these potent compounds binding with PXR protein. Hence, the authors propose BEMG and Tangshenoside II, as potential lead compounds for further study in drug development process with the PXR protein.

Acknowledgments

We express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the editorial board for their approval of this concept and continuous help in the successful publication of this special issue. We would also like to thank contributors to this special issue for their scientifically sound papers. With great pleasure and respect we extend our thanks to the reviewers for critical assessment of each paper, their constructive criticisms, and timely responses that made this special issue possible.

Calvin  Yu-Chian  Chen Kuo-Chen  Chou James  David  Adams Tai-Ping  Fan Gerhard  Litscher

Labmonk

Top 100 Latest Research Topics in Molecular Biology 2024 [Updated]

Table of Contents

Top 100 Latest Research Topics in Molecular Biology

Top 100 Latest Research Topics in Molecular Biology 2023

So, are you thinking, what are some of the hottest research topics in molecular biology right now? Here is a list of current research topics in molecular biology:

  • The part of non-histone proteins in chromosome building and function during mitosis.
  • Restoration of the fission yeast Cdc42 cell-polarity component via the Sty1 p38 stress-activated protein kinase pathway.
  • CRISPR and gene editing
  • Gradient sensing: Engineering yeast love affair.
  • How to make a static cytokinetic channel out of spreading excitable waves.
  • Curvature-driven positioning of Turing patterns on phase-separating curved membranes.
  • Activator-inhibitor coupling between Rho signaling and actin assembly makes the cell cortex an excitable medium.
  • The meiotic spindle and chromosomes in oocytes.
  • The molecular mechanisms underlying microtubule nucleation.
  • The regulation of cell polarity, in a systems context, under both normal and stress conditions.
  • Nuclear envelope transmembrane protein regulation of tissue specific genome group in differentiation and disease.
  • Stem cell research
  • What is the molecular basis for the establishment and maintenance of CENP-A nucleosomes at centromeres?
  • How do the outer kinetochore microtubule binding components such as the Ska and Ndc80 complexes cooperate to facilitate spindle driven chromosome segregation?
  • How CPC, a key player required for eliminating incorrect kinetochore-microtubule attachment is targeted to   the kinetochore? 
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Biochemical analysis of a restriction enzyme;
  • Calculating the activity of alkaline phosphatase.
  • Measuring the selection coefficient of yeast expressing Xenopus TFIIIA.
  • Measuring plasmid loss in bacteria.
  • Drug delivery
  • Measuring the mutagenic effects of ethidium bromide.
  • Measuring the mutagenic effects of UV light.
  • Cancer cell research
  • Measuring effect of plasmid size on transformation efficiency.
  • Exploring bacterial transformation conditions.
  • Using PCR to compare ribosomal RNA from Different Organisms.
  • Chemo-enzymatic Synthesis and Potential Applications of Novel Heterobicyclic Alkaloids.
  • Evolving an enzymatic toolbox to make complex modified peptides.
  • Genome mining of novel bacterial carbazole natural products from new bacterial strains.
  • Biological suggestions of genetic variation in rice for mycorrhizal colonization.
  • Physiological and molecular characterization of altered root hydraulic properties in rice due to allelic variation or genetic manipulation of plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs, a class of aquaporins).
  • RNA interference (RNAi)
  • Determination of the most appropriate cell sources and harvest methods for in vitro culturing of pig meat.
  • Monoclonal antibodies.
  • Investigating the potential of novel mimetic molecules to modulate the microphage polarization.
  • DNA synthesis
  • Novel regulation of platelet-endothelial crosstalk in settings of vascular disease.
  • Developing method to rationally design anti-cancer drug combinations.
  • The role of non-histone proteins in chromosome structure and function during mitosis.
  • Unloading of homologous recombination factors is required for restoring double-stranded DNA at damage repair loci.
  • Aneuploidy as a mechanism of adaptation to telomerase insufficiency.
  • When there is not enough telomerase: telomerase insufficiency and genome integrity.
  • Proteolysis-dependent regulation of telomerase catalytic subunit.
  • Molecular pathways that coordinate telomere maintenance and DNA repair machineries.
  • Structural evidence for Scc4-dependent localization of cohesion loading.
  • The kinetochore controls crossover recombination during meiosis.
  • Quantitative cross-linking/mass- spectrometry reveals subtle protein conformational changes.
  • Nuclear envelope transmembrane protein regulation of tissue specific genome organization in differentiation and disease
  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms of parasite-host interaction between the green alga pluvialis and its parasitic fungus P. sedebokerense .
  • Novel antimicrobial peptides from fish blood.
  • Bacteriophages – Applications for Biocontrol.
  • XenoImport – Towards expanding natural metabolism.
  • Alternative splicing, intrinsically disordered regions and higher-order complex formation.
  • Transcriptomics and structural bioinformatics of ion channels.
  • 3 and its chaperones in the nervous system.
  • Role of the SWI/SNF complex in the nervous system.
  • Cytokines & growth factors.

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City of Hope is home to some of the world’s leading research centers and institutes, where our scientists are renowned for breakthrough innovations.

Sharing our state-of-the-art equipment and resources, and the expertise to apply them to meaningful research, are crucial to the pursuit of new treatments and potential cures. 

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We offer a broad diabetes and endocrinology program combining groundbreaking research, unique treatments and comprehensive education to help people with diabetes and other endocrine diseases live longer, better lives.

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This alliance provides City of Hope with access to TGen's innovative genomics technologies, helping physicians and researchers move research discoveries into the clinic for the benefit of patients.

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ScienceDaily

Shy sea anemones are more likely to survive heatwaves

Even in nature, pride can prevail. A study with researchers from the University of Gothenburg shows that sea anemones that react more slowly to change can survive a heatwave better than individuals that change their behaviour quickly.

Along the Atlantic coasts of Europe, many species are exposed to abrupt shifts in habitat. Tides, storms and rapid temperature changes are commonplace for the marine species that live there. With climate change, heatwaves are expected to become more frequent, and researchers wanted to find out how coastal marine species cope with extreme water temperatures. They chose to study the sea anemone species Actinia equina, a species that exhibits individual behaviours.

Brave or shy

"We call them animal personalities. They are different behavioural life strategies found in the same species. The anemones we studied have two personality traits, bold and shy, and in extreme heat waves the shy anemones do better," says Lynne Sneddon, a zoophysiologist at the University of Gothenburg and co-author of the study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Being a shy or bold anemone describes the individual's risk-taking. Both behaviours have advantages that have made them winners in evolution, otherwise they would not exist. A bold anemone reacts more quickly to changes in the environment than a shy anemone does. This means that the bold ones are quicker than the shy ones to open their tentacles to forage after a change. The bold anemones can trap more of the nutrients in the water, and this gives them a competitive advantage. On the other hand, they become more vulnerable in extreme conditions, such as heat waves. The researchers' study shows that being a shy individual is a better survival strategy when the water is extremely hot.

"We measured the metabolism of the anemones and could see that when the water temperature was high, the metabolism of the bold anemones skyrocketed. This meant that they had to increase their nutrient intake so much that they risked dying. The shy anemones' metabolism increased less, so they were better able to cope with the heat stress," says Lynne Sneddon.

Rapid warming at low tide

In coasts with large tidal differences, water collects in "rock pools" that warm up quickly on the ebb tide before the next flood washes in with colder seawater. Anemones living in these pools are therefore particularly vulnerable to large temperature differences.

"Heat waves will become more common in the future and cold-blooded animals may find it difficult to cope. We studied anemones, but we have reason to believe that the phenomenon applies to other species as well. If the animals can't cope, there will be a disruption in the ecosystems and this could have implications for the whole food web," says Lynne Sneddon.

  • New Species
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Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Gothenburg . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference :

  • Daniel K. Maskrey, Shaun S. Killen, Lynne U. Sneddon, Kathryn E. Arnold, David C. C. Wolfenden, Jack S. Thomson. Differential metabolic responses in bold and shy sea anemones during a simulated heatwave . Journal of Experimental Biology , 2024; 227 (3) DOI: 10.1242/jeb.244662

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