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JBC News Podcast: α-synuclein, living cells and Parkinson’s disease: JBC’s best Cell Biology article of 2013

JBC Best of 2013 logoMarch 10, 2014 — In the last of our four-part podcast series on the best articles of 2013 in the The Journal of Biological Chemistry, we hear about the debate surrounding α-synuclein, which plays a critical role in Parkinson’s disease. Is it an unfolded monomer? Is it a helically-folded tetramer? Paul Fraser, a professor of medical biophysics at the University of Toronto and a JBC associate editor, speaks with Dennis Selkoe, a professor of neurological diseases at Harvard Institutes of Medicine, and Ulf Dettmer, a research fellow in neurology also at Harvard. Selkoe and Dettmer are co-authors of JBC’s best article of 2013 in the Affinity category of Cell Biology. It is titled, “In Vivo Cross-linking Reveals Principally Oligomeric Forms of α-Synuclein and β-Synuclein in Neurons and Non-neural Cells,” and it was published in March. The paper details a new method for cross-linking α-synuclein in living cells that reveals a form consistent with a tetramer. In this conversation, we hear about the prior research leading to this article and what to look forward to as the debate continues.
 

Click here to read a transcript of this podcast interview.
 

JBC News Podcast: Key interactions at the HER2-HER3 kinase dimer interface: JBC’s best Signal Transduction article of 2013

JBC Best of 2013 logoMarch 3, 2014 — In Part Three of our series of the best articles of 2013 in the The Journal of Biological Chemistry, we hear a conversation between Alex Toker, a professor in the Department of Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Ron Bose, a medical oncologist and assistant professor in the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. Bose is the corresponding author of the paper “Carboxyl Group Footprinting Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Dynamics Identify Key Interactions in the HER2-HER3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Interface.” This paper was named the JBC’s Best Article of 2013 in the category of Signal Transduction. The paper provides the first structural characterization of HER2-HER3 heterodimers, which are part of the receptor family that is used in the development of targeted cancer therapies. Here, Bose talks about his more than 10 years of research in the study of tyrosine kinases. He also talks about where the research is going, the development of innovation where mass spectrometry is limited in the study of protein complexes that can’t be crystalized, and the power of interdisciplinary studies for graduate students in science.
 

Click here to read a transcript of this podcast interview.
 

JBC News Podcast: Prion-mediated toxicity of Aβ oligomers: JBC’s best Neurobiology article of 2013

JBC Best of 2013 logoFeb. 24, 2014 — In this, the second in our four-part podcast series on the best articles of 2013 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, we hear a conversation between Associate Editor Paul Fraser, a professor in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, and Nigel Hooper from the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Dr. Hooper is the author of JBC’s Best Article of 2013 in the category of Neurobiology. It is titled, Prion Protein-mediated Toxicity of Amyloid-β Oligomers Requires Lipid Rafts and the Transmembrane LRP1, and it was published in March. The paper focuses attention on how remodeling amyloid-β oligomers and disrupting the prion LRP1 raft interaction can provide therapeutic targets for Alzheimer disease. Drs. Fraser and Hooper talk about the progression of this work and where the research may lead.
 

Click here to read a transcript of this podcast interview.
 

JBC News podcast: The N-terminal lobe regulating Argonaute slicer activity: JBC’s best RNA article of 2013

JBC Best of 2013 logoFeb. 17, 2014 — This podcast is the first in a four-part series on the article named the best of 2013 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The Journal’s editors reviewed the more than 4,000 articles published throughout the year and named 22 among the best, one article for each of the Journal’s Affinity categories. An affinity category corresponds to a section of the Journal’s table of contents.

In our first podcast, we talk briefly with Rachel Green, a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the corresponding author of JBC’s Best Article of the Year in the category of RNA. The article is titled Regulation of Argonaute Slicer Activity by Guide RNA 3′ End Interactions with the N-terminal Lobe, and it was published in March. When asked about the paper’s significance, JBC’s editor-in-chief, Martha Fedor, pointed out that RNA interference and microRNA pathways for gene silencing differ their effects on target RNAs and in the structures of the guide RNAs, such as siRNAs and microRNAs, that initiate each pathway. She said this article provides important insight into how recognition of siRNA and microRNA structures by Argonaute proteins influences downstream effects on target RNAs. Dr. Green talked about her work, the way this article came about, and the direction she sees this research moving.


Click here to read a transcript of this podcast interview.
 
 

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