Talking about JBC’s Best of 2013

JBC podcasts

In a podcast series, authors of four award-winning articles
talk about their research

Four-part series

JBC Best of 2013

The following Journal of Biological Chemistry papers were highlighted in the Best of JBC podcast series. See other selected papers here.
Regulation of Argonaute Slicer Activity by Guide RNA 3′ End Interactions with the N-terminal Lobe, by Hur et al.

Prion Protein-mediated Toxicity of Amyloid-β Oligomers Requires Lipid Rafts and the Transmembrane LRP1, by Rushworth et al.

Signal Transduction
Carboxyl Group Footprinting Mass Spectrometry and Molecular Dynamics Identify Key Interactions in the HER2-HER3 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Interface, by Collier et al.

Cell Biology
In Vivo Cross-linking Reveals Principally Oligomeric Forms of α-Synuclein and β-Synuclein in Neurons and Non-neural Cells, by Dettmer et al.

To download MP3s of these podcasts or to read transcripts, visit

To celebrate the articles the editors of The Journal of Biological Chemistry named the Best of 2013, the journal has produced a podcast series featuring interviews with authors of four of the 22 articles that were honored. The series was launched in mid-February. In these interviews, authors offer personal insights into their work.
The first podcast, posted in mid-February, features my interview with Rachel Green, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the corresponding author of the paper selected from the RNA category. Originally published in March 2013, Green’s article illustrates how, in gene regulation, recognition of siRNA and microRNA structures by Argonaute proteins influences downstream effects on target RNAs. She discusses the way her article came about and the direction she sees this research moving.
In the second podcast, JBC Associate Editor Paul Fraser at the University of Toronto speaks with Nigel Hooper at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Hooper is the author of the article selected from the neurobiology category. Also published in March 2013, Hooper’s paper details how remodeling amyloid-β oligomers and disrupting the prion-LRP1-raft interaction can provide therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease. Fraser and Hooper talk about the progression of this work and where the research may lead.
The third podcast features a conversation between JBC Associate Editor Alex Toker at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Ron Bose, a medical oncologist and assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Bose’s article, published in August, was selected from the JBC’s signal transduction category. It provides the first structural characterization of HER2-HER3 heterodimers, which are part of the receptor family used in the development of targeted cancer therapies. 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 crystallized, and the power of interdisciplinary studies for graduate students in science.
In the final podcast, 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? Associate Editor Fraser speaks with Dennis Selkoe at Harvard Institutes of Medicine and Ulf Dettmer, a research fellow in neurology also at Harvard. Selkoe and Dettmer are co-authors of the chosen paper in the cell biology category. Published in March 2013, the article exhibits 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.
You can find links to play all four podcasts at

Andrew HarmonAndrew Harmon ( is the science & publishing technology manager for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.