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The fish melanophore has been considered the exemplar of microtubule-based organelle transport. In this system, a radial array of uniformly polarized microtubules (1) provides a framework on which dynein-related and kinesin-related motors drive pigment granules toward the minus or plus ends,...
Cyclooxygenase catalyses a key step in prostaglandin biosynthesis, and recent work suggests that one isoenzyme, COX-2, has important roles in early stages of pregnancy; it also appears to be involved in the somewhat analogous process of colon tumor formation and spread.
In 1828, von Baer proposed that the early stages of development must be the most conserved (1) . Others have since countered that the middle stages of development are the most conserved (2) . To address whether the earliest step in pattern formation can evolve, we have examined how asymmetry...
Background: Although a number of growth factors bind cell-surface heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs), the role of this interaction is unclear except for fibroblast growth factor which requires HSPG binding for signalling. Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) plays important roles...
Sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome condensation are both essential to the successful completion of mitosis. The recent identification and characterization of the yeast Mcd1p/Scc1p protein reveals a previously unsuspected mechanistic link between these processes.
One form of the Tramtrack protein (Ttk88) acts as a general inhibitor of photoreceptor differentiation in developing Drosophila eyes. This inhibition is removed by targeting Ttk88 for degradation, which requires two proteins, Phyl and Sina, previously thought to act in the determination of...
During development and regeneration of the nervous system, axons must correctly navigate to their specific targets through a complex molecular environment. Recent work has shed light on how GTPases of the Ras family are involved in transducing extracellular signals into responses that lead to...
Mutation or deletion of one of the two genes encoding a protein known as SMN has recently been shown to cause spinal muscular atrophy. The SMN protein has been found to be part of a multi-component complex that appears to function in the assembly of cellular ribonucleoprotein particles.
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