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RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

PERSPECTIVE

INTERVIEW

SPOTLIGHT

Summary: This brief Spotlight article summarises some of the main messages that emerged from discussions at The Company of Biologists virtual workshop, ‘Cell State Transitions: Approaches, Experimental Systems and Models’.

REVIEW

Summary: This Review details discoveries in microtubule organisation of early embryos and elucidates how the cytoskeleton-organelle interactome is an integral contributor to pluripotent cell identity in vivo and in vitro.

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

Summary: Transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of laser captured human trophoblasts showed that placental cells lining uterine arteries express cannabinoid receptor 1. Functional analyses suggest that endogenous/exogenous cannabinoids could affect placentation.

STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION

Highlighted Article: YAP, an intracellular mediator of the Hippo signaling pathway, establishes epiblast competency for germ cell differentiation through activation of the WNT pathway.

Highlighted Article: Wnt/β-catenin signalling stimulation promotes the exit from quiescence and differentiation of adult hippocampal neural stem cells but is dispensable for homeostatic neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of young mice.

RESEARCH ARTICLES

Summary: Early postnatal retinoic acid signaling is required for proper development of follicular dendritic cells in lymph nodes in mice.

Highlighted Article: The histone acetyltransferase HBO1 is necessary for widespread chromatin organisation through its acetylation activity at H3K14, which promotes efficient tip cell behaviour during angiogenesis.

Summary: Analysis of heart development in lamb1a zebrafish mutants reveals a role for laminin in restricting heart growth during morphogenesis, preventing excessive contractility-driven addition of progenitor cells to the venous pole of the heart.

Summary: Mouse lines created using genome editing technology reveal that MESP1 and MESP2 are required for mesoderm specification in a dose-dependent manner.

Summary: The zinc-finger transcription factor BLMP-1, which controls larval development timing, also regulates embryonic tail-spike cell death initiation by repression of ced-9 transcription in C. elegans.

Highlighted Article: PCMD-1 interacts with SPD-5, PLK-1 and SAS-4, forming a functional bridge between the two centrosomal components in C. elegans.

Summary: Ablation of Trp53 fails to rescue microcephaly caused by inhibition of the minor spliceosome in the developing mouse cortex, and uncovers a role for p53 in DNA damage.

Highlighted Article: Cell junction remodelling is essential for tissues to acquire their shape during development. RASSF8 is required for exocyst-mediated transport of the adherens junction component Echinoid to promote Drosophila wing elongation.

Summary: Oxidative stress and impaired oligodendroglia-interneuron crosstalk, via decreased oligodendroglial GDNF expression, might cause the reduction of cortical PVALB+ interneurons. Observed ADHD- and ASD-like behavior could be explained by the pathologies of cortical interneurons.

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