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This Week in PNAS: Dec 6, 2011

In the PNAS Early Edition this week, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital present capture hybridization analysis of RNA targets, or CHART, "a hybridization-based technique that specifically enriches endogenous RNAs along with their targets from reversibly cross-linked chromatin extracts." The Mass General team applied its approach to map the Drosophila non-coding RNA roX2 genome-wide. The team reports genomic targets of roX2, demonstrating "how CHART can be used to study RNAs in a manner analogous to chromatin immunoprecipitation for proteins."

Elsewhere in the Early Edition, an international team led by investigators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center shows that PRDM1 is a tumor suppressor gene in natural killer cell lymphomas that's "inactivated by a combination of monoallelic deletion and promoter CpG island hypermethylation." When the team knocked down PRDM1 using an shRNA-based approach in normal natural killer cells, it found that those cells were positively selected for. Further, the team identifies "MYC and 4-1BBL as targets of PRDM1 in NK [natural killer] cells," and says "disruption of homeostatic control by PRDM1 may be an important pathogenetic mechanism for NKCL [natural killer cell lymphomas]."

In a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago show that "Notch1 regulates the expression of the multidrug resistance gene ABCC1/MRP1 in cultured cancer cells." The team says its study points to "a unique regulatory mechanism of ABCC1 expression."

The University of California, San Francisco's Yuh-Nung Jan and his team show that partial loss of one isoform of the Ets transcription factor Pointed — PntP1 — its genetic mosaic clones, or ectopic expression of the Pnt antagonist Yan, an Ets family transcriptional repressor, "results in a reduction or elimination of INPs [intermediate neural progenitor cells] and ectopic expression of Ase in type II NBs [neuroblasts]."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.