In Science this week, researchers show that a phospholipid that binds to nuclear enzymes modifies gene transcription in response to external stimuli. Sarah Spiegel at Virginia Commonwealth University is the senior author on work that found that the lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate can also bind to histone deacetylases 1 and 2. The enzyme that creates S1P, sphingosine kinase 2, is present in the nucleus in complexes with HDAC1 and HDAC2.
Australian scientists investigate the degree of genetic variation in fruit flies when it comes to tolerance for cold and desiccation. They found that, in Drosophila, species from the tropics have low variability for these traits, while flies from more temperate climates have higher levels of variation. "Specialist species may simply lack genetic variation in key traits, limiting their ability to adapt to conditions beyond their current range," they write.
In work led by scientists at Vanderbilt University, researchers used a combination of high-resolution mass spectrometric and nuclear magnetic resonance data to show that a sulfilimine bond cross-links hydroxylysine-211 and methionine-93 of adjoining promoters in collagen IV networks. The bond, they say, arose when sponge and cnidaria diverged.