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This Week in Science : Dec 10, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Science this week, investigators at Baylor College of Medicine show that a subset of SUMOylation-dependent Myc switchers, or SMS genes, "is required for mitotic spindle function and to support the Myc oncogenic program." As a result of its findings, the Baylor team says "inhibition of SUMOylation may merit investigation as a possible therapy for Myc-driven human cancers."

Over in this week's issue, researchers at the University of Missouri show that Arabidopsis EDS1 — "a positive regulator of basal resistance and of effector-triggered immunity specifically mediated by Toll-interleukin-1 receptor-nucleotide binding-leucine-rich repeat) resistance proteins" — forms complexes with RPS4 and RPS6 — TIR-NB-LRR disease resistance proteins — at a cytoplasmic membrane. The authors suggest that the tight association of EDS1 with TIR-NB-LRR–mediated immunity "may directly connect to the basal resistance signaling pathway via EDS1."

Science Signaling this week points to Expression2Kinases, or X2K, as a handy "Java-based application for identifying the proteins and signaling pathways that are likely to be involved in mediating these observed differences in gene expression." X2K integrate protein-protein and kinase-substrate interaction information with data from ChIP experiments, position weight matrices, or both, "to identify the transcription factors that are likely to be involved and the cell signaling components that regulate the activities of these transcription factors," the journal's editors say.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.