Cell Biology

The Endoplasmic ReticulumPresent in all eukaryotic cells, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an extensive network of membranes that folds, modifies, and transports proteins, and manufactures lipids. This key organelle is the focus of a new book, The Endoplasmic Reticulum.

“The endoplasmic reticulum is one of the most intriguing and fascinating organelles,” write the editors, Susan Ferro-Novick, Tom Rapoport, and Randy Schekman. “This book attempts to capture in a single volume our current knowledge of this organelle and highlights many unresolved questions.”

Contributors examine how proteins translocate across the ER membrane, the folding and modification processes that occur inside the ER lumen, and how the proteins are packaged into vesicles and transported to the Golgi. They also review quality-control mechanisms that are employed by the ER to detect and eliminate misfolded or unassembled proteins. Lipid synthesis and transport are also discussed.

The Endoplasmic Reticulum is an indispensable reference for cell biologists interested in understanding the numerous functions of the ER. For more details on the book, click here.

A wide range of biological phenomena – from embryonic development to diseases such as cancer – involve Wnt proteins and their signaling pathways. Our recent book Wnt Signaling contains 24 chapters covering all aspects of Wnt biology, from the molecular mechanisms involved in Wnt signal transduction to the effects of these pathways on normal development and physiology, as well as human disease.

 One chapter describes the history of Wnt research. It was written by Roel Nusse and Harold Varmus, who discovered the first Wnt gene 30 years ago. “Since the identification of the first Wnt gene, research in the Wnt field has taken flight,” write Roel Nusse, Xi He, and Renée van Amerongen, the book’s editors. “Wnt-related investigations continue to reveal fascinating principles of embryonic patterning, cell growth and differentiation, the wiring of the nervous system, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying cancer as well as degenerative disease, stem cell and regenerative biology, and potential therapeutic applications.”

 “It is our hope that this volume serves as a stepping-stone for the reader to guide and encourage further exploration and, perhaps, to open up novel avenues of investigation, particularly applications in the fields of bioengineering, regenerative medicine, and cancer treatment,” they continue. Wnt Signaling will be a fascinating read for cell and developmental biologists, as well as those who are interested in targeting the Wnt pathway for therapeutic purposes. For more information about the book, click here.

Protein Synthesis and Translational Control“Situated at the nexus between nucleic acids and proteins, the importance of translational control, now appreciated for its role in establishing the cell’s proteome, is comparable to that of transcriptional control,” write John Hershey, Nahum Sonenberg, and Michael Mathews, editors of our recently released book Protein Synthesis and Translational Control. “It is especially important in defining the proteome, maintaining homeostasis, and controlling cell proliferation, growth, and development.”

The book covers our current understanding of all aspects of protein synthesis and its regulation. Contributors describe the fundamental steps in protein synthesis (initiation, elongation, and termination), the factors involved, and high-resolution structures of the translational machinery where this takes place.  They also review the targets of translational control (e.g., initiation factors and mRNAs) and how signaling pathways modulate this machinery.  The book will be useful to cell and molecular biologists, as well as cancer biologists and others who study human diseases associated with translation dysfunction. For more information, click here.

From exercise to aging, metabolism plays a central role in normal physiology. Metabolic imbalances contribute to major diseases such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Our new volume Metabolism and Disease combines some of the most stimulating work on metabolism and its dysregulation.

The book’s 44 chapters are based on presentations by researchers at last year’s Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology. Contributors review the latest advances in our molecular understanding of energy consumption, storage, and homeostasis.  Topics include cell signaling and gene regulation in metabolic control; fat metabolism and its regulation; circadian clocks and aging; apoptosis and autophagy; and cancer.

Articles are also available online at http://symposium.cshlp.org/. For more information, click here.

Type 1 diabetes affects millions of people worldwide, and has seen a profound increase in the past several decades. Understanding how insulin-producing β cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the body’s immune system is essential for identifying a cure. Our latest book, Type 1 Diabetes, offers a current review of the disease, focusing on key causative and therapeutic areas that drive research in the field.

In 18 chapters, contributors discuss genetic risk factors, environmental triggers, and our current understanding of the autoimmune response underlying the condition.  Treatment strategies, such as immunosuppressive drugs, pancreas and islet transplantation, and the use of stem cells, are described, as are diagnostic markers and tools.

Type 1 Diabetes was edited by Jeffrey Bluestone, Mark Atkinson, and Peter Arvan. “With this effort, we hope to provide a coherent and concise review of the state of the field and, with it, a path forward for researchers,” they write. The book will be useful for immunologists, physiologists, cell and developmental biologists, and geneticists, as well as medical scientists and physicians who are interested in the pathology and treatment of this difficult disease. For more details on the book, click here.

Cellular health depends on the proper expression, folding, and degradation of thousands of proteins. Protein Homeostasis, recently released by CSHL Press, covers the mechanisms by which cells ensure efficient functioning of the proteome, and the diseases that result when these processes go awry.

Protein Homeostasis addresses the remarkable story of the life of proteins,” write the editors, Richard Morimoto, Dennis Selkoe, and Jeffrey Kelly. The contributors examine the physical biochemistry of protein folding; the cellular compartments involved in protein quality control; the various chaperones, translocation machineries, proteasomes, and autophagic activities; and the role of proteostasis in aging and disease.

Protein Homeostasis is invaluable for molecular and cellular biologists, as well as medical scientists wishing to understand the pathological consequences of and potential therapies for protein homeostasis deficiencies in common human diseases. For details on the book, click here.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a role in the function of virtually all cells, regulating cellular morphology, adhesion, cell migration, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. Extracellular Matrix Biology, a new book from CSHL Press, covers ECM composition and function, as well as its roles in development, physiology, and pathology.

“We have endeavored to illustrate the manifold aspects of ECM biology,” write the editors Richard Hynes and Kenneth Yamada. Contributors discuss the various ECM proteins and proteoglycans, ECM receptors such as integrins, and the signaling pathways that mediate the effects of the ECM on cells. They also describe ECM functions in specific biological contexts, including angiogenesis, hemostasis, and thrombosis.

“We hope that this collection of reviews by experts in the field will serve to promote research leading to discoveries and applications based on improved understanding of the ECM,” write Hynes and Yamada. Extracellular Matrix Biology is an indispensable reference for cell biologists and all those interested in exploring the myriad functions of the ECM.  For more details on the book, click here.

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