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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’.


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.


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.


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.


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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