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Article Released Sun-21st-June-2009 19:51 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 Press Release - Protein links fasting and stress

Summaries of newsworthy papers include Farming pollutants, Vaccines: Jogging your memory and Long-term ties between Antarctic temperature and sea level


For papers that will be published online on 21 June 2009

This press release is copyrighted to the Nature journals mentioned below.

This press release contains:

· Summaries of newsworthy papers:

Nature: Protein links fasting and stress

Geoscience: Farming pollutants

Nature: Vaccines: Jogging your memory

And finally … Geoscience: Long-term ties between Antarctic temperature and sea level

· Mention of papers to be published at the same time with the same embargo

· Geographical listing of authors

PDFs of all the papers mentioned on this release can be found in the relevant journal’s section of Press contacts for the Nature journals are listed at the end of this release.

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NOTE: Once a paper is published, the digital object identifier (DOI) number can be used to retrieve the abstract and full text from the journal web site (abstracts are available to everyone, full text is available only to subscribers). To do this, add the DOI to the following URL: (For example, For more information about DOIs and Advance Online Publication, see

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[1] Nature: Protein links fasting and stress
DOI: 10.1038/nature08111

A single protein can ‘sense’ fasting signals and a potentially damaging form of cellular stress. Revealed in this week’s Nature, the discovery has implications for our understanding of glucose regulation and obesity.

Glucose production in the liver of fasted mammals is triggered by the pancreatic-produced hormone glucagon, a process part-regulated by a protein called CRTC2. Here, Marc Montminy and colleagues show that CRTC2 functions as a dual sensor in the liver for both fasting signals and a stress response generated by a cellular organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER).

Chronic ER stress is already known to have a role in glucose regulation, boosting the production of the sugar in the liver, and promoting insulin resistance in obese individuals. Here, the team show that cross-talk between fasting and ER stress pathways contributes to glucose homeostasis under lean conditions, and also to the development of high blood sugar levels in obesity.

Author Contact:
Marc Montminy (Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA)
Tel: +1 858 453 4100 Ext 1394; E-mail:

[2] Geoscience: Farming pollutants
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo551

Ammonia emissions may have been underestimated in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a study published online in Nature Geoscience. Ammonia in the atmosphere reduces air quality and when deposited threatens biodiversity. This study’s findings highlight the need for regulatory controls of ammonia emissions in the Northern Hemisphere.

Using satellite data from 2008, Lieven Clarisse and colleagues created a global map of atmospheric ammonia concentrations. They found several ammonia hotspots, primarily over agricultural regions in Asia, Europe, and North America. The satellite-derived estimates of ammonia concentrations exceeded those attained from model simulations in the northern hemisphere, suggesting that current accounts underestimate emissions.

Author contact:
Lieven Clarisse (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium)
Tel: +32 26504939; E-mail:

[3] Nature: Vaccines: Jogging your memory
DOI: 10.1038/nature08155

A common immunosuppressive drug can enhance immune responses to experimental vaccines in mice and monkeys. The counterintuitive findings, reported online this week in Nature, could offer a new approach for boosting vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer.

Rapamycin is commonly given to transplant recipients to stop their own immune systems from rejecting their new organ. Among its many effects the drug inhibits a particular signalling pathway called mTOR, but it was not known how this would affect immune responses.

Rafi Ahmed and colleagues found that when they switched off mTOR using rapamycin in virus-infected mice, the animals actually produced a better immune response. In particular, the treatment seemed to boost the number of ‘memory’ T cells — the cells that are responsible for remembering infections they have encountered before. The team went on to show that rapamycin could improve memory T-cell responses to experimental vaccines in both mice and monkeys.

The study identifies mTOR as an important molecular pathway in regulating the generation of memory T cells. This is important because memory T cells are a critical component of protective immunity and making them is a major goal of vaccines against chronic infections and tumours.

Author contact:
Rafi Ahmed (Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA)
Tel: +1 404 727 4700; E-mail:

[4] Geoscience: Long-term ties between Antarctic temperature and sea level
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo557

Sea level and Antarctic temperature have been closely coupled over the past 520,000 years, according to a study online in Nature Geoscience. The report suggests that it takes several millennia for sea levels to adjust fully to changes in global mean temperature.

Eelco Rohling and colleagues compared reconstructions of global sea level from marine sediment records and Antarctic temperature records from ice cores over the past five glacial cycles. The statistical relationship derived from these records suggests that sea levels between 3 and 3.5 million years ago — when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were similar to today — were between 20 and 30 metres higher than at present. The findings imply a strong response of sea levels to rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases on timescales of several thousand years.

Author contact:
Eelco Rohling (National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, UK)
Tel: +44 238 059 3042; E-mail:


Items from other Nature journals to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:


[5] The Arp2/3 complex and WASp are required for apical trafficking of Delta into microvilli during cell fate specification of sensory organ precursors
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1888

[6] OsHAL3 mediates a new pathway in the light-regulated growth of rice
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1892

[7] Increasing organism healthspan by enhancing mitochondrial protein quality control
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1893

[8] TGF-beta activates Akt kinase through a microRNA-dependent amplifying circuit targeting PTEN
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1897

[9] Centromere assembly requires the direct recognition of CENP‑A nucleosomes by CENP‑N
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1899


[10] The DNA replication FoSTeS/MMBIR mechanism can generate human genomic, genic, and exonic complex rearrangements
DOI: 10.1038/ng.399

[11] Wnt9b signaling regulates planar cell polarity and kidney tubule morphogenesis
DOI: 10.1038/ng.400

[12] The establishment of gene silencing at single-cell resolution
DOI: 10.1038/ng.402


[13] The role of magma injection in localizing black-smoker activity
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo550

[14] Surface-temperature trends and variability in the low-latitude North Atlantic since 1552
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo552

[15] Rapid early Holocene retreat of a Laurentide outlet glacier through an Arctic fjord
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo556


[16] The impact of negative selection on thymocyte migration in the medulla
DOI: 10.1038/ni.1761


[17] Sequential click reactions for synthesizing and patterning three-dimensional cell microenvironments
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2473

[18] The dynamic organic p–n junction
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2478

[19] Atomic-scale imaging of individual dopant atoms in a buried interface
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2486

[20] Linking a completely three-dimensional nanostrain to a structural transformation eigenstrain
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2488


[21] Human P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 is a functional receptor for enterovirus 71
DOI: 10.1038/nm.1961

[22] HIV reservoir size and persistence are driven by T cell survival and homeostatic proliferation
DOI: 10.1038/nm.1972

[23] Scavenger receptor B2 is a cellular receptor for enterovirus 71
DOI: 10.1038/nm.1992


[24] Filter-based hybridization capture of subgenomes enables resequencing and copy-number detection
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1343

[25] Simultaneous detection of many T-cell specificities using combinatorial tetramer staining
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1344

[26] Parallel detection of antigen-specific T-cell responses by multidimensional encoding of MHC multimers
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1345


[27] Phase-locking of magnetic vortices mediated by antivortices
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.143

[28] Toward single-molecule nanomechanical mass spectrometry
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.152

[29] Transfer of gold nanoparticles from the water column to the estuarine food web
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2009.157


[30] Roles of stargazin and phosphorylation in the control of AMPA receptor subcellular distribution
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2340

[31] Cellular and systems mechanisms of memory strength as a constraint on auditory fear reconsolidation
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2350


[32] Nonlinear generation and manipulation of Airy beams
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.95

[33] Increased light harvesting in dye-sensitized solar cells with energy relay dyes
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.96

[34] Optical entanglement of co-propagating modes
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.97

[35] Multispectral opto-acoustic tomography of deep-seated fluorescent proteins in vivo
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.98

[36] Voltage-programmable liquid optical interface
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.99


[37] Structure of a lamprey variable lymphocyte receptor in complex with a protein antigen
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1619

[38] Control of alternative splicing through siRNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1620

[39] AID upmutants isolated using a high-throughput screen highlight the immunity/cancer balance limiting DNA deaminase activity
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1623

[40] Mode of VAMP substrate recognition and inhibition of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin F
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1626


The following list of places refers to the whereabouts of authors on the papers numbered in this release. The listing may be for an author's main affiliation, or for a place where they are working temporarily. Please see the PDF of the paper for full details.

Buenos Aires: 38

Canberra: 34

Antwerp: 20
Brussels: 2, 20

Edmonton: 28
Montreal: 22, 31
Sherbrooke: 38

Shanghai: 6

Herlev: 26

Palaiseau: 27
Paris: 2, 34

Frankfurt: 7
Neuherberg: 35
Tuebingen: 4

Tel-Aviv: 32

Ispra: 2

Ibaraki: 8, 23
Nagoya: 19
Saga: 11
Saitama: 19
Sendai: 19
Tokyo: 19, 21, 23

Amsterdam: 24, 26
Eindhoven: 18
Leiden: 26
Linkoping: 18

Oeiras: 9

Barcelona: 38
Madrid: 33

Umea: 18

Lausanne: 33
Zurich: 3

Bristol: 4
Cambridge: 39
Nottingham: 36
Southampton: 4


Berkeley: 6, 12, 16, 26, 33
Duarte: 8
La Jolla: 1, 14, 30
Moss Landing: 13
Palo Alto: 9
Pasadena: 28
San Luis Obispo: 13
San Francisco: 5
Stanford: 25, 33
Watsonville: 13

Boulder: 15, 17
Cedaredge: 14

Atlanta: 3

Port-Ste Lucy: 22

Baltimore: 37
Bethesda: 22, 37
Fort Detrick: 40
Rockville: 37

Boston: 24, 35
Cambridge: 5, 16
Woods Hold: 14
Worcester: 10

Minneapolis: 22

St Louis: 10, 16

New Jersey
Princeton: 30

New York
Buffalo: 15
Cold Spring Harbor: 30
Palisades: 4, 13
Upton: 40

Eugene: 13
Portland: 22

Philadelphia: 23

South Carolina
Charleston: 29
Columbia: 29

Austin: 11
Dallas: 11
Houston: 5, 10

Seattle: 13


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Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail:

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Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail:

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Tel: +44 20 7843 4562; E-mail:

For media inquiries relating to editorial content/policy for the Nature Research Journals, please contact the journals individually:

Nature Cell Biology (London)
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Nature Genetics (New York)
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Tel: +1 212 726 9324; E-mail:

Nature Geoscience (London)
Heike Langenberg
Tel: +44 20 7843 4042; E-mail:

Nature Immunology (New York)
Laurie Dempsey
Tel: +1 212 726 9372; E-mail:

Nature Materials (London)
Vincent Dusastre
Tel: +44 20 7843 4531; E-mail:

Nature Medicine (New York)
Juan Carlos Lopez
Tel: +1 212 726 9325; E-mail:

Nature Methods (New York)
Hugh Ash
Tel: +1 212 726 9627; E-mail:

Nature Nanotechnology (London)
Peter Rodgers
Tel: +44 20 7014 4019; Email:

Nature Neuroscience (New York)
Kalyani Narasimhan
Tel: +1 212 726 9319; E-mail:

Nature Photonics (Tokyo)
Oliver Graydon
Tel: +81 3 3267 8776; E-mail:

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (New York)
Michelle Montoya
Tel: +1 212 726 9326; E-mail:

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