How primary tumours prepare lung for invasion

Summaries of newsworthy papers from Nature and Nature Research Journals include Prime cuts – Nature Immunology and A new tool to analyze bacteria in microbial ecosystems – Nature Methods


For papers that will be published online on 26 November 2006

This press release contains:

· Summaries of newsworthy papers:

How primary tumours prepare lung for invasion – Nature Cell Biology

Prime cuts – Nature Immunology

A new tool to analyze bacteria in microbial ecosystems – Nature Methods

· 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


*****************************NATURE IMMUNOLOGY ********************

[1] Prime cuts

DOI: 10.1038/ni1409

Loss of a key enzyme can substantially alter how the immune system recognizes tissue antigens according to a report in the January issue of Nature Immunology.

Nilabh Shastri and colleagues took a close look at mice lacking the enzyme called ERAAP, to discover if these mice bore any immunologic defect. ERAAP trims bits of protein that are displayed on cell surfaces by molecules known as major histocompatibility antigens (MHC), which are the tissue-matching antigens doctors use to identify potential organ donors for transplant patients. Essentially, this trimming process is akin to fitting an oversized hot dog into a bun; ERAAP clips the protruding end of the peptide to nestle snugly within the confines of the MHC molecule.

The study shows vigorous immune reactions resulted when researchers mixed cells from ERAAP-deficient mice with those of wild-type mice that express ERAAP protein. These immune responses were as strong as those seen during rejection episodes of MHC-mismatched transplant patients. These results suggest vast differences exist in the collection of peptides presented by the ERAAP-deficient cells as compared to otherwise genetically identical wild-type mice. The authors speculate inhibiting ERAAP function in tumours might enhance their ability to be targeted and destroyed by the immune system, or conversely, spontaneous loss of ERAAP function in otherwise healthy tissues might lead to autoimmune disease.

Author contact:
Nilabh Shastri (University of California Berkeley, CA, USA)
Tel: +1 510 643 9197; E-mail: [email protected]

Additional comment on the paper:
Peter Jensen (University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA)
Tel: +1 801 585 6217; E-mail: [email protected]

Other papers from Nature Immunology to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:

[2] The kinases aurora B and mTor regulate the G1–S cell cycle progression of T lymphocytes
DOI: 10.1038/ni1413

*********************************NATURE CELL BIOLOGY ***********************

[3] How primary tumours prepare lung for invasion

DOI: 10.1038/ncb1507

Primary tumours prepare the lung for invasion by inducing factors that guide migration of both inflammatory and tumour cells to the lung according to a study in the December issue of Nature Cell Biology.

Many solid tumours develop through a process of metastasis, where the cancer spreads from the primary site to other places in the body. Metastasis reduces both the chances of treatment and underlies late stage symptoms, yet research into the process is in its infancy.

Sachie Hiratsuka and colleagues studied tumour-bearing mice and found that certain proteins called chemokines are induced in the lung by a set of factors secreted by the primary tumour. The chemokines induce migration of both inflammatory and tumour cells to the lung. An amplifying circuit is created between the primary tumour and the premetastatic tissue to facilitate metastatic tumour invasion. Interrupting this circuit of signals between the primary tumour and cells in the lung efficiently blocked lung metastases in mice. Blocking migration of tumour cells to the metastatic sites at an early stage presents a promising clinical avenue to prevent the spread of cancer.

Author contact:
Yoshiro Maru (Women’s Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan)
Tel: +81 3 5269 7417; E-mail: [email protected]

Other papers from Nature Cell Biology to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:

[4] Maintenance of colonic homeostasis by distinctive apical TLR9 signalling in intestinal epithelial cells
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1500

[5] Phospholipase Cg1 negatively regulates growth hormone signalling by forming a ternary complex with Jak2 and protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1509

***************************NATURE METHODS***************************

[6] A new tool to analyze bacteria in microbial ecosystems
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth964

A new technique for analyzing bacterial genetic information is outlined in the January issue of Nature Methods, opening the door for a comprehensive study of all bacteria in our guts. The technique allows researchers to capture and analyze the genetic hitchhikers of the bacterial world – small bits of bacterial genetic information that usually escape scrutiny.

For many organisms once the genome is sequenced all the information needed to determine functionally important genes becomes available. This is not the case for bacteria however. Many bacteria possess hitchhiker genes in the form of small circular DNA molecules called plasmids. Not only do the plasmids contain genes that provide new abilities to the bacteria but copies of these plasmids can also be transferred to other bacteria.

Most large-scale sequencing efforts to characterize all the microorganisms in an ecosystem are unsuitable for analyzing the complex population of plasmids that provides extra-genomic genes. Julian Marchesi and colleagues describe a method to selectively capture these bacterial hitchhikers so they can be sequenced. They tested their method on the bacterial ecosystem living in the human gut and discovered plasmids containing genes of known and unknown function. This method should help determine just how important these small hitchhikers are and what effect they have on microbial ecosystems.

Author contact:
Julian Marchesi (University College Cork, Ireland)
Tel: +353 21 4902820; E-mail: [email protected]

Other papers from Nature Methods to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:

[7] Fast manipulation of cellular cAMP level by light in vivo
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth975

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

Nature (

[8] Polyadenylation factor CPSF-73 is the pre-mRNA 3’-end-processing endonuclease
DOI: 10.1038/nature05363


[9] Post-translational enzyme activation in an animal via optimized conditional protein splicing
DOI: 10.1038/nchembio832

Nature PHYSICS (

[10] Strongly interacting polaritons in coupled arrays of cavities
DOI: 10.1038/nphys462

[11] Quantum phase transitions of light
DOI: 10.1038/nphys466


[12] Precision control of single-molecule electrical junctions

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1781

[13] Shape-engineerable and high-densely packed single-walled carbon nanotubes

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1782

[14] Environmentally degradable, high-performance thermoplastics from phenolic phytomonomers

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1778

[15] Multicomponent semiconducting polymer systems with low crystallization-induced percolation threshold

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1779

[16] Three-dimensional silicon inverse photonic quasicrystals for infrared wavelengths

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1786

[17] >From a two-dimensional chemical pattern to a three-dimensional topology through selective inversion of a liquid–liquid bilayer

DOI: 10.1038/nmat1787


[18] Epitaxial growth of silicon nanowires using an aluminium catalyst

DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2006.133

[19] Rapid and label-free nanomechanical detection of biomarker transcripts in human RNA

DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2006.134

[20] Programmable self-assembly of metal ions inside artificial DNA duplexes

DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2006.141


[21] Regulation of osteoclast differentiation and function by the CaMK-CREB pathway

DOI: 10.1038/nm1515

[22] v-ATPase V0 subunit d2–deficient mice exhibit impaired osteoclast fusion and increased bone formation

DOI: 10.1038/nm1514


[23] Glycan optimization of a human monoclonal antibody in the aquatic plant Lemna minor

DOI: 10.1038/nbt1260


[24] Wnt-beta-catenin signaling initiates taste papilla development

DOI: 10.1038/ng1932

[25] Genome-wide analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana DNA methylation uncovers an interdependence between methylation and transcription

DOI: 10.1038/ng1929


[26] PKC-1 regulates secretion of neuropeptides

DOI: 10.1038/nn1810


[27] Human let-7 miRNA blocks protein production on actively translating polyribosomes

DOI: 10.1038/nsmb1173

[28] Evidence that microRNAs are associated with translating messenger RNAs in human cells

DOI: 10.1038/nsmb1174



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.


Melbourne: 11


Mons: 17


Ontario: 16

Quebec City: 27


Chongqing: 2

Copenhagen: 15

Roskilde: 15

Berlin: 7

Frankfurt: 7

Halle: 18

Julich: 7

Karlsruhe: 16

Munich: 20

Saarbrücken: 7

Würzburg: 7


Cork: 6

Jerusalem: 4


Florence: 16


Hayama: 7

Kyoto: 24

Nomi: 14

Okazaki: 7

Saitama: 20, 21

Suita: 14

Tokyo: 3, 20, 21, 22

Tsukuba: 13


Daegu: 22

Gwangju: 22

Kyeonggido: 5

Kyungbuk: 5

Seoul: 5, 22


Basel: 19
Ruschlikon: 19

Zurich: 15


Eindhoven: 15


Cambridge: 11, 15

Durham: 12, 15

Lancaster: 12

Liverpool: 12

London: 10, 15, 19


Berkeley: 1

Davis: 25

La Jolla: 2, 4

Los Angeles: 21, 26

Milpitas: 23

San Diego: 8


Aurora: 24

Boulder: 8

Farmington: 22

Baltimore: 5

Boston: 26

Worcester: 27

Ann Arbor: 24
New York

New York: 8
North Carolina

Pittsboro: 23

Cleveland: 28

Philadelphia: 22, 24

Seattle: 24, 25


For media inquiries relating to embargo policy for all the Nature Research Journals:

Katherine Anderson (Nature London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4502; E-mail: [email protected]

Ruth Francis (Senior Press Officer, Nature, London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4562; E-mail: [email protected]

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

Nature Biotechnology (New York)
Peter Hare
Tel: +1 212 726 9284; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Cell Biology (London)
Bernd Pulverer
Tel: +44 20 7843 4892; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Chemical Biology (Boston)
Andrea Garvey
Tel: +1 617 475 9241, E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Genetics (New York)
Orli Bahcall
Tel: +1 212 726 9311; E-mail: [email protected]

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

Nature Materials (London)
Maria Bellantone
Tel: +44 20 7843 4556; E-mail: [email protected]

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

Nature Methods (New York)
Allison Doerr
Tel: +1 212 726 9393; E-mail: [email protected]

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

Nature Neuroscience (New York)
Sandra Aamodt (based in California)
Tel: +1 530 795 3256; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Physics (London)
Alison Wright
Tel: +44 20 7843 4555; E-mail: [email protected]

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

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Published: 26 Nov 2006

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