Paper of the year 2018
Two PNAS articles from the Arnesen lab are elected as the best publication of the year 2018 at the Faculty of Medicine. The prize will be awarded at the Faculty Day on 13 June 2019.
The research group led by Thomas Arnesen has published two "back-to-back" articles in the April issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (Impact factor 9.5).
These articles form a coherent story. They describe how the researchers discovered NAA80 as the specific enzyme responsible for N-terminal acetylation of actin. This is an enzyme that the world of science has been looking for since the 80s, and it is only now that both the enzyme and its function have been discovered. The researchers found that this modification is crucial for the structure of the cytoskeleton and cell movement. They also solved the structure of the NAA80 and developed powerful and selective NAA80 inhibitors. This is a good starting point for the development of small molecule drugs.
The articles have solved a puzzle in molecular biology and have inspired multiple laboratories worldwide that now investigate whether the discovery can be of importance for cancer metastasis or drug development. Preliminary unpublished data suggest that the newly-defined enzyme affects the invasiveness of cancer cells.
We have also previously written a popular scienctific summary on the findings here: Putting a break on cell movement
Here are the articles:
- Adrian Drazic, Henriette Aksnes, Michaël Marie, Malgorzata Boczkowska, Sylvia Varland, Evy Timmerman, Håvard Foyn, Nina Glomnes, Grzegorz Rebowski, Francis Impens, Kris Gevaert, Roberto Dominguez and Thomas Arnesen (2018) NAA80 is actin’s N-terminal acetyltransferase and regulates cytoskeleton assembly and cell motility Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115 (17): 4399-4404.
- Marianne Goris, Robert S. Magin, Håvard Foyn, Line M. Myklebust, Sylvia Varland, Rasmus Ree, Adrian Drazic, Parminder Bhambra, Svein I. Støve, Markus Baumann, Bengt Erik Haug, Ronen Marmorstein and Thomas Arnesen (2018) Structural determinants and cellular environment define processed actin as the sole substrate of the N-terminal acetyltransferase NAA80 Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115 (17): 4405-4410.
The articles were highlighted on the journal cover and a commentary:
Peter A. Rubenstein and Kuo-kuang Wen "NATure of actin amino-terminal acetylation", PNAS 115 (17) 4314-4316.