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On the front cover: Only recently recognized as a compound critical to cellular communications, nitric oxide is manufactured in the body by the enzyme nitric oxide synthase. The enzyme functions as a dimer (red and blue surfaces), bringing key catalytic components together to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays a key role in regulation of blood flow, neurotransmission, learning, memory, and immune system defenses against bacteria and other pathogens. This year, TSRI scientists led by Elizabeth Getzoff solved the 3-dimensional structure of nitric oxide synthase, an accomplishment that should lead to new rationally designed medicines for treatment of hypertension, arteriosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, immune-type diabetes, transplant rejection, and stroke. Image by Mike Pique.


Inside front cover: The subunit protein of gap junction channels, connexin, was tagged with green fluorescent protein and expressed in human tissue culture cells. This approach allows study of the dynamic synthesis and degradation of gap junction channels in living cells. A gap junction plaque composed of tagged 1-connexin assembled in the adjacent plasma membranes of 2 transiently transfected HeLa cells fluoresces in green; mannosidase II­labeled and CY3-stained Golgi complexes are red, and DAPI-stained nuclei are blue. Colocalization of intracellular connexin (green) with Golgi complexes (red) appears yellow. Note the mitotic cell in the upper left of the image. The photograph is a triple exposure taken with a Zeiss Axiophot epifluorescence microscope on Kodak Ektachrome P1600 slide film. Work performed in the laboratory of M.M. Falk, Ph.D.


Inside back cover: Energy-minimized structure of a host-guest complex consisting of ethane and a molecular assembly known as the "tennis ball." The ball is composed of 2 identical self-complementary subunits held together by a seam of hydrogen bonds. The molecular surface of the host has been sliced to show the shape and size of the interior of the cavity. Illustration prepared on Sun workstations by Michael Pique using software by Michel Sanner, Adobe, and Advanced Visual Systems. Molecular modeling performed by Sandro Mecozzi, Ph.D., in the laboratory of J. Rebek, Ph.D. using an SGI workstation and MacroModel 5.5.

 

 







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