The physiology and anatomy of the retina are relatively well known. Physiological studies of the retina have uncovered a number of cellular and subcellular mechanisms such as the characteristics of the ion channels found in retinal neurons. Neuroanatomical studies have revealed the morphological principles governing the structure of the retina. The former data provide information about the functional role of ion channels in generating and shaping the light response of the retinal neurons. It is as yet impossible to provide a complete model of the retina. But it is now possible to identify some computational operations that the retina performs and to relate them to specific physiological mechanisms, on the basis of neuroinformatics.
As molecular machines, motor proteins contain three functional modules; “ATP hydrolyzing”, “force generating” and “track binding” modules. Among cytoskeletal motor proteins, dynein has a unique modular architecture with the distinctive evolutionary history. Here, we summarize recent progress in understanding how dynein coordinates these modules to generate its movements along a microtubule track.
DNA methylation is a heritable epigenetic mark that enables the tissue-specific gene expression accompanied by modulation of chromatin structure. Interpretation and maintenance of DNA methylation pattern on genome are crucial for a wide range of biological processes such as genomic imprinting, embryogenesis and carcinogenesis. Recent crystallographic studies of methylated DNA binding proteins have provided a new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic regulation. This review focuses on a structure basis for strict recognition of the methylation status of the CpG site by DNA binding domains in MBD family proteins and UHRF1.