The Ming K Jeang Award for Excellence in Cell & Bioscience honours research of the highest quality and impact published in the official journal of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA), Cell & Bioscience. A panel of leading scientists on the Editorial Board, chaired by Yun-Fai Chris Lau from the University of California, San Francisco, USA, select the winning articles each year, reflecting the best biological and medical advances published by Cell & Bioscience. The winners for research published in 2013 were revealed by Cell & Bioscience Editor-in-Chief Yun-Bo Shi in this Editorial.
This year’s winning articles tackled endosome trafficking – with Yihong Ye from the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, USA, and colleagues revealing that ‘Monoubiquitination of EEA1 regulates endosome fusion and trafficking’ – and probed the cellular response to hepatitc ishchemia with Lixin Wei from Shanghai Jiaotong University, China, and colleagues revealing that ‘Autophagy lessens ischemic liver injury by reducing oxidative damage’.
Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, namely damage caused to a tissue when its blood supply is returned after a period of lack of oxygen, is a common complication during liver surgery, particularly in transplantation, trauma and resection. Using both in vitro experiments in a human liver cell line and in vivo experiments in rats, Wei and colleagues demonstrate that not only is autophagy induced during I/R but also has a protective role by eliminating mitochondria that would otherwise generate reactive oxygen species and contribute to necrosis.
“These results suggest a potential therapeutic strategy using pre-treatment in liver surgery”
Award judge Yun-Bo Shi, Editor-in-Chief of Cell & Bioscience
Leaving the autophagosome behind and looking elsewhere along the trafficking pathway, Ye and colleagues investigate the regulatory mechanisms behind endosome fusion. Early endosomal autoantigen 1 (EEA1) is known to be essential for this process. Research in Cell & Bioscience now shows how EEA1 ubiquitination regulates this key component, determining both the size of the endosomes and their trafficking pattern. Award judge T C Wu highlighted the importance of this research:
“The understanding of these molecular mechanisms may serve as an important foundation for altering the trafficking of endosomes through manipulation of the ubiquitination pathway.”
Award judge T C Wu, Johns Hopkins University
The Awards presented to Ye, Wei, and colleagues are made possible through the generous donation from the Ming K Jeang Foundation, USA.
For more about how Cell & Bioscience came about, and the SCBA, read what its Editor-in-Chief Yun-Bo Shi had to say here.