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PLoS ONE seeks more Cell Signaling Papers

With this blog post, PLoS ONE is alerting the Cell Signaling community that we want to publish more of your work!

PLoS ONE has now been in existence for almost 18 months and has published over 2,000 papers. In that time, the largest number of papers we have published in any discrete topic (as defined by our submission taxonomies) is Cell Signaling. We are excited that this community is responding to the PLoS ONE publishing model and we want to encourage more submissions so that we become the first choice for papers from your field.

As part of this Call for Papers, we have analyzed our Cell Signaling articles to see what is being published at PLoS ONE and which papers are proving to be the most popular or the most interesting.

By far the most heavily used paper from our analysis was “A Ribosomal S-6 Kinase–Mediated Signal to C/EBP-? Is Critical for the Development of Liver Fibrosis” by Buck and Chojkier, which has received the most downloads in this field since its publication just 5 months ago. Nils Cordes, the Academic Editor who handled this paper has said that it “touches the worldwide life-threatening diseases of liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis, illnesses from which a lack of adequate treatment options result in high mortality. Focusing on the MAPK signaling cascade, the authors identified the phosphorylation of C/EBPbeta on Threonine 217 by RSK to be critical for hepatic stellate cell proliferation and production of extracellular matrix as an essential step in liver fibrosis development. By use of diverse human and mouse models, the authors showed that treatment of mice with a cell permanent RSK-inhibitory peptide enforced apoptosis in hepatic stellate cells and repressed hepatotoxin CCl4 induced liver fibrosis. This well conducted and detailed study suggests a highly promising novel molecular approach for the prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis”.

Another paper, “Control of Muscle Mitochondria by Insulin Entails Activation of Akt2-mtNOS Pathway: Implications for the Metabolic Syndrome” by Finocchietto et al was nominated by several of our Editorial Board members as being worthy of special mention. This article was only published two months ago and so is too young to have gained substantial downloads, however, given the quality of the article we expect it to join the ranks of top downloaded papers in the future. Alessandro Bartolomucci, the Academic Editor for this paper stated that “quite apart from the elegant experimental design and the landmark data on insulin-regulation of cell signaling and muscle mitochondrial functions, this paper sheds light on the physiopathology of insulin resistance by demonstrating the mechanism by which long lasting increased insulin concentration may shift mitochondrial activity from substrate oxidation to macromolecules storage. The pathological implications of the present study in relation to the metabolic syndrome, although only suggested in the discussion, will potentially have a major impact in the field.” And Juan Poderoso, one of the co-authors had the following to say about their experience at PLoS ONE – “we are very satisfied with the style and the objectives of PLoS ONE. Firstly, it integrates different disciplines in a comprehensive fashion. Secondly, it allows new ideas to be critically analyzed in an experimental context. Thirdly, all works are considered on the basis of novelty and scientific meaning. And finally, all researchers worldwide can feel that their efforts will be fairly considered and that publication (and thus the reporting of important scientific developments) will not depend on the subjective opinion of Editors.” These comments from Professor Poderoso embody what PLoS ONE is all about.

Another highly downloaded paper – “Neuronal Conduction of Excitation without Action Potentials Based on Ceramide Production” by Fasano et al received the following accolades from Björn Brembs, the Academic Editor for the paper: “The conclusions of this paper provide a significant challenge to the standard model of neuronal conduction. However, it is difficult to come up with a better explanation of these carefully performed and analyzed experiments. It remains to be seen how general the new phenomenon really is, however, assuming these processes were replicated also in other preparations, this could be a publication after which textbooks needed to be re-written.”

Comments from the authors of some of our other most highly downloaded papers are also especially gratifying:

Stéphane Roy who co-authored “Transforming Growth Factor: ? Signaling Is Essential for Limb Regeneration in Axolotls” by Lévesque et al, said that their “experience in publishing in PLoS ONE was most pleasant. We found the review process extremely rapid and the fact that the articles are Open Access is definitely a plus. We have also been particularly pleased with the visibility that our paper received in the few months since its publication. In our view PLoS ONE provides a new and improved approach to publishing scientific discoveries.”

Bettina Mittendorfer, a co-author on “Differences in Muscle Protein Synthesis and Anabolic Signaling in the Postabsorptive State and in Response to Food in 65-80 Year Old Men and Women” by Smith et al said that she was “happy to express my positive experience with the PloS ONE publication process. One of the main selection criteria for our choice of journal was the Open Access aspect of PloS ONE and the broad range of topics covered by PLoS ONE. It was our first experience with the PLoS journals and we were very pleased with it. The Editor and staff handling our manuscript were very helpful and considerate and acted promptly. The publication process was fast and effective. The most exciting aspect of publishing with PLoS ONE was the rapid appearance of the full published paper and the short delay between submission of the manuscript until publication of the final full paper”, and Alejandro Lucia, the Academic Editor for the paper, said that “muscle atrophy is becoming a pandemic of the 21st Century and, as such, a major health problem. Besides its consequences on functional capacity during daily living (e.g., fall risk), muscle atrophy is the main source of some of the most distressing symptoms (e.g., chronic fatigue) suffered by chronic patients and older people. In the present study the authors use state of the art technology to study sexual differences in muscle protein synthesis (MPS) among older people Any effort to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in MPS under different conditions, including a study of sexual differences, is welcome as it might set the basis for future biomedical interventions.”

Julio Aguirre-Ghiso, one of the co-authors of “Inhibition of Proliferation by PERK Regulates Mammary Acinar Morphogenesis and Tumor Formation” by Sequeira et al expressed that "one of the strengths of PLoS ONE is that it is a peer-reviewed fast-track publication journal. Although the turn around time for the reviewers comments was comparable to other journals, the time from acceptance to publication was significantly faster and smoother than in conventional print/on-line journals"

And Claudio Joazeiro, a co-author on “Genome-Wide and Functional Annotation of Human E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Identifies MULAN, a Mitochondrial E3 that Regulates the Organelle's Dynamics and Signaling” by Wei et al, said that their “experience with PLoS ONE was very positive” and that “the responsiveness of the editorial staff was outstanding”.

Other papers that were noted as being of interest, included:

“Mad3 KEN Boxes Mediate both Cdc20 and Mad3 Turnover and Are Critical for the Spindle Checkpoint” by King et al, a group who were “really impressed with the efficient, speedy and positive review process at PLoS ONE" according to Kevin Hardwick, one of the co-authors; and “MVB-12, a Fourth Subunit of Metazoan ESCRT-I, Functions in Receptor Downregulation” by Audhya et al, about which Jean Gruenberg, the Academic Editor, explained that "ubiquitinated signaling receptors are sorted for degradation in endosomes by the sequential action of four protein complexes (ESCRT-0, -I, -II, -III). A fourth subunit of the ESCRT-I complex, Mvb12p, was found in yeast. but clear homologue in metazoan were not identified. Using C. elegans, this paper describes MVB-12 as the fourth metazoan ESCRT-I subunit involved in receptor downregulation".


The above papers were highlighted as a result of our own analysis, but of course, many more Cell Signaling papers can be found by searching our database of published papers.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Academic Editors who work on Cell Signaling papers for PLoS ONE. Specifically, we would like to thank and acknowledge the efforts of: Alessandro Bartolomucci of the University of Parma; Björn Brembs of the Free University of Berlin; Maria Cardenas of Duke University; Ingemar Ernberg of the Karolinska Institutet; Kevin Hardwick of Edinburgh University; Mariko Hatakeyama of the RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center; Carl-Philipp Heisenberg of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics; Michael Hendricks of the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory; Neil Hotchin of the University of Birmingham; Robert Insall of the University of Glasgow; Juha Klefstrom of University of Helsinki; Karl-Wilhelm Koch of the University of Oldenburg; Alejandro Lucia of the European University of Madrid; Brian McCabe of Columbia University; Rory Morty of the University of Giessen; Alan Nighorn of the University of Arizona; Toru Ouchi of Northwestern University; François Rannou of l'Hôpital Cochin; François Schweisguth of the Ecole Normale Supérieure; Mike Tyers of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute; Simon C. Williams of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center; Wenqing Xu of the University of Washington; Yihai Cao of Karolinska Universitet; Christophe d'Enfert of the Pasteur Institute; Mikhail Blagosklonny of the Ordway Research Institute; Mark Cookson of the National Institutes of Health; Nils Cordes of OncoRay, the Center for Radiation Research in Oncology Dresden University of Technology; Dong-Yan Jin of The University of Hong Kong; Arnold Schwartz of the University of Cincinnati; and Rick Steinhardt of the University of California, Berkeley.

We would also like to thank all the authors and reviewers of the papers that we have published, and we invite you all to submit more of your work to us!

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