Navigation Links
Cells must use their brakes moderately for effective speed control

How cells regulate their own function by "accelerating and braking" is important basic knowledge when new intelligent medicines are being developed, or when plant cells are tweaked to produce more bioenergy. In a study published by Nature Communications 14 May, researchers at Uppsala and Ume universities show a model of how cells' regulatory systems work.

All living cells have a regulatory system similar to what can be found in today's smartphones. Just like our phones process a large amount of information that we feed them, cells continuously process information about their outer and inner environment. Inside the cells, information is sent and processed via a large network of interactions between signalling molecules.

In electronic circuits it is common with negative feedback, inhibiting functions, to make signals clearer and to reduce noise that can obscure important information. Cells also use this technique for reducing unwanted noise. Almost half of all signalling molecules that regulate which genes should be on or off, regulate their own genetic expression through biochemical reactions acting as inhibitors.

"If the number of signalling molecules is more than necessary, they shut down their own production for a short while, to later resume it. The difference between feedback in electronic systems and biological systems is that biological systems are much more imprecise and slow", explains Andreas Grnlund, lead author, currently active at Ume University.

Together with professors Per Ltstedt and Johan Elf, both at Uppsala University, he has used new data and mathematical models to calculate how long the molecules must remain in their binding sites to make the feedback exactly strong enough to reduce noise as much as possible.

The calculations showed that the molecules ideally should bind significantly weaker than previously believed, a characteristic that turned out to correspond well to the binding strength found in global regulatory molecules in E. coli bacteria.

"A car driver needs to know when and how hard to press the brake in different situations and which way to turn the steering wheel in a left turn. In the same way, we need to increase our understanding of regulatory systems in cells to be able to develop new intelligent medicines when the regulation system doesn't work or to be able to control plant cells to produce green energy through more efficient production of bio mass", says Johan Elf.


Contact: Andreas Grönlund
Uppsala University

Related biology news :

1. Tortoise and the hare: New drug stops rushing cancer cells, slow and steady healthy cells unharmed
2. Stem cells can repair a damaged cornea
3. Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
4. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
5. Epigenetic signatures direct the repair potential of reprogrammed cells
6. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
7. Nanopills release drugs directly from the inside of cells
8. Protein jailbreak helps breast cancer cells live
9. Newly found protein helps cells build tissues
10. BU researchers derive purified lung and thyroid progenitors from embryonic stem cells
11. Housekeeping mechanism for brain stem cells discovered
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... ) ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition of ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:11/4/2015)... 2015 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Home Security Solutions Market - Global ... - 2022", the global home security solutions market is expected to ... The market is estimated to expand at a CAGR ... 2022. Rising security needs among customers at homes, the ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Minn. , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet ... supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased ... Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only ... in the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne ... individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model ... Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View ... years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 --> ... report released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive ... CAGR of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and ... testing market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... (the "Company") announced today that the remaining 11,000 ... Common Share Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") ... agreement were exercised on November 23, 2015, which ... Common Shares.  After giving effect to the issuance ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... and the environment are paramount. Insertion points for in-line sensors can represent a ... developed the InTrac 781/784 series of retractable sensor housings , which are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: