Navigation Links
Computer simulations yield clues to how cells interact with surroundings
Date:3/22/2013

Your cells are social butterflies. They constantly interact with their surroundings, taking in cues on when to divide and where to anchor themselves, among other critical tasks.

This networking is driven in part by proteins called integrin, which reside in a cell's outer plasma membrane. Their job is to convert mechanical forces from outside the cell into internal chemical signals that tell the cell what to do. That is, when they work properly. When they misfire, integrins can cause diseases such as atherosclerosis and several types of cancer.

Despite their importancegood and badscientists don't exactly know how integrins work. That's because it's very difficult to experimentally observe the protein's molecular machinery in action. Scientists have yet to obtain the entire crystal structure of integrin within the plasma membrane, which is a go-to way to study a protein's function. Roadblocks like this have ensured that integrins remain a puzzle despite years of research.

But what if there was another way to study integrin? One that doesn't rely on experimental methods? Now there is, thanks to a computer model of integrin developed by Berkeley Lab researchers. Like its biological counterpart, the virtual integrin snippet is about twenty nanometers long. It also responds to changes in energy and other stimuli just as integrins do in real life. The result is a new way to explore how the protein connects a cell's inner and outer environments.

"We can now run computer simulations that reveal how integrins in the plasma membrane translate external mechanical cues to chemical signals within the cell," says Mohammad Mofrad, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division and associate professor of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley. He conducted the research with his graduate student Mehrdad Mehrbod.

They report their research in a recent issue of PLOS Computational Biology: '/>"/>

Contact: Dan Krotz
dakrotz@lbl.gov
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Computer model may help athletes and soldiers avoid brain damage and concussions
2. Computer modeling reveals how surprisingly potent hepatitis C drug works
3. New supercomputer to aid genomics research
4. New supercomputer coming to EMSL this summer, supplied by Atipa Technologies
5. Virginia Tech computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks
6. Iowa State computer, electrical engineers working to help biologists cope with big data
7. How computers push on the molecules they simulate
8. Total donates high-speed computer cluster to UH
9. A better thought-controlled computer cursor
10. Computers taught to ID regulating gene sequences
11. Computer simulations for multiscale systems can be faster, better, more reliable
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2014)... Dec. 22, 2014  The 2014 Holiday Season ... industry as Acuity Market Intelligence reports that the ... be open. Acuity forecasts that intensifying demand for ... incorporate biometrics will drive a global market of ... devices by 2020.   According to ...
(Date:12/19/2014)... Dec. 18, 2014 Research and Markets ... "Micro Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 The North American ... CAGR of 3.6% from 2014 to 2019. Although the ... Canada is expected to grow ...
(Date:12/19/2014)... 18, 2014   LaunchKey , the first decentralized ... and Internet of Things era, today announced the close ... round was led by Metamorphic Ventures with participation from ... VegasTechFund, and others.  LaunchKey has raised $4 million to ... its team and bring LaunchKey to market in 2015. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):First Season of Holiday Shopping with Mobile Biometric Payments Wraps Up With a Present for Biometrics Industry: A Rosy Forecast for More Than 2 Billion Users of 4.8 Billion Mobile Biometric Devices by 2020 2Micro Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems Market (Intrusion Detection Sensor, Video Surveillance, Communication/Alarm and Notification, Access Control System) 2Micro Market Monitor: North America Perimeter Security Systems Market (Intrusion Detection Sensor, Video Surveillance, Communication/Alarm and Notification, Access Control System) 3LaunchKey Raises $3 Million in Additional Funding Led by Metamorphic Ventures 2LaunchKey Raises $3 Million in Additional Funding Led by Metamorphic Ventures 3
... conditions in California could be a gold mine to ... relationships and how these inner workings might apply on ... today on Science Online, researchers from the Department of ... California Berkeley describe a bacterial community that flourishes in ...
... shape the growth of engineered tissueCollagen often pops up ... collagen with a molecular hitchhiker, materials scientists at Johns ... researchers have found a simple new way to modify ... a treatment to block the formation of unwanted scar ...
... the marine bacterium Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H keeps very cool--typically ... in this frigid environment? To find out, scientists at ... sequenced and analyzed C. psychrerythraea's genome. , That genome ... of Sciences (PNAS) Online Early Edition July 25-29, reveals ...
Cached Biology News:ORNL, UC Berkeley unravel real-world clues to Earth's mysteries 2ORNL, UC Berkeley unravel real-world clues to Earth's mysteries 3Modified collagen could yield important medical applications 2Modified collagen could yield important medical applications 3Deep thinking: Scientists sequence a cold-loving marine microbe 2Deep thinking: Scientists sequence a cold-loving marine microbe 3
(Date:12/24/2014)... , Dec. 23, 2014 Sigma-Aldrich Corporation ... the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements ... expired on December 22, 2014, thereby completing the ... for the acquisition of the Company by Merck ... clearance satisfies another condition to closing the transaction, ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... Md. , Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... SYN), a developer of pathogen-specific therapies for ... on protecting the microbiome, today announced positive ... Phase 1a clinical trial of SYN-004, the ... prevention of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) ...
(Date:12/22/2014)... 22, 2014  ( www.competitivehealth.com ) — Competitive Health ... bill review and advocacy service, has signed an agreement ... Savings discount health services marketplace. 63% of ... than they expected to pay. As part of an ... WellCard Savings is pleased to offer medical bill review ...
(Date:12/19/2014)... December 19, 2014 Bioject Medical ... and manufacturer of needle-free injection technology, today announced ... Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (“ITI”) for ITI to use ... its LAMP™ vaccine platform. , In the ... Worldwide license to the Biojector®-2000 that triggers based ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Receives U.S. Antitrust Clearance 2Acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Receives U.S. Antitrust Clearance 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 2Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 3Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 4Synthetic Biologics Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 1a Trial of SYN-004 for the Prevention of C. difficile Infection 5WellCard Savings Announces CoPatient Medical Bill Review Service for Members 2Bioject and Immunomic Therapeutics Enter into an Agreement for License of Needle-Free Technology for LAMP-vax Vaccines 2Bioject and Immunomic Therapeutics Enter into an Agreement for License of Needle-Free Technology for LAMP-vax Vaccines 3
... economic development in Dane County, Madison Gas & ... last 20 years as it works to nurture entrepreneurial ... tomorrow's major league employers. , ,For MG&E, it's part ... creating the right conditions for entrepreneurs by providing financial ...
... completed its previously announced acquisition of MARC Global Holdings, ... to 738 employees at 21 sites with $172 million ... MARC. , ,Former MARC CEO Oliver Cooper will have ... company leader John Jazwiec. , ,"The integration of MARC ...
... are pushing state restrictions on human embryonic stem ... beyond President Bush's 2001 order and put Wisconsin's ... ,Rather than adding a layer of unnecessary regulation, ... -- one federal and the other international -- ...
Cached Biology Technology:How MG&E bets on small companies for the long term 2How MG&E bets on small companies for the long term 3How MG&E bets on small companies for the long term 4Federal and global guidelines on stem cell research offer a level playing field 2Federal and global guidelines on stem cell research offer a level playing field 3