Navigation Links
Discovery of a mechanism that regulates cell movement

A study performed by researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), in collaboration with researchers at the Instituto de Biologa Molecular of the CSIC, reveal a mechanism that controls the movement of cells in a tissue by regulating cell adhesion. This same mechanism may be defective in diseases such as cancer and its metastasis, when tumour cells lose their adhesion to neighbouring cells and migrate through the organism. The results of this research have been published in this week's Nature Cell Biology.

Specialists in development, Daniel Shaye, Jordi Casanova and Marta Llimargas, have studied the mechanisms that control cell movements during trachea development in the fly Drosophila. In this process, cells that initially form column of two cells deep, change their position to line up one after the other in a single file. A key element in the regulation of these movements is the amount of adhesive protein E-Cadherin located in the cellular membrane. Jordi Casanova, head of the Morphogenesis in Drosophila at IRB Barcelona, explains that "when movement starts, the levels of this protein in the cells decrease, thereby allowing them to slide one on top of the other, and once in this position the levels of this protein are re-established in order to seal the new binding alignment". The in-depth study of this phenomenon has led to the finding that the amount of E-Cadherin on the cell surface is controlled by the trafficking of this protein inside the cell and the identification of the elements that regulate this transport. During the experiments, the researchers induced or blocked cell movement by modifying the elements that control the trafficking of adhesive protein towards the membrane. "We demonstrate a mechanism that explains how cells can change their position within a given tissue. The sequence is clear: the greater the amount of protein, the greater the adhesion and the smaller the movement", recaps Casanova.

A mechanism may be dysfunctional during cancer progression and metastases

The role of E-Cadherin in the binding between epithelial cells is universal in all animals and therefore, following logic, the researchers believe that the mechanisms that regulate the levels of this protein may also be universal. "We speculate that the regulatory mechanism that we have discovered may also be present in other developmental contexts. However, in addition, fundamental elements of the mechanism may show a dysfunction in pathological processes such as the progression of cancer and metastases", adds Casanova. As revealed by this same researcher, the amounts of E-Cadherin and of one of the elements required for trafficking decrease in the progression of a kind of oesophagus cancer and this effect is related to the gain in tumour cell motility, which allows them to spread throughout the body more rapidly.

Thanks to this study, researchers working on cancer will be able to use animal models to test whether this mechanism is defective in other kinds of tumours and to study whether any of its genetic components are valid as therapeutic targets.


Contact: Snia Armengou
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

Related biology news :

1. Mobilizing white blood cells to the lung: New discovery could lead to an improved influenza vaccine
2. Insect warning colors aid cancer and tropical disease drug discovery
3. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on novel hit-to-lead drug discovery
4. New discovery proves selfish gene exists
5. UC Davis researcher leads climate-change discovery
6. New discovery on role of vital protein that fights meningitis
7. University of Arizona scientist shares in discovery of microbe filaments power
8. Stopping unwanted cell death: Implications for drug discovery
9. Journey to the center of the earth: Discovery sheds light on mantle formation
10. UC San Diego researchers eliminate drug discovery bottleneck
11. Work with power grids leads to cell biology discovery
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... India , October 12, 2015 ... a new market research report on the "Digital Security ... technology, & Security Token), by Software (Anti-Phishing, Authentication, Network ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... to 2020, and reach USD 14.6 Billion by 2020. ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ) ... "Samsung Galaxy S6 Fingerprint Sensor - Reverse ... --> ) has announced ... S6 Fingerprint Sensor - Reverse Costing Analysis" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... October 7, 2015 NXTD ) ... on the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... Washington , former long- term executive at American Express ... --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ... market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet announces ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... ROSEVILLE, Minn. , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Drug Administration (FDA) has designated its lead Microbiota ... for the treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile ... gastrointestinal (GI) infection that causes 29,000 deaths in ... clinical stage biotechnology company that was founded to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , 12 de octubre de 2015 El ... llegó a un récord en el congreso con su ... de la International Plasma Awareness Week (IPAW), que se ... está patrocinada por la Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association ... , Aumentar la concienciación mundial acerca ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015  Patara Pharma, a clinical-stage biotechnology company ... and conditions, today announced the closing of a ... with the close of its sale of preferred ... Security Agreement with Silicon Valley Bank whereby the ... will use the funds from the financing to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 2015 offers ... enriched online experience --> ... version for enriched online experience --> ... alternative to print version for enriched online experience ... technical and medical information products and services, announced today ...
Breaking Biology Technology: