Navigation Links
How cells keep in shape
Date:12/2/2007

Cells in our body come in various shapes and sizes. Each cell is shaped in such a way as to optimise it for a specific function. When things go wrong and a cell does not adopt its dedicated shape, its function can be impaired and the cell can cause problems in the body. Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), The Netherlands, have now decoded a molecular mechanism that plays an important role in the development of a cells shape. In this weeks issue of Nature they report a new experimental approach that sheds light on the interaction between proteins and the cells skeleton.

That each cell type has its unique shape is due to its cytoskeleton, an internal scaffold built of protein filaments. Especially important are microtubules, dynamic filaments that constantly grow and shrink. Their spatial organisation inside cells depends on a variety of regulator proteins, some of which only interact with the growing ends of these filament. How these so called plus-end tracking proteins recognise the dynamic structure of a growing microtubule end is a long-standing puzzle. Researchers in the groups of Thomas Surrey and Damian Brunner at EMBL and of Marileen Dogetrom at AMOLF have now developed the first method that allows to simultaneously study multiple plus-end tracking molecules, so called +TIPs, in the test tube.

+TIPs specifically bind to the fast-growing plus end of a microtubule and follow it as it grows. They act as a plus-end label so that other proteins know where to bind to regulate the filaments stability, says Surrey. For years it has been impossible to reconstitute this behaviour in a test tube. Our new system now revealed which proteins need to be present for plus-end tracking and what the underlying mechanisms are.

Applying the new method they succeeded in dissecting a minimal molecular system consisting of three end tracking proteins from yeast cells. The proteins were labelled with fluorescence to monitor their behaviour with a microscope. This procedure revealed that one of the proteins has the ability to recognise the specific structure of the growing microtubule tip, binds to it and acts as a loading platform for the other two proteins. The inherent motor activity of one of the other two proteins, which allows it to walk along microtubules, contributes to the ability of the molecular system to follow growing microtubule ends selectively.

The great advantage of our new assay is that it can be applied to all kinds of other proteins that interact with microtubules, says Peter Bieling, who carried out the research in Surreys lab. It is a powerful approach that will advance our understanding of the large variety of different microtubule end tracking proteins and can shed light on their mechanics and functions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
wegener@embl.de
49-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. ESF EURYI award winner aims to stop cancer cells reading their own DNA
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. AIDS interferes with stem cells in the brain
4. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
5. Social habits of cells may hold key to fighting diseases
6. UF scientists reveal how dietary restriction cleans cells
7. Human derived stem cells can repair rat hearts damaged by heart attack
8. Scientists identify embryonic stem cells by appearance alone
9. Cells united against cancer
10. Pittsburgh scientists identify human source of stem cells with potential to repair muscle
11. U of M begins nations first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
How cells keep in shape
(Date:5/23/2017)... , May 23, 2017  Hunova, the first robotic gym for the ... been officially launched in Genoa, Italy . The first ... and the USA . The technology was developed ... market by the IIT spin-off Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million ... News Release, please click: ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... Today, BioPharma Institute, a leading ... addition of 5 new courses to its prospectus. These include the eagerly-awaited ... Part 11 on Electronic Records and Electronic Signatures (Part 11 of Title 21 ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... The award-winning producers ... (Koch) to feature new innovations aimed at helping farmers solve the problem of ... Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. Check your local listings for more ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... , ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... and Huron Digital Pathology , a provider of whole slide imaging solutions, ... Visions conference . The workshop, entitled “Successfully Deploying a Best-in-Class Strategy for Digital ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider ... opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan. This new location allows RoviSys to ... new relationships in the region. Located in the Neihu area of Taipei, the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: