Navigation Links
Talking to cells
Date:6/5/2008

This release is available in German.

For an organism to develop and function, the individual cells must exchange information, or communicate, with each other. Is it possible to learn their language and "talk to" the cells? Yes it is: Cameron Alexander and George Pasparakis at the University of Nottingham (UK) have been able to facilitate a conversation between bacterial cells and artificial polymer vesicles. In the journal Angewandte Chemie they report that this first communication occurred by way of sugar groups on the vesicle surface. The vesicles subsequently transfer information to the cellsin the form of dye molecules.

Complex structures made of many sugar components on the surfaces of cells are the "language" used for processes such as cell recognition, for example, in the differentiation of tissues or the identification of endogenous cells and foreign invaders. Scientists would like to be able to use this glycocode to "address" target cells and to intervene directly in cellular processes to treat diseases or to guide regeneration of damaged tissues.

The British scientists took an interesting route to learn more about the "language" of cells: they constructed vesicles, tiny capsules whose outer shell is made of special polymer building blocks. Their special trick: the polymer chains are equipped with side chains bearing glucose units that wind up being exposed on the vesicle surface.

The researchers brought the vesicles together with bacteria that have glucose-binding proteins on their surface. The behavior of the bacteria varies depending on the polymer's composition and the size of the vesicles. Among the bacteria were some individuals that enter into very strong bonds with large vesicles. These associated bacteria are then in a position to receive molecular "information" from the vesicles: dye molecules that were previously placed in the vesicles transferred specifically into the interior of these bacteria.

"Our vesicles can be viewed as simple replicas of living cells," says Alexander, "that can communicate with real cells by way of the glycocode as well as through signal molecules inside the vesicles." Possible applications include drug transporters that deliver their cargo to specific target cells, or antibiotic transporters that deliver their toxic load exclusively to infectious agents.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cameron Alexander
cameron.alexander@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-846-7678
Wiley-Blackwell
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:
Talking to cells
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Avomeen ... the recipients of its 2017 Science Student Award. The scholarship program is dedicated ... with community service defray the costs of obtaining their science education. , Avomeen ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... ... ... New York State Department of Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity ... all regulated banking, finance and insurance organizations operating in the state (“Covered ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... ... September 18, 2017 , ... Transportable biomass ... briquettes, and torrefied wood is the topic of a September 27 webinar ... potential economic viability of transportable biomass conversion facilities for producing biochar, briquettes, and ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... MONTREAL , Sept. 18, 2017   Montrium , a ... announced an exciting new partnership with a groundbreaking non-profit research organization, ... ... for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy studies for PTSD ... FDA has recently granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: