Navigation Links
UCSF team uncovers how immune cells move against invaders
Date:1/19/2012

UCSF scientists have discovered the unexpected way in which a key cell of the immune system prepares for battle. The finding, they said, offers insight into the processes that take place within these cells and could lead to strategies for treating conditions from spinal cord injury to cancer.

The research focused on the neutrophil, the most common type of white blood cell. Like other cells in the immune system, its job is to seek out and destroy bacteria, viruses or other foreign entities that enter the bloodstream or organs. Scientists have known that, to do this, each cell changes its otherwise amorphous shape to form a single front, or leading edge, that approaches the invader and leads the cell into attack.

The leading edge is thought to send out some type of signal to the rest of the cell to prevent the formation of secondary fronts. Until now, scientists thought the signal was transmitted by the movement of molecules from one part of the cell to another.

Now, however, a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, has shown that the neutrophil triggers this long-range inhibition by transmitting mechanical force.

The process relies on the assembly of a protein known as actin, which accumulates in the part of the cell that pushes out in the direction of its bacterial target.

In their paper, published today in the journal Cell (January 20, 2011), the team showed that the cell's protrusion stretches its membrane, taking it from lax to tight, like the rope in a game of tug-of-war. The tension is transmitted along the cell membrane, moving from front to back. It is this tension that restricts activity to the leading edge.

"This critical ability of cells to restrict activity to specific regions of their surface is essential for many processes, ranging from the regulation of cell division to the formation of multicellular organisms and the wiring of the nervous system," said lead author Orion Weiner, PhD, an assistant professor in residence at UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute.

The finding may help researchers identify new therapies that can promote or block the process of cell mobilization as a way of intervening in conditions, he said. After a spinal cord injury, for example, neurons don't readily cross the site of the injury, impairing motor function or leading to paralysis. There may be drugs that can help the neurons form a leading edge and enable them to jump the gap, Weiner said. Other drugs might impede cells from migrating inappropriately as they do in cancer.

To reach their conclusion, Weiner and his colleagues conducted a series of experiments in which they applied or removed tension from neutrophils and tracked the accumulation of actin and the movement of the cell. Andrew Houk, a graduate student in Weiner's lab, conducted many of the experiments. They showed that tension is necessary and sufficient to constrain the spread of an existing front and keep a cell from forming a second one.

"Our study establishes tension as a central regulator of this process of leading-edge formation," Weiner said. "The challenge now is to figure out which molecules respond to that tension and how."


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristen Bole
kristen.bole@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Collaborative effort uncovers DNA duplications that may be responsible for genomic-based diseases
2. Study uncovers a molecular maturation clock that modulates branching architecture in tomato plants
3. Paper uncovers power of Foldit gamers strategies
4. New study uncovers how brain cells degrade dangerous protein aggregates
5. Thats gross!: Study uncovers physiological nature of disgust in politics
6. Wildlife Conservation Society uncovers record number of jaguars in Bolivia
7. Wildlife Conservation Society study uncovers a predictable sequence toward coral reef collapse
8. George Mason research team uncovers new factor in HIV infection
9. UT scientist uncovers trigger to fatal neurodegenerative disease
10. Research uncovers key to understanding cause of lupus
11. Scripps Research scientist uncovers switch controlling protein production
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UCSF team uncovers how immune cells move against invaders
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/5/2016)... Bermuda , Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant ... clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of dementia, ... intepirdine for the treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be ... (CTAD) Meeting on Friday, December 9, 2016 in ... will show results of both simple and complex measures ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... COLORADO (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2016 , ... ... series hosted by one of the nation’s premier cannabis technology and application experts, ... founder and CEO of Cultivate Colorado. Over the past 30 years, Chip Baker ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... treatments for congestive heart failure and other chronic ... is joining the company as Chief Financial Officer ... Renova Therapeutics with 20 years of experience in ... closely held biotech and software companies. Most recently, ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016  Eisai Inc. ... open-label two-year study of rufinamide, which were presented ... Epilepsy Society (AES) held from December 2-6 in ... final two-year safety, tolerability and cognitive data showed ... experienced similar safety and tolerability profiles, cognitive development ...
Breaking Biology Technology: