“As least by showing that paxillin and actin filaments move together we have some insight into the possibility of how paxillin can transmit information from one region of the cell, such as the periphery, to another region of the cell, such as the nucleus,” said Chien. “The whole situation is much more complex than we have been able to show.”
Chien, Hu, and their colleagues at UCSD had previously reported that paxillin can be rapidly assembled and disassembled, and they hypothesize that this process enables cell migration by assembling new focal adhesion sites in the direction of cell movement and disassembling them on the trailing side of the cell. Researchers are applying the fluorescence-labeling technique to the many other signaling and structural proteins found predominantly at focal adhesions.
“When we piece all of these things together we can get a more complete understanding of how the cell functions, both in migration and signal transduction,” said Chien. “If we can understand the details of these processes, we can not only understand how normal cells function, but we can also look at diseased cells to see why they sometimes don’t move properly or why they don’t transmit information properly.”
Source:University of California - San Diego