Navigation Links
New molecular pathway could reveal how cells stick together

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found a new pathway by which cells change their adhesive properties. With a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, they plan to fill in the details behind how cells decide to stick to a surface, which could lead to a better understanding of the importance of this pathway to the physiology and development of organisms.

Cells must interact with each other to produce system responses, like the remodeling of a tissue during development or for orchestration of an integrated immune response. One way they do this is by physically attaching to one another and to surfaces. Andrea Page-McCaw, assistant professor of biology at Rensselaer and principal investigator for the project, has focused on matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) -- proteins that play a role in development and immunity.

"MMPs have gotten a lot of attention primarily because of their regulation in a lot of disease states, most notably cancer and other inflammatory conditions," Page-McCaw said. Yet the normal function of these proteins is not well understood.

The job of MMPs is to cleave other proteins that reside in the space in between cells. Page-McCaw has previously identified a specific protein, called ninjurin, that gets cut by MMP. Now she is working out the interplay between MMPs and ninjurin, with the goal of characterizing this previously unknown pathway by which cells signal to each other.

Ninjurin is anchored to the surface of cells, but after being cut by MMP, a ninjurin segment travels to adjacent cells and signals them to alter their adhesive state. Page-McCaw published these findings earlier this year and was recently awarded an individual investigator research grant to extend her work from cells in a Petri dish to an organism. The grant, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, is for $ 1.4 million over five years.

"We're trying to figure out how it works in whol e flies," Page-McCaw said. "When you take a cell out of the organism it behaves a little bit differently. So while you can work out cell mechanisms in cell culture, then you want to go back and demonstrate their relevance to the animal."

To study the role of ninjurin in development and immunity, Page-McCaw uses a strategy to exclude the protein from the animal. By developing a mutant fly lacking the gene that codes for the protein, she can examine what goes wrong without the protein and then infer the normal function of that protein.

She has previously done similar work knocking out MMP in flies. "One of the defects in MMP mutants is in their ability to control cell adhesion," she said. Many tissues undergo remodeling as the flies grow and develop, but at least one, the breathing tubes, do not develop properly in the mutant flies. Page-McCaw calls it a "cellular adhesion defect that causes problems for the animal at the tissue level."

Now she plans to find how ninjurin affects breathing tube development, as well as the role it plays in immunity. "The immune system is all about immune cells circulating around and being able to attach to tissues that need their attention," she said.

A new signaling pathway holds promise of new therapeutic targets. "We're talking about an entirely new signaling pathway that hasn't been identified previously," Page-McCaw said. But it's too soon to know how her findings will be used in terms of human health.

"There are lots of examples of times where the ability of cells to communicate goes awry in disease and ninjurin could be playing a role in any of those," she said. "The goals of my research are contributions of new ideas and mechanisms that can then be realized by the broader biomedical community."
'"/>

Source:Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Source of molecular triggers in cutaneous T cell lymphoma identified
3. Plants, animals share molecular growth mechanisms
4. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
5. Scientists reveal molecular secrets of the malaria parasite
6. Scientists identify molecular events that drive cell senescence
7. Researchers discover molecular mechanism that desensitizes us to cold
8. Findings have implications for tracking disease, drugs at the molecular level
9. Successful Test Of Single Molecule Switch Opens The Door To Biomolecular Electronics
10. At the molecular level, the predator is the prey
11. By creating molecular bridge, scientists change function of a protein

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/19/2016)... España y TORONTO , 19 de diciembre de ... Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de MSC-1, un anticuerpo ... varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples sitios previstos a ... ... con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia (LIF), una citoquina ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in terms of ... 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be USD 442.7 ... 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system market is ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December ... leading global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with ... behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients ... strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November ... to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce ... Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) today ... Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, said data sharing plans should be ... recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers to produce and execute data sharing ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017 The global biotechnology ... 92.9 billion by 2025, according to a new ... has been adaptive of the function of outsourcing ... 2002. Among the services outsourced, clinical trial management ... Johnson & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the ZEM5310 USB 3.0 FPGA ... FPGA into a compact business-card sized form factor suitable for prototyping, testing, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: