Navigation Links
Molecular 'eat now' signal makes cells devour dying neighbors
Date:7/15/2014

A team of researchers has devised a Pac-Man-style power pellet that gets normally mild-mannered cells to gobble up their undesirable neighbors. The development may point the way to therapies that enlist patients' own cells to better fend off infection and even cancer, the researchers say.

A description of the work will be published July 15 in the journal Science Signaling.

"Our goal is to build artificial cells programmed to eat up dangerous junk in the body, which could be anything from bacteria to the amyloid-beta plaques that cause Alzheimer's to the body's own rogue cancer cells," says Takanari Inoue, Ph.D., an associate professor of cell biology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, who led the study. "By figuring out how to get normally inert cells to recognize and engulf dying cells, we've taken an important step in that direction."

Identifying and devouring dying cells and other "junk" is usually the job of white blood cells called macrophages and neutrophils, which also go after bacteria and other invaders in a process called phagocytosis. For the new experiments, Inoue teamed up with researchers at the University of Tokyo to strip down phagocytosis, figuring out the minimum tools one cell needs to eat another one.

They started not with macrophages, but with a type of laboratory-grown human cells known as HeLa, which normally can't perform phagocytosis. Their first task was to induce the HeLa cells to attach to nearby dying cells by getting the right "receptors" to the HeLa cells' surface. The researchers knew that part of a receptor protein called MFG-E8 would recognize and stick to a distress signal on the surface of dying cells, and coaxing the HeLa cells to make the protein fragment was straightforward. To get the fragment, termed C2, onto the outside of the cells, the team found a way to stick it to another protein that was bound for the cell's surface, thus taking advantage of the cell's own transportation system. "We put C2 on the same bus as the membrane protein," Inoue says.

As a result, up to six dying cells stuck to each HeLa cell. The bad news was that though they were cozy, the HeLa cells weren't actually eating the dying cells.

Fortunately, Inoue says, the team already had an idea about what to try next: Other research had shown that activating a gene called Rac would cause a cell to engulf beads stuck to its surface. Sure enough, HeLa cells with both surface C2 and activated Rac swallowed dying cells readily, the team found.

"We've shown it's possible to endow ordinary cells with the power to do something unique: take on the role of a specialized macrophage," Inoue says.

Inoue cautions that the investigators don't believe the engulfed cells are being broken down. Getting the HeLa cells to finish the phagocytosis process will be one of the group's next steps.


'/>"/>

Contact: Shawna Williams
shawna@jhmi.edu
410-955-8236
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor
2. BerGenBio Presents Data at AACR-ISLAC Conference on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer
3. Life Technologies to Provide Ion Torrent Sequencing Platform to Quest Diagnostics for Development of New Molecular Tests
4. York U molecular communication researchers send worlds first text message using vodka
5. Caris Life Sciences Receives Patent for Molecular Profiling Service in The Peoples Republic of China
6. Molecular Diagnostics Markets
7. Cynvenio and CollabRx Announce Partnership for Cancer Molecular Diagnostics
8. Webinar: Blood-Based Proteomic Classifier for the Molecular Characterization of Pulmonary Nodules, a Case Study in the Discovery and Validation of a Molecular Diagnostic
9. Molecular Diagnostics - Global Strategic Business Report
10. Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF) Recruits Two Eminent Scientists --Pradeep Garg, Ph.D., And Sudha Garg, Ph.D. -- To Run Newly-Created Louisiana Center For Molecular Imaging And Therapy
11. 2014 Analysis of the European Molecular Diagnostics Market: Segment Forecasts and Supplier Shares
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Molecular 'eat now' signal makes cells devour dying neighbors
(Date:1/17/2017)... YORK , Jan. 17, 2017 ... health coaching, is the first to offer fully ... obesity. Noom,s Spanish diabetes prevention and ... the reach and accessibility of lifestyle interventions among ... developing these conditions. Noom,s robust food database, program-specific ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... presented by surgeons at the 2016 annual meeting of the North American ... clinical outcomes, for patients in the majority of cases, when PEEK-OPTIMA™ HA ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... and epigenetics research, recently announced a collaboration with the Heidelberg University Hospital and ... method for library preparation, following the company’s successful launch of its CATS ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... MANHASSET, N.Y. , Jan. 16, 2017   ... Kevin J. Tracey, MD , president and CEO of ... Northwell Health, completed an analysis of how the nervous ... further identify and develop bioelectronic medicine devices ... today in Nature Neuroscience . The ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/11/2017)... MOINES, Iowa , Jan. 11, 2017 ... industry first with the release of its patent-pending calibration ... quickly and reliably perform calibrations, securely upload data logs ... flexibility for the customer. "Fighting drunk driving ... only for the public at large, but also for ...
(Date:1/6/2017)...  Delta ID Inc., a leader in consumer-grade iris ... at CES® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated with Gentex ... use of iris scanning as a secure, reliable and ... a car, and as a way to elevate the ... Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth #7326 LVCC) ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... Calif. , Dec. 20, 2016  As part of ... 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, recently released its latest ... . The book focuses on the topics of inheritance ... Generation Science Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in ... in a series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):