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Researchers find new way to block destructive rush of immune cells
Date:1/14/2008

cell let go. Without precise changes that enable the front end to gain traction, and the tail to let go, the cell cannot migrate.

Kims team found that a subset of integrins, including lymphocyte functionassociated antigen-1 (LFA-1), control whether or not the tail end of the T cell can let go (de- adhesion). Data revealed for the first time that a protein called non-muscle myosin heavy chain-IIA (MyH9) is recruited to LFA-1 at the trailing end of migrating T lymphocytes. Experiments that interfered with the association between MyH9 and the LFA-1 integrin were found to prevent the trailing edge of the crawling T cell from letting go, dramatically reducing the ability of T cells to move. Myosins are motor proteins that expend energy to enable cell skeletons to contract. That contraction creates force that is used in many cases to move muscle fibers, but in the case of MyH9, to rip the trailing end of a migrating T cell foot away from the surface it is migrating across by breaking integrin-ICAM bonds. The results provide the first evidentiary support of the longstanding theory that cell skeleton contractile force is used to drive T cell migration, with MyH9 as the mechanical link. Captured images show fluorescently tagged actin (which partners with LFA-1 to grip the surface) gathering at the front end of the cell, and fluorescently tagged MyH9 gathering at the tail end in cycles, each time the cell takes a step.

The study was a joint effort by the Department of Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, the Department of Physics at Brown University, the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research at Harvard Medical School and the departments of Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester. The project was supported by the American Heart Association, the Rhode Island Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Brown Universi
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
585-273-1757
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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