During cancer metastasis, immune response cells are moving in a controlled manner through the body. Researchers from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel discovered novel mechanisms of cell migration by observing cells moving on lines of connective tissue. Their results, published in the journal Developmental Cell, could lead to new approaches in combatting cancer metastasis and inflammation.
Cells migrate by connecting their cytoskeleton – a network made up of proteins – to adhesion molecules which in turn get in contact with the surrounding connective tissue. In order to guide cells in a certain direction a signal from outside is needed, which leads then to cell polarization and coordinated mechanical movement. A fundamental question is how signaling pathways are regulated in time and space to facilitate directional migration of cells.
Classical cell migration experiments use uniformly coated glass plates with the drawback that cells adhere very strongly to the glass surface and move randomly in any direction. This random cell movement aggravates comprehensive studies of directional cell migration.
In their study, scientists around Prof. Olivier Pertz from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel gained novel insights into the regulation of directional cell migration: Using a special procedure, 20 micrometer wide lines were fabricated on glass thereby mimicking the connective tissue environment – creating a highway for cells. In addition, cells were stimulated with a growth factor (PDGF) which led to fast cell migration in only one direction lasting for many hours.
“This shows that we can achieve robust and directional cell migration by mimicking the geometry of connective tissue as we find it in the body,” tells Olivier Pertz. Certain dot-like structures, that are always located at the front of the cell, adopt a crucial role in maintaining long term polarized cell migration.
The research results give novel insights into how signaling pathways are regulated in time and space in order to facilitate migration of cells only in one direction. The scientists describe novel concepts of cell migration, which could help to find new targets and approaches to fight cancer metastasis and inflammation. “The more insights we get into the mechanisms of cell migration, the more effectively and focused we will be able to intervene in certain pathological processes,” first author Dr. Katrin Martin comments.
Katrin Martin, Marco Vilela, Noo Li Jeon, Gaudenz Danuser, Olivier Pertz
A Growth Factor-Induced, Spatially Organizing Cytoskeletal Module Enables Rapid and Persistent Fibroblast Migration
Developmental Cell, Volume 30, Issue 6, 29 September 2014, Pages 701–716 | doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.07.022
Prof. Olivier Pertz, University of Basel, Department of Biomedicine, phone: +41 61 267 35 41, email: email@example.com
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University
Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.05.2017 | Life Sciences
23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering