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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reto Caluori | Universität Basel
Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals
21.02.2018 | University of Chicago
The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally
21.02.2018 | Technische Universität München
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences