Their study is published in the January 15 issue of Science.
Xiaoping Du, UIC professor of pharmacology, and his colleagues were trying to better understand how platelets in the blood form clots. Clots that form in blood vessels can lead to heart attack and stroke.
To form clots, platelets flatten out to seal the wound and to bind to each other, a process called "spreading." Spreading is the first step in a number of cell processes, Du says.
In order for cells to move, they must adhere and spread onto the extracellular matrix, a scaffolding of fibers that supports cells. Only then is the cell able to crawl along -- whether it be an immune cell moving toward a wound, or a cancer cell invading neighboring tissue.
Adhesion to the extracellular matrix is mediated by cell receptors called integrins. Du's team "found the mechanism for the transmission of the signal to spread" by the integrins, he said.
The integrin molecule spans the cell membrane, with a portion of the integrin inside the cell and another part outside.
When the outside part of the integrin molecule binds to the matrix, a signal is sent inside the cell via a G protein, a type of protein involved in cell signaling but that was not previously known to interact with integrins.
Du and his colleagues found that the G protein G-alpha-13 binds to the inner side of the integrin molecule when the outside portion binds to the matrix. G-alpha-13 then inhibits a molecule called RhoA, which normally allows the cell to maintain a spherical shape. When RhoA is inhibited by G-alpha-13, the cell is able to flatten out and spread onto the matrix.
Because the factors involved in this first step in spreading are common to virtually all cells, Du believes that the mechanism is likely universal.
"Understanding these fundamental processes has the potential to allow us to develop drugs to treat thrombosis, stroke and heart attack," he said, and may lead to drugs that could stop cancer cells from migrating.
The study was supported by grants from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. Haixia Gong, Bo Shen, Panagiotis Flevaris, Christina Chow, Stephen Lam, Tatyana Voyno-Yasenetskaya, and Tohru Kozasa, all of the department of pharmacology in the UIC College of Medicine, contributed to the study.
Jeanne Galatzer-Levy | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
16.01.2017 | Information Technology
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering