Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Göttingen scientists discover new biological transport mechanism in cells

30.05.2014

Cells flex their muscles to stir themselves


An international team of scientists led by the University of Göttingen has discovered a new biological transport mechanism in cells.

Foto: M. Leunissen, Dutch Data Design

An international team of scientists led by the University of Göttingen has discovered a new biological transport mechanism in cells. The researchers from the Faculty of Physics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Rice University in Houston developed and applied a new method to visualize and track single molecules inside living cells and whole organisms.

They found out that cells use the same motor proteins that serve in muscle contraction to vigorously and actively stir their interior. The results were published in the journal Science.

For long-distance transport cells usually employ motor proteins that are tied to lipid vesicles, the cell’s ‘cargo containers’. An example is the transport of proteins along the long axons of nerve cells.

This process involves considerable logistics: cargo, such as proteins synthesized elsewhere in the cell, needs to packed, attached to motor proteins and sent off in the right direction. By utilizing extremely thin nanotubes serving as beacons of light, the scientists now found that cells also use a much simpler and more economical mechanism to facilitate local transport in their crowded interior.

“Much in the way a chemist would accelerate a reaction by shaking a test tube, cells stir their cytoskeleton,“ explains the leader of the study, Prof. Dr. Christoph Schmidt of Göttingen University’s Third Institute of Physics. “This activity results in a global internal stirring of the cell.“ The new discovery not only promotes the understanding of cell dynamics, but also points to interesting possibilities in designing active technical materials.

Original publication: Nikta Fakhri et al. High resolution mapping of intracellular fluctuations using carbon nanotubes. Science 2014. Doi: 10.1126/science.1250170.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schmidt
Georg-August University Göttingen
Faculty of Physics – Third Institute of Physics
Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Phone +49 551 39-7740
Email: christoph.schmidt@phys.uni-goettingen.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/3240.html?cid=4802 more photos
http://www.dpi.physik.uni-goettingen.de/en/science/people/211r125.html

Thomas Richter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: cytoskeleton discover mechanism muscle contraction nerve cells proteins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Blocking a Fork in the Road to DNA Replication
31.10.2014 | Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

nachricht Synthetic Lethality Offers a New Approach to Kill Tumor Cells, Explains Moffitt Cancer Center Researcher
31.10.2014 | H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Registration Open Now: 18th International ESAFORM Conference on Material Forming

28.10.2014 | Event News

Comparing Apples and Oranges? A Colloquium on International Comparative Urban Research

22.10.2014 | Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Sculpting solar systems: Magnetic fields seen for first time

31.10.2014 | Physics and Astronomy

Here's Looking At You: Spooky Shadow Play Gives Jupiter a Giant Eye

31.10.2014 | Physics and Astronomy

New research reveals fish are smarter than we thought

31.10.2014 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>