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 Biomarker in an aggressive breast cancer is identified
20.08.2014 | Northwestern University

nachricht Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony
19.08.2014 | Penn State

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Mathematics and Computer Science - Key Disciplines in Developing Countries as well?

20.08.2014 | Event News

5th Technical Conference "Subsoil Analysis, Ground Improvement and Wind Turbine Foundations"

13.08.2014 | Event News

Consumer Research - ICCR 2014

07.08.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrical engineers take major step toward photonic circuits

20.08.2014 | Materials Sciences

NASA Sees Tropical Storm Lowell's Tough South Side

20.08.2014 | Earth Sciences

Why global warming is taking a break

20.08.2014 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>