Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Insights into the Development of Epithelial Cells

29.10.2010
Scientists of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC) of MDC and Charité in Berlin-Buch have gained new insights into the development of epithelial cells and their molecular repertoire.

Dr. Max Werth, Katharina Walentin and Professor Kai Schmidt-Ott have identified a transcription factor (grainyhead-like 2, Grhl2), which regulates the composition of the molecular “bridges” that link adjacent epithelial cells. The authors were able to demonstrate that Grhl2, via DNA-binding, directly regulates the expression of two such cell junctional molecules, E-cadherin and claudin 4 (Development, doi:10.1242/dev.055483)*.

This could be important for understanding the mechanisms of various diseases. For example, Grhl2-deficient mice die early in embryonic development and display defects of neural tube closure, including spina bifida.

Spina bifida is a common human congenital disease that is often associated with severe disabilities. Little is known about how the disease develops, and Grhl2 may be an important player in its pathogenesis.

Furthermore, the authors hypothesize that Grhl2 may also have important functions in internal organs, such as the kidney. Epithelial cells line the renal tubular system, which in humans is several kilometers long.

This system of renal tubules, together with the renal corpuscles, forms the basic structural and functional unit of the kidney – the nephron. The human kidney filters waste products from 1700 liters of blood per day, of which 180 liters are collected as primary urine and of which finally one to two liters are excreted as urine.

The studies of the authors show that Grhl2 is produced in nephron segments that are relatively impermeable to water and solutes and that fine-tune the composition of urine.

A dysfunction of Grhl2 in these cells may affect epithelial barrier formation and other cell characteristics and, thereby, contribute to various diseases, including congenital abnormalities of the kidney or the development of hypertension.

*The transcription factor grainyhead-like 2 (Grhl2) regulates molecular composition of the epithelial apical junctional complex
Max Werth1,2,*, Katharina Walentin1,2*, Annekatrin Aue1,2, Jörg Schönheit1, Anne Wuebken1, Naomi Pode-Shakked3, Larissa Vilianovitch1, Bettina Erdmann1, Benjamin Dekel3, Michael Bader1, Jonathan Barasch4, Frank Rosenbauer1, Friedrich C. Luft1,2, Kai M. Schmidt-Ott1,2,#
* these authors contributed equally
1Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Berlin, Germany; 2Experimental and Clinical Research Center, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Buch, Berlin, Germany, 3Department of Pediatrics and Pediatric Stem Cell Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel, 4Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA

# Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Kai M. Schmidt-Ott, e-mail: kai.schmidt-ott@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10; 13125 Berlin; Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>