“Our discovery of this new signaling pathway adds to fundamental information about how cells work together during the remodeling of tissues and organs,” said Andrea Page-McCaw, assistant professor of biology at Rensselaer. “This finding also may provide clues about the basic mechanisms of inflammation and wound healing in vertebrates.”
Page-McCaw’s laboratory studies the fruit fly as a model system to better understand a group of genetic enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Fruit flies have two distinct MMPs, compared to 22 such enzymes found in humans and mice. In previous work, Page-McCaw found that both MMPs present in fruit flies are critical to their survival.
“Although MMP enzymes have been linked to disease progression, their normal function is to help in tissue growth and wound healing,” Page-McCaw said. “MMP research eventually could lead to therapeutics for a range of illnesses, including cancer and arthritis.”
Page-McCaw studies development and remodeling of the airway system, or tracheae, in fruit fly larvae with normal and mutant MMPs to determine how those genes contribute to normal function. In this work, she and her colleagues found that one of the MMPs chops off a piece of a protein called Ninjurin A, which is located at the surfaces of cells. The liberated piece of Ninjurin A protein then signals to other cells that it is time to detach from their surface, both in isolated cells grown in culture and in whole flies. When tracheal cells fail to detach from the insect exoskeleton, the tracheae do not grow properly and break.
The findings are currently available online in advance of print publication July 15 by the journal Genes & Development. The paper is titled “An MMP Liberates the Ninjurin A Ectodomain to Signal a Loss of Cell Adhesion.”
The research is led by Page-McCaw and includes Shuning Zhang, doctoral student at Rensselaer, and Bernadette Glasheen and Gyna Sroga, research specialists at Rensselaer. This work was initiated by Page-McCaw during her fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, where she was assisted by Gina Dailey and Elaine Kwan.
Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer
At Rensselaer, faculty and students in diverse academic and research disciplines are collaborating at the intersection of the life sciences and engineering to encourage discovery and innovation. Rensselaer’s four biotechnology research constellations - biocatalysis and metabolic engineering, functional tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, biocomputation and bioinformatics, and integrative systems biology - engage a multidisciplinary mix of faculty and students focused on the application of engineering and physical and information sciences to the life sciences. Ranked among the world’s most advanced research facilities, Rensselaer’s Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies provides a state-of-the-art platform for collaborative research and world-class programs and symposia.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation’s oldest technological university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and the media arts and technology. The Institute is well known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.
Tiffany Lohwater | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences