The researchers found that two independent groups of cells generate the same signal by different pathways and that these cells subsequently act together to send the signal to the target cell. In this manner, the receptor cell receives the signal from two distinct sources. The results of this study appear in today’s advanced electronic issue of the journal, PNAS.
Jordi Casanova (IRB Barcelona/CSIC) explains that different types of cells working together to send a message can be regarded as a “security measure designed to ensure that the signal reaches the receptor cell in the proper fashion, neither too weakly nor too strongly”. Using RNA interference techniques (RNAi), the researchers observed that it was necessary to disactivate the signal in both groups of cells in order to prevent the message from being sent. They also observed that overstimulating signal production (producing more of the signalling molecule) created problems in the receptor cell, causing it to develop incorrectly.
Researchers made the discovery by studying the behaviour of a gene called torso-like during the early stages of embryonic development of the Drosophila fly. Two groups of cells activated the same torso-like gene separately and by different mechanisms when they were still in separate compartments inside the Drosophila ovary. Subsequently, the cells migrated until they met and jointly signalled the target cell.
Marc Furriols, lead author of the study, explains that the torso-like gene activates a membrane receptor molecule that is specific to Drosophila, but that the molecule belongs to a receptor family (that includes, for example, the human growth factor), which also reacts when it receives an external signal. “This research describes a very signalling mechanism in the fly which is very basic. It gives us good insight into how these mechanisms work so that we can later manipulate and control them.
Many of these pathways and signalling systems have been observed throughout evolution and hence, studies with models such as the fruit fly, can provide further insight into how these signalling mechanisms work in humans.
Sonia Armengou | alfa
Make way for the mini flying machines
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society
New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in
21.03.2018 | American Chemical Society
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
21.03.2018 | Life Sciences