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
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