Determining the orientation is essential for an individual cell to perform it’s designated tasks. Now it appears that the same compass also defines the direction of cells when migrating by establishing a morphological back and a front. These are the conclusions of a recent study lead by scientists Michiel Pegtel and John Collard from the Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL) in the Netherlands published in the October 9th issue of the scientific journal Current Biology.
Many cell types acquire asymmetry for their biological function. Yeast cells, worms, mice and men all use the same cellular compass, made up of a combination of protein complexes that is essential for the spatial orientation of the cell. The Par-Tiam1 polarity complex is a crucial component of the compass. Tiam1 was earlier identified as a gene that could influence dissemination of tumour cells.
In a previous study by the group of John Collard from the NKI-AVL, it became clear that the Par-Tiam1 complex is crucial for top/bottom orientation of adherent cells. This form of cell asymmetry is required for the cells to properly adhere and to form a tightly connected cellular structure. However, loss of orientation or cell polarity leads dissociation of cell-cell contacts and in tumours to dissemination of cancer cells.
Now it appears that the Par-Tiam1 complex also controls front-rear orientation of the cell. This way cells that leave their brethrens behind after detaching know how to find their way while migrating. Collard and colleagues showed that mouse skin cells with a functional compass migrate in a straight linear fashion toward their target. The cells persistently move forward like a caterpillar, continuously expanding and retracting in one direction. But when the Par-Tiam1 complex is disrupted or shut-down, the cells migrate aimlessly in random direction.
Pegtel & Collard: “It is becoming clear that polarity of cells is crucial for embryonic development and function of many biological processes in humans and lower organisms alike. It guides immune cells to sites of infection and directs the organization of the neuronal network. But at the same time, it also prevents detachment of adherent cells; we were very surprised that one protein complex regulates such seemingly opposing tasks”. This could explain the findings that Tiam1 is able both to promote and prevent metastasis in different tumours.
Frederique Melman | alfa
The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg
Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.07.2017 | Life Sciences