Dutch researcher Manon Franssen has shown that cells which heal the skin following an injury play an important role in the development of the skin disease psoriasis. In people with psoriasis, the skin peels much faster than normal so that it flakes and becomes inflamed.
Franssen investigated the transit amplifying cells in the uppermost layer of the skin. These cells develop from stem cells (general unspecialised cells) and specialise into skin cells when new skin cells are needed. The transit amplifying cells are involved in the healing of the skin following an injury and in the regular renewing of the skin.
Normally these cells wait until they receive a signal to develop into skin cells. Franssen discovered that in people with psoriasis, some of the transit amplifying cells divide without waiting for a signal. As a result of this, too many skin cells develop and the skin is renewed more quickly than normal. However, when Franssen cultured the transit amplifying cells from the skin of psoriasis patients, these cells grew less quickly. Exactly how the cell division of transit amplifying cells and stem cells is regulated, is not yet clear.
Nalinie Moerlie | alfa
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Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
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