Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mechanism Found That Appears To Keep Body Tissues Together

Date:
October 14, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Scientists studying the adhesive properties of cadherin - a protein that binds cells into soft tissue - have found a built-in safety mechanism that may keep cells from ripping apart.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Scientists studying the adhesive properties of cadherin - a protein that binds cells into soft tissue - have found a built-in safety mechanism that may keep cells from ripping apart. "Cadherins hold soft tissues together by binding to identical proteins on adjacent cell surfaces," said Deborah Leckband, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Illinois. "The resulting strong, intercellular junctions play an important role in holding our tissues together. The proteins are also important in facilitating the cell-sorting process during embryonic development."

Because there are a number of diseases "associated with malfunctions or mutations of the cadherin protein," Leckband said, "a better understanding of how these molecules bind to one another may eventually allow the use of gene therapy to devise potential cures." To study the adhesive properties of cadherin, Leckband and her colleagues used a surface-force apparatus to measure the molecular forces between two cadherin monolayers as a function of the distance between them. Leckband's colleagues were graduate student Sanjeeve Sivasankar and postdoctoral research associate Nicolay Lavrik at the U. of I., and graduate student Bill Brieher and molecular biologist Barry Gumbiner at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

"Our direct-force measurements show that the current model for cadherin is insufficient to explain how this protein binds to its neighbors," Leckband said. "We found that the proteins adhere strongest when they overlap completely; not when just their ends touch, as the model had suggested. In fact, our measurements indicate that the ends of the proteins contribute very little to the binding process."

One of the scientists' most surprising findings, however, was the unusual way in which the proteins detached from one another. "Instead of simply snapping apart, the cadherins first moved apart slowly, then built up speed and finally jumped out of contact," Leckband said. "This was the first time we had witnessed an unbinding profile occurring in three distinct stages. Clearly, something is preventing the proteins from abruptly ripping apart."

The sluggish separation behavior could be a result of multiple adhesive contacts between different parts of the proteins, Leckband said. The scientists have identified at least two configurations in which the proteins bind, and these multiple interactions could retard or prevent the abrupt failure of the adhesive junctions.

"The successive rupture of these multiple contacts during protein detachment appear to form a kind of built-in 'ratcheting' mechanism which further impedes overall junction failure," Leckband said. "While we still have a lot to learn, these measurements are changing the way we look at cadherins and the way that they bind."

The researchers reported their findings in the Oct. 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Mechanism Found That Appears To Keep Body Tissues Together." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991014080224.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, October 14). Mechanism Found That Appears To Keep Body Tissues Together. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991014080224.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Mechanism Found That Appears To Keep Body Tissues Together." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991014080224.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins