Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Primary Cilium As Cellular 'GPS System' Crucial To Wound Repair

Date:
December 25, 2008
Source:
American Society for Cell Biology
Summary:
The primary cilium, the solitary, antenna-like structure that studs the outer surfaces of virtually all human cells, orients cells to move in the right direction and at the speed needed to heal wounds, much like a global positioning system helps ships navigate to their destinations.

The primary cilium, the solitary, antenna-like structure that studs the outer surfaces of virtually all human cells, orient cells to move in the right direction and at the speed needed to heal wounds, much like a Global Positioning System helps ships navigate to their destinations.

"What we are dealing with is a physiological analogy to the GPS system with a coupled autopilot that coordinates air traffic or tankers on open sea," says Soren T. Christensen, describing his recent research findings on the primary cilium, the GPS-like cell structure, at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 48th Annual Meeting, Dec. 13-17, 2008 in San Francisco.

Christensen and his colleagues at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx studied the primary cilia in lab cultures of mice fibroblasts, the cells that along with related connective tissues sculpt the bulk of the mammalian body.

They discovered that these cilia are oriented to detect a growth factor critical to the efficient repair of wounds. When properly stimulated by the protein factor, the primary cilia steered fibroblast cells toward the wound. If the primary cilia were genetically engineered to be defective, wound repair did not occur as quickly. In addition, the closure of wounds was incomplete in the mice with defective cilia, compared to rodents with normal cilia.

"The really important discovery is that the primary cilium detects signals, which tell the cells to engage their compass reading and move in the right direction to close the wound," Christensen explains.

"In mutant cells that lack the primary cilium," Christensen says, "cell migration is unregulated with uncontrolled directional cell displacement during wound closure, leaving the cells blindfolded to some of the signals that permit the cells to navigate correctly."

The protein signal that activates the primary cilia is the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AA), the ligand for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGFR alpha). The scientists found that when the primary cilia contain unique receptors for PDGFR alpha and that when turned on by the ligand, the receptors transmitted information from the cilia to the cell that resulted in the reorganization of the cellular cytoskeleton. The reorganization signaled the cells to move in the right direction and pace. This process did not occur in mutant cells with no primary cilia.

The researchers suspect this cellular GPS system plays roles other than wound healing. The primary cilia could serve as a fail-safe device against uncontrolled cell movement, says Christensen. Without chemical stimulation, the primary cilia would restrain cell migration, preventing the dangerous displacement of cells that is associated with invasive cancers and fibrosis, the scientists explain. On the other hand, defective primary cilia might fail to provide correct directional instructions during cell differentiation. This failure could be another link connecting primary cilia to severe developmental disorders, the researchers suggest.

Protruding through the cell membrane, primary cilia occur on almost every non-dividing cell in the body. Once written off as a vestigial organelle discarded in the evolutionary dust, primary cilia in the last decade have risen to prominence as a vital cellular sensor at the root of a wide range of health disorders, from polycystic kidney disease to cancer to left-right anatomical abnormalities.

The paper, Poster B262, titled, "The primary cilium coordinates directional cell migration," will be presented on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008, in session 2553, Cilia and Flagella IV, in Halls A-C, Moscone Center.

Authors: L. Schneider, S. Nielsen, I. Veland, S.T. Christensen, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; M. Cammer, Analytical Imaging Facility and Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY; J. Lehman, B.K. Yoder, Department of Cell Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; P. Satir, Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY; C. Stock, A. Schwab, Institute of Physiology II, Munster University, Munster, Germany


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Cell Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Cell Biology. "Primary Cilium As Cellular 'GPS System' Crucial To Wound Repair." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217190330.htm>.
American Society for Cell Biology. (2008, December 25). Primary Cilium As Cellular 'GPS System' Crucial To Wound Repair. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217190330.htm
American Society for Cell Biology. "Primary Cilium As Cellular 'GPS System' Crucial To Wound Repair." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217190330.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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