Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Model Tissue System Reveals Cellular Communication Via Amino Acids

Date:
April 9, 2009
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Researchers have found the first evidence of cell-to-cell communication by amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, rather than by known protein signaling agents such as growth factors or cytokines.

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) has found the first evidence of cell-to-cell communication by amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, rather than by known protein signaling agents such as growth factors or cytokines.

Their report will appear in an upcoming issue of the FASEB Journal and has been released online.

"We were taken by complete surprise," says Rohit Jindal, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at MGH-CEM and the paper's lead author. "Past reports have implicated various growth factors and the extracellular matrix proteins secreted by other cell types in regulating hepatocyte behavior, but to the best of our knowledge, this is the first evidence that cells can communicate by changing local amino acid concentrations."

The authors describe the development of a three-dimensional model of liver tissue in which hepatocytes (liver cells) are embedded in a layer of collagen and covered with a layer of endothelial cells – the cells that line blood vessels, which permeate the liver. In this model system liver cells recovered their metabolic activity much faster than in previous models – in two days instead of a week or longer. The fundamental discovery was that the amino acid proline was responsible for this enhanced recovery. A building block of collagen, proline was secreted by the endothelial layer of the liver model, taken up by hepatocytes and used to synthesize new collagen, leading to faster recovery of hepatocyte activity.

"Identifying this amino-acid-mediated communication points to the importance of considering changes in metabolism while evaluating cell-to-cell communication," says Martin Yarmush, MD, PhD, director of the MGH-CEM and the paper's senior author. "Metabolic factors are gaining prominence in our understanding of a number of diseases, and establishing the contribution of different cell types to the metabolic milieu could provide new drug targets in the treatment of liver disease." Yarmush is the Helen Andrus Benedict Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Co-author Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, of MGH-CEM, adds, "It's not currently clear whether this mechanism occurs in living animals, but it could contribute to active liver remodeling during liver development or regeneration." Additional co-authors of the FASEB Journal paper are Arno Tilles, MD, and Francois Berthiaume, PhD, both of the MGH-CEM. The work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rohit Jindal, Yaakov Nahmias, Arno W. Tilles, Francois Berthiaume, and Martin L. Yarmush. Amino acid-mediated heterotypic interaction governs performance of a hepatic tissue model. FASEB Journal, 2009; DOI: 10.1096/fj.08-114934

Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "Model Tissue System Reveals Cellular Communication Via Amino Acids." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403144034.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2009, April 9). Model Tissue System Reveals Cellular Communication Via Amino Acids. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403144034.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "Model Tissue System Reveals Cellular Communication Via Amino Acids." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090403144034.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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