Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery Of A Novel Cell Adhesion Mechanism

Date:
October 29, 2009
Source:
IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia
Summary:
In a process essential to the immune system's response to infection, dendritic cells responsible for identifying pathogens communicate with the T-cells that destroy the infectious agents. To achieve this, the dendritic cells must be correctly activated and migrate to the lymph nodes where they must adhere firmly to T-cells.

LFA-1 integrin (red) GPI proteins (green) at the membrane of a cell of the immune system.
Credit: Image courtesy of IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia

In a process essential to the immune system's response to infection, dendritic cells responsible for identifying pathogens communicate with the T-cells that destroy the infectious agents. To achieve this, the dendritic cells must be correctly activated and migrate to the lymph nodes where they must adhere firmly to T-cells.

These processes are, to a large degree, regulated by the integrin lymphocyte-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1). Earlier studies reported that stable adhesion involved lipid rafts that organize assemblies of cell membrane proteins, including glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchored proteins. There has, however, been considerable debate about the existence of these rafts because, owing to their very small size (on the nanometric scale), they could not be observed and their function in the adhesion process was poorly understood.

A team of researchers in the BioNanoPhotonics group led by Marνa Garcνa-Parajo in the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) has managed to observe these lipid rafts and has discovered that in the process of cell adhesion they are organized around GPI-anchored proteins and close to LFA-1. The proteins activate LFA-1 and assist throughout the whole process of immune cell adhesion and migration.

These results were obtained using a superresolution optical technique called near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM), which makes it possible to work at the nanoscale level. The IBEC team adapted the technique to work with biological samples, cells, and biological processes in their natural state. The results have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The mechanisms controlling protein organization and cell-cell interaction in the immune system have implications for a large number of autoimmune diseases and allergies, as well as for the rapid transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus, all phenomena that may be caused by defective cell adhesion. Discoveries made in this area -- including those of the IBEC group -- will broaden the possibilities for the development of new treatments for these diseases.

These findings and the technology now available also open up the possibility of exploring other areas of cell biology with nanoscale imaging because the organization of proteins in the cell membrane is a general mechanism in the rapid response of a cell to its environment. Specifically, further research could shed light on the processes involved in the adhesion of other integrins, which also involves interaction with lipid rafts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. van Zanten et al. Hotspots of GPI-anchored proteins and integrin nanoclusters function as nucleation sites for cell adhesion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; 106 (44): 18557 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0905217106

Cite This Page:

IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. "Discovery Of A Novel Cell Adhesion Mechanism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029161358.htm>.
IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. (2009, October 29). Discovery Of A Novel Cell Adhesion Mechanism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029161358.htm
IBEC - Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. "Discovery Of A Novel Cell Adhesion Mechanism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029161358.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) — That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) — The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. 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