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 August 28, 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 August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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