Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Flower power: Marking winners and losers

Date:
June 14, 2010
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A new study reveals how conflict resolution works on the microscopic scale -- a protein called Flower marks the weaker cells for elimination in favor of their fitter neighbors. The research furthers our understanding of a developmental process of "cell competition" and may provide some insight into pathological conditions that involve imbalances in cell fitness, such as cancer.

A new study reveals how conflict resolution works on the microscopic scale -- a protein called Flower marks the weaker cells for elimination in favor of their fitter neighbors. The research, published by Cell Press in the June 15th issue of the journal Developmental Cell, furthers our understanding of a developmental process of "cell competition" and may provide some insight into pathological conditions that involve imbalances in cell fitness, such as cancer.

Related Articles


During development, a cell compares its metabolic rates with neighboring cells and, as a result, the best adapted cells "win" and proliferate at the expense of neighbors that "lose" and are eliminated. This process of cell competition was first described in the fruit fly, in larval structures called imaginal discs that give rise to adult body parts, such as the wings. Cell competition may serve as a way to ensure that only the fittest cells contribute to the growing organism. However, all the known regulators of cell competition are also known to affect cell growth and survival in general, so it has been hard to determine what benefit animals derive from this particular type of cellular melee.

"We were interested in investigating how cells of fly wing imaginal discs distinguish winners from losers during cell competition," explains senior study author, Dr. Eduardo Moreno from the Spanish National Cancer Center in Madrid. "We took a genomic approach and combined it with functional assays in order to identify genes expressed early during cell competition."

Dr. Moreno's team identified several factors involved in the process, including Flower, a protein found in the cell membrane of multicellular animals. They show that three different forms of the Flower protein act as cellular "tags" that weigh in on win/lose decisions. A specific Flower tag not only labels cells as losers but triggers their elimination by apoptosis, a type of genetically programmed cell death. In fact, Flower is required for cell competition to occur, but does not affect general cell growth and survival.

"Taken together, our results suggest that Flower isoforms generate the scaffold that is required and sufficient to label cells as winners and losers during competitive interactions among cells," concludes Dr. Moreno. "The extracellular code composed by the Flower isoforms may have biomedical implications beyond cell competition because imbalances in cell fitness also appear during aging, cancer formation and metastasis." Indeed, the specific role for Flower in cell competition makes it a unique focus for future study to understand the function of cell competition in isolation from other signals that control tissue growth.

The researchers include Christa Rhiner, Jesus M. Lopez-Gay, Davide Soldini, Sergio Casas-Tinto, Francisco A. Martin, Luis Lombardia, and Eduardo Moreno, of the Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO), Melchor Fernandez Almagro, Madrid, Spain.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Christa Rhiner, Jesús M. López-Gay, Davide Soldini, Sergio Casas-Tinto, Francisco A. Martín, Luis Lombardía, Eduardo Moreno. Flower Forms an Extracellular Code that Reveals the Fitness of a Cell to its Neighbors in Drosophila. Developmental Cell, 2010; 18 (6): 985-998 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.05.010

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Flower power: Marking winners and losers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614121602.htm>.
Cell Press. (2010, June 14). Flower power: Marking winners and losers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614121602.htm
Cell Press. "Flower power: Marking winners and losers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100614121602.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. 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

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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