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.

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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. 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:

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