Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Enzyme can steer cells or possibly stop them in their tracks

Date:
March 19, 2011
Source:
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have discovered that members of an enzyme family found in humans and throughout the plant and animal kingdoms play a crucial role in regulating cell motility. Their findings suggest an entirely new strategy for treating conditions ranging from diabetic ulcers to metastatic cancer.

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered that members of an enzyme family found in humans and throughout the plant and animal kingdoms play a crucial role in regulating cell motility. Their findings suggest an entirely new strategy for treating conditions ranging from diabetic ulcers to metastatic cancer.

Related Articles


David Sharp, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology & biophysics, was the senior author of the study, which was published in the March 6 online edition of Nature Cell Biology.

"Cells in our bodies are in constant motion, migrating from their birth sites to distant targets," said Dr. Sharp. "Cellular movement builds our tissues and organs and underlies key functions such as the immune response and wound healing. But uncontrolled cell migration can lead to devastating problems including mental retardation, vascular disease and metastatic cancer."

Dr. Sharp and his colleagues found that certain members of an enzyme family known as katanin concentrate at the outer edge of non-dividing cells where they break up microtubules -- dynamic intracellular polymers that regulate cell movement by controlling the formation of protrusions called lamellipodia. (Polymers are large molecules composed of many repeating units.)

When Dr. Sharp's team treated motile cells of the fruit fly Drosophila with a drug that inhibited katanin production, the treated cells moved significantly faster than control cells and with a striking increase in high-velocity movements, indicating that katanin prevents cells from moving too rapidly or in an uncontrolled manner. The researchers observed similar effects with katanin when they examined human cells.

"Our study opens up a new avenue for developing therapeutic agents for treating wounds -- burns and diabetic ulcers, for example -- as well as metastatic disease," added Dr. Sharp.

Describing katanin as a "microtubule regulator," Dr. Sharp said that its ability to modulate the speed and direction of cell movement -- and not just control whether or not it occurs -- could be especially useful from a clinical standpoint. Drugs that inhibit katanin, for example, could encourage cells to migrate in a particular direction to heal wounds. Conversely, he said, katanin itself or drugs that stimulate its production might be useful in treating or preventing cancer metastasis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dong Zhang, Kyle D. Grode, Shannon F. Stewman, Juan Daniel Diaz-Valencia, Emily Liebling, Uttama Rath, Tania Riera, Joshua D. Currie, Daniel W. Buster, Ana B. Asenjo, Hernando J. Sosa, Jennifer L. Ross, Ao Ma, Stephen L. Rogers, David J. Sharp. Drosophila katanin is a microtubule depolymerase that regulates cortical-microtubule plus-end interactions and cell migration. Nature Cell Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/ncb2206

Cite This Page:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Enzyme can steer cells or possibly stop them in their tracks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110318091019.htm>.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (2011, March 19). Enzyme can steer cells or possibly stop them in their tracks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110318091019.htm
Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Enzyme can steer cells or possibly stop them in their tracks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110318091019.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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