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.

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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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