Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Combo method reveals cells' signal systems

Date:
May 29, 2011
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
Our understanding of what differentiates cancer cells from normal cells is limited by a lack of methods for studying the complex signal systems of individual cells. By combing two different methods, researchers have now provided the research world with a tool for studying signal paths on several levels at the same time.

Our understanding of what differentiates cancer cells from normal cells is limited by a lack of methods for studying the complex signal systems of individual cells. By combing two different methods, a team of Uppsala researchers have now provided the research world with a tool for studying signal paths on several levels at the same time. Their article is being published May 25 in PLoS One.

"We also show that the method can be used to determine the molecular effect of drugs or pharmaceuticals," says Ola Söderberg, who directed the study at the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, Uppsala University.

Interaction between separate cells is crucial for the body to function. Cells communicate with each other through direct contact and through soluble substances/molecules that are sent out as a "signal" to surrounding cells. When they bind to a receptor molecule on another cell, the signal is further transmitted into that cell by a relay of protein interactions, thereby regulating mRNA expression. Signaling between and within cells is a highly complex process that is regulated on several different levels in the signal pathways.

"What's more, signaling can differ considerably between one cell and a neighbor cell, so the possibility of studying the signaling of individual cells is extremely important for us to understand various pathological conditions, such as cancer," says Ola Söderberg.

It is the lack of methods for doing so that has limited our understanding of what differentiates cancer cells from normal cells. The new method combines two different methods that reveal protein activity and mRNA expression, respectively. This makes it possible to determine the direction of signal, that is, what the effect of signaling is. The two methods that are now being combined were developed over the last few years by this same research team.

"The possibility of now combining them will yield a clearer picture of what went wrong in cancer cells, and it will lead to greater insight into how cancer cells work together with and exploit normal cells."

In the article, the methods are used to see how quickly signals are transmitted, from the surface of cells to the nucleus, and to determine how many of the cells respond to the signals. Further, the methods can be used to understand how various drugs function and where they disrupt signaling, and will facilitate the discovery of new targeted pharmaceuticals to treat cancer.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Irene Weibrecht, Ida Grundberg, Mats Nilsson, Ola Söderberg. Simultaneous Visualization of Both Signaling Cascade Activity and End-Point Gene Expression in Single Cells. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (5): e20148 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020148

Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "Combo method reveals cells' signal systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525181409.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2011, May 29). Combo method reveals cells' signal systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525181409.htm
Uppsala University. "Combo method reveals cells' signal systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525181409.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 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