Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A cell's first steps: Building a model to explain how cells grow

Date:
May 18, 2012
Source:
Lehigh University
Summary:
Physicists and biologists are addressing an important fundamental question in basic cell biology: how do living cells figure out when and where to grow?

An illustration of the Lehigh mathematical model shows the evolution of Cdc42 distribution during cell growth, as cells transition toward a symmetric, or growth state.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lehigh University

A collaboration between Lehigh University physicists and University of Miami biologists addresses an important fundamental question in basic cell biology: How do living cells figure out when and where to grow?

The study, "Oscillatory Dynamics of Cdc42 GTPase In The Control of Polarized Growth," appears May 18 in the journal Science Express.

Assistant Professor Dimitrios Vavylonis and graduate student Tyler Drake joined a University of Miami research team led by Associate Professor Fulvia Verde to learn that protein Cdc42 begins the ballet of proteins that change cell polarity, by oscillating throughout the cellular membrane of new cells. By changing polarity, Cdc42 regulates shape, structure and function in yeast cells. This oscillatory mechanism may be a general strategy among all self-organizing biological systems, not just simple yeast.

Researchers used fluorescent markers to tag each of the many proteins involved, observing the protein oscillate, switching sides about every five minutes. The fluctuations provide an adaptable mechanism for cells to control their size and structure in the fast-changing environment within.

The findings demonstrate just part of the complex process of cell growth and differentiation, but mark how advanced the science of biophysics has become. Only recently has the clear imaging and monitoring of protein activity become possible at the minute sizes and shortened time scales of individual cell maturation.

Vavylonis's research has for years explored the way the cellular cytoskeleton organizes and functions. In collaboration with biologists and computer scientists, his team uses physics to study, analyze, and model the physical properties of these adaptive biological materials.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and by individual university groups including a Lehigh Class of 1968 Junior Faculty Fellowship and a Sigma Xi grant to Drake.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Das, T. Drake, D. J. Wiley, P. Buchwald, D. Vavylonis, F. Verde. Oscillatory Dynamics of Cdc42 GTPase in the Control of Polarized Growth. Science, 2012; DOI: 10.1126/science.1218377

Cite This Page:

Lehigh University. "A cell's first steps: Building a model to explain how cells grow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518132659.htm>.
Lehigh University. (2012, May 18). A cell's first steps: Building a model to explain how cells grow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518132659.htm
Lehigh University. "A cell's first steps: Building a model to explain how cells grow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120518132659.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
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