Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Optical tweezers help researchers uncover key mechanics in cellular communication

Date:
June 1, 2012
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
By using a laser microbeam technology called optical tweezers, researchers have uncovered fundamental properties of the Notch network, a key molecular signaling system involved with development, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

By using a laser microbeam technology called optical tweezers, UC Irvine and UCLA researchers have uncovered fundamental properties of a key molecular signaling system involved with development, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In collaboration, UCI's Elliot Botvinick and UCLA's Gerry Weinmaster published online in the journal Developmental Cell complementary studies in which they each used optical tweezers to detect and measure the mechanical force produced by cells when bound to Notch, a cellular pathway that ensures the correct cell types form at a precise time and location in the body.

"The Notch network is used repeatedly during the development of almost every cell type and must be tightly controlled, as inappropriate communication causes developmental defects and cancer," said Weinmaster, a professor of biological chemistry and researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Successful design and generation of Notch therapeutics demands a solid understanding of the basic mechanics of the Notch network."

"Optical tweezers act as tiny tractor beams that can hold and manipulate microscopic beads coated with specific molecules," said Botvinick, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and surgery affiliated with the Beckman Laser Institute and The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology at UCI. "When cells bind to and pull on the beads, researchers can measure cell-generated forces that are billions of times smaller than the weight of one teaspoon of sugar."

Using this technology, the UCI-UCLA team found that communication via the Notch network involves a sort of tug-of-war between neighboring cells in which Notch molecules are unraveled by force to reveal hidden elements important for cell-to-cell communication.

Together with biochemical and biological cell analyses, their findings provide compelling evidence that pulling on Notch opens a network to deliver instructions for specific cellular responses.

The research sheds new light on the role of cells' neighbors in the development and regulation of tissue and advances efforts to create new therapeutics.

Bhupinder Shergill of UCI and Laurence Meloty-Kapella, Abdiwahab Musse and Jane Kuon of UCLA contributed to the studies.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Bhupinder Shergill, Laurence Meloty-Kapella, AbdiwahabA. Musse, Gerry Weinmaster, Elliot Botvinick. Optical Tweezers Studies on Notch: Single-Molecule Interaction Strength Is Independent of Ligand Endocytosis. Developmental Cell, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.04.007

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Optical tweezers help researchers uncover key mechanics in cellular communication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120601135904.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2012, June 1). Optical tweezers help researchers uncover key mechanics in cellular communication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120601135904.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Optical tweezers help researchers uncover key mechanics in cellular communication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120601135904.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) 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:

More Coverage


How Cells Communicate to Activate Notch Signaling

May 31, 2012 Researchers have shown for the first time that the mechanical force produced by cell-cell interactions is critical for programming by the Notch signaling ... read more
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