Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell movement explained by molecular recycling

Date:
February 28, 2013
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Scientists have identified the method by which cells control the recycling of molecules, a process that is essential for them to move. The discovery provides researchers with a better understanding of how our bodies heal wounds. 

Still image of a video showing fibroblast cells using integrins to migrate through tissue.
Credit: Dr. Mark Morgan, the University of Manchester

Scientists at The University of Manchester have identified the method by which cells control the recycling of molecules, a process that is essential for them to move. The discovery provides researchers with a better understanding of how our bodies heal wounds.

Working under Professor Martin Humphries, the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, Dr Mark Morgan and his team at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research studied the role of integrins. These molecules are able to grab hold of the fibres surrounding the cell, like hands, allowing the cell to drag its self along. However, there are several types of integrin on the cell surface and they all have different properties which affect how quickly the cell can move.

Once they have been used by the cell, integrins are moved from the surface to a store inside the cell. When the time is right they are recycled back to the cell surface where they can bind with the surrounding fibres once again.

What the team uncovered is the method by which cells dynamically control the type of integrins that are recycled. They found that another molecule on the surface of the cell, called syndecan-4, is able to detect and interpret subtle changes in the cell's surroundings to decide how it should respond. By regulating where and when the different integrins are delivered to the cell surface, syndecan-4 precisely regulates cell movement and exploration.

Dr Morgan says: "Syndecan-4 plays a critical role in regulating wound healing, so ultimately, we hope that this work will inform the development of novel therapeutic strategies to improve wound healing."

Most cells in the body are able to crawl through the dense network of fibres that surround them. This migration process is essential for repairing wounds, tracking down infection and maintaining tissue function.

In order for a cell to move efficiently, it needs to precisely control which integrins are able to bind to the fibres. At certain times and places they need to bind strongly, whereas at other points they need to bind more weakly, and only when these processes are regulated appropriately can a cell migrate properly.

By studying the movement of fibroblast cells using sophisticated imaging techniques, Dr Morgan and the team identified the role of Syndecan-4. They found that it decodes the vast array of signals outside the cell and functions as a molecular switch to dictate whether the strong or weak binding integrins are recycled.

Dr Morgan explains: "When we changed the way Syndecan-4 senses the environment outside the cell, we were able to alter the way that it transmits signals into the cell and control integrin recycling. By manipulating the molecules in this way we found that we could either force the cells to move in a fast forward motion or stop altogether."

Their findings have been published in the journal Developmental Cell.

The next step will be to investigate how Syndecan-4 can be manipulated to control cell movement with a view to developing novel therapeutic strategies to improve wound healing. It will also be important to test whether this mechanism is involved in tumour progression and metastasis as disruptions in cell movement are often seen in cancer, as well as in vascular disorders and chronic inflammatory disease.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark R. Morgan, Hellyeh Hamidi, Mark D. Bass, Stacey Warwood, Christoph Ballestrem, Martin J. Humphries. Syndecan-4 Phosphorylation Is a Control Point for Integrin Recycling. Developmental Cell, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.027

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Cell movement explained by molecular recycling." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124045.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2013, February 28). Cell movement explained by molecular recycling. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124045.htm
University of Manchester. "Cell movement explained by molecular recycling." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228124045.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) — Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) — The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

Uganda on Alert for Ebola but No Confirmed Cases

AFP (July 31, 2014) — Uganda's health minister said on Thursday that there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in the country, but that it remained on alert for cases of the deadly virus. Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012. Duration: 00:59 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