Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Negative feedback makes cells 'sensitive'

Date:
January 8, 2014
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
New research has shown that negative feedback loops in cell signalling systems can be essential for a cell's ability to perceive the strength of a growth stimulus.

New research has shown that negative feedback loops in cell signalling systems can be essential for a cell's ability to perceive the strength of a growth stimulus. Cells lacking the feedback loop became insensitive to the level of the stimulus in a manner similar to a cancerous cell displaying unrestrained growth.

Living cells need to sense changes in their environment reliably in order to make appropriate decisions. The biomolecular machinery they use to perform these tasks is surprisingly noisy. Combining automated cell imaging and mathematical analysis, the team from the University of Bristol explored what happens when the signalling system in the cell has a background level of activation even when no stimulus is present, similar to a light bulb that glows even when its switch is off.

The collaborative study, carried out by the groups of Dr Clive Bowsher in the School of Mathematics and Professor Craig McArdle in the School of Clinical Sciences, is published online this week in PNAS.

Using information theory and statistics to analyse the data from images of hundreds of thousands of individual cells, the team showed that mutant cells lacking the negative feedback loop could not detect the level of growth factor.

"Breaking the feedback loop resulted in a dramatic and surprising reduction in the information the cell has about its environment," said Dr Margaritis Voliotis in the School of Mathematics and MRC Fellow on the team.

Dr Bowsher, who led the study, explained: "We realized that basal activity can be high enough in kinase signalling to create a dichotomy: the networks with negative feedback continue to function as effective sensors while the mutant networks do not."

Basal activity of signalling pathways is often raised in disease, and the interplay between basal activity and negative feedback is known to be important in cancers like melanoma. The research is expected to improve understanding at the molecular level of how decisions are made by healthy cells and of how signalling goes wrong in diseased cells.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Margaritis Voliotis, Rebecca M. Perrett, Chris McWilliams, Craig A. McArdle, and Clive G. Bowsher. Information transfer by leaky, heterogeneous, protein kinase signaling systems. PNAS, January 2014

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Negative feedback makes cells 'sensitive'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108123725.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2014, January 8). Negative feedback makes cells 'sensitive'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108123725.htm
University of Bristol. "Negative feedback makes cells 'sensitive'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140108123725.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals 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
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) 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:
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