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 July 26, 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 July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
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