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Secrets of internal cell fine-tuning uncovered

Date:
July 29, 2014
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Scientists have shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated -- a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development. The team uncovered the mechanism whereby the physical properties of the internal structures within cells -- known as actin filaments -- are 'fine-tuned' to undertake different functions.

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated -- a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

A team from Kent's School of Biosciences uncovered the mechanism whereby the physical properties of the internal structures within cells -- known as actin filaments -- are 'fine-tuned' to undertake different functions.

While some of these actin filaments appear to completely stable, providing a framework for the cell, others are more dynamic, allowing the cell to respond rapidly to changes in its environment.

The researchers -- PhD students Matthew Johnson and Daniel East, who were led by Dr Daniel Mulvihill -- used yeast cells to mimic those in humans. They utilized a novel biology 'trick' to switch the location of molecules which bind to, and stabilise, the actin polymer and modulate the movement of molecular motors.

In this way, they uncovered the mechanism which determines the functional characteristics of actin filaments in all cells and orchestrates cellular activity. It is expected the breakthrough could have a major impact on the development of therapies for a variety of diseases, including cancer.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew Johnson, Daniel A. East, Daniel P. Mulvihill. Formins Determine the Functional Properties of Actin Filaments in Yeast. Current Biology, 2014; 24 (13): 1525 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.05.034

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Secrets of internal cell fine-tuning uncovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093114.htm>.
University of Kent. (2014, July 29). Secrets of internal cell fine-tuning uncovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093114.htm
University of Kent. "Secrets of internal cell fine-tuning uncovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093114.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

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