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Biology of the Cell

Anne Blangy
Tensins are focal adhesion molecules that were identified and characterized in the late 1980's - early 1990's. They play an essential role in the control of cell adhesion. Tensins can bind the tail of ß integrin via their Phospho Tyrosine Binding (PTB) domain, they exhibit various protein interaction domains including a Src Homology 2 (SH2) domain and they are serine-, threonine- and tyrosine-phosphorylated in response to various stimuli. Tensins serve as scaffolds to gather signaling molecules at the extracellular matrix adhesion complexes...
October 17, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Igor Orlov, Alexander G Myasnikov, Leonid Andronov, S Kundhavai Natchiar, Heena Khatter, Brice Beinsteiner, Jean-François Ménétret, Isabelle Hazemann, Kareem Mohideen, Karima Tazibt, Rachel Tabaroni, Hanna Kratzat, Nadia Djabeur, Tatiana Bruxelles, Finaritra Raivoniaina, Lorenza di Pompeo, Morgan Torchy, Isabelle Billas, Alexandre Urzhumtsev, Bruno P Klaholz
After gradually moving away from preparation methods prone to artefacts such as plastic embedding and negative staining for cell sections and single particles, the field of cryo electron microscopy is now heading off at unprecedented speed towards high-resolution analysis of biological objects of various sizes. This "revolution in resolution" is happening largely thanks to new developments of new-generation cameras used for recording the images in the cryo electron microscope which have much increased sensitivity being based on CMOS devices...
October 12, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Axel A Ekman, Jian-Hua Chen, Jessica Guo, Gerry McDermott, Mark A Le Gros, Carolyn A Larabell
In the context of cell biology, the term mesoscale describes length scales ranging from that of an individual cell, down to the size of the molecular machines. In this spatial regime, small building blocks self-organize to form large, functional structures. A comprehensive set of rules governing mesoscale self-organization hasn't been established, making the prediction of many cell behaviors difficult, if not impossible. Our knowledge of mesoscale biology comes from experimental data, in particular, imaging...
September 30, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Heidi Gytz, Mariann F Hansen, Signe Skovbjerg, Anders C M Kristensen, Sofie Hørlyck, Mette B Jensen, Marlene Fredborg, Lotte D Markert, Nigel A McMillan, Erik I Christensen, Pia M Martensen
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Interferons are a family of cytokines with growth inhibitory and antiviral functions, which exert their biological actions through the expression of Interferon Stimulated Genes, ISGs. The human ISG12 family of proteins comprises ISG12A, ISG12B, ISG12C and ISG6-16. Due to differential splicing and a gene variation, the human ISG12A protein exists as a full-length ISG12A form and three ISG12A variants. ISG12 has been found transcriptionally dysregulated in many disorders...
September 27, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Viola Vaňková Hausnerová, Christian Lanctôt
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The levels of chromatin condensation usually correlate inversely with the levels of transcription. The mechanistic links between chromatin condensation and RNA polymerase II activity remain to be elucidated. In the present work, we sought to experimentally determine whether manipulation of chromatin condensation levels can have a direct effect on transcriptional activity. RESULTS: We generated a U-2-OS cell line in which the nascent transcription of a reporter gene could be imaged alongside chromatin compaction levels in living cells...
September 16, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Andrey Bolbat, Carsten Schultz
Optical sensors are powerful tools for live cell research as they permit to follow the location, concentration changes or activities of key cellular players such as lipids, ions and enzymes. Most of the current sensor probes are based on fluorescence which provides great spatial and temporal precision provided that high-end microscopy is used and that the timescale of the event of interest fits the response time of the sensor. Many of the sensors developed in the past 20 years are genetically encoded. There is a diversity of designs leading to simple or sometimes complicated applications for the use in live cells...
September 15, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Chih-Wei Zeng, Yasuhiro Kamei, Chih-Tien Wang, Huai-Jen Tsai
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Neuron stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) of zebrafish central nervous system (CNS) are known to thrive during oxygen recovery after hypoxia, but not all cell types have been fully characterised due to their heterogeneities. In addition, an in vivo model system is not available that can help us to identify what type-specific cell populations that are involved in neural regeneration and to track their cell fate after regeneration. To solve these issues, we employed a zebrafish transgenic line, huORFZ, which harbours an inhibitory upstream open reading frame of human chop mRNA fused downstream with GFP reporter and driven by cytomegalovirus promoter...
December 2016: Biology of the Cell
Andrzej Kowalski, Jan Pałyga
In this review, the structural aspects of linker H1 histones are presented as a background for characterization of the factors influencing their function in animal and human chromatin. The action of H1 histone variants is largely determined by dynamic alterations of their intrinsically disordered tail domains, posttranslational modifications and allelic diversification. The interdependent effects of these factors can establish dynamic histone H1 states that may affect the organization and function of chromatin regions...
December 2016: Biology of the Cell
Georg Wolff, Christoph Hagen, Kay Grünewald, Rainer Kaufmann
Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) has become a powerful tool in life sciences. Particularly cryo-CLEM, the combination of fluorescence cryo-microscopy (cryo-FM) permitting for non-invasive specific multi-colour labelling, with electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) providing the undisturbed structural context at a resolution down to the Ångstrom range, has enabled a broad range of new biological applications. Imaging rare structures or events in crowded environments, such as inside a cell, requires specific fluorescence-based information for guiding cryo-EM data acquisition and/or to verify the identity of the structure of interest...
September 2016: Biology of the Cell
Anna Horváth, Anna Rácz-Mónus, Peter Buchwald, Ákos Sveiczer
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Because cylindrically shaped fission yeast cells grow exclusively at their tips, cell volume is proportional to length and can be easily monitored by time-lapse microscopy. Here, we analysed the growth pattern of individual cells from several fission yeast strains to determine the growth function that describes them most adequately and to perform size control studies. RESULTS: The growth pattern of most cells during their growth period is best described by a bilinear function (i...
September 2016: Biology of the Cell
Eva Klumpen, Nadine Hoffschröer, Bettina Zeis, Ulrike Gigengack, Elias Dohmen, Rüdiger J Paul
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Heat stress in ectotherms involves direct effects (e.g., protein damage) and indirect effects due to temperature-induced hypoxia and ROS formation. The transcription factor (TF) HSF-1 is activated by protein damage, and the TF HIF-1 is activated by hypoxia and/or ROS. The present study focused on the links between stress (ROS) signals, nuclear (n) HIF-1α and HSF-1 levels, and gene expression for hemoglobin (Hb), HIF-1α, HSF-1, and HSP90 mRNA and/or protein by carrying out time-resolved measurements upon acute heat and ROS (H2 O2 ) stress...
August 12, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Kyoungtae Kim
The trans-Golgi network (TGN) is a major sorting, packing and delivering station of newly synthesised proteins and lipids to their final destination. These cargo molecules follow the secretory pathway, which is a vital part of cellular trafficking machinery in all eukaryotic cells. This secretory pathway is well conserved in all eukaryotes from low-level eukaryotes, such as yeast, to higher level eukaryotes like mammals. The molecular mechanisms of protein sorting by adaptor proteins, membrane elongation and transport to the final destinations by motor proteins and the cytoskeleton, and membrane pinching-off by scission proteins must be choreographically managed for efficient cargo delivery, and the understanding of these detailed processes is not yet completed...
August 2016: Biology of the Cell
Adriana Georgescu, Nicoleta Alexandru, Eugen Andrei, Emanuel Dragan, Daniel Cochior, Sérgio Dias
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease, in which risk factors such as hyperlipidemia and hypertension affect the arterial endothelium, resulting in dysfunction, cell damage or both. The number of circulating endothelial progenitor cells and microparticles provides invaluable outcome prediction for atherosclerosis disease. However, evidence for the therapeutic potential of endothelial progenitor cells and microparticles in atherosclerosis development is limited...
August 2016: Biology of the Cell
Benjamin Titze, Christel Genoud
Electron microscopy (EM) has been a key imaging method to investigate biological ultrastructure for over six decades. In recent years, novel volume EM techniques have significantly advanced nanometre-scale imaging of cells and tissues in three dimensions. Previously, this had depended on the slow and error-prone manual tasks of cutting and handling large numbers of sections, and imaging them one-by-one with transmission EM (TEM). Now, automated volume imaging methods mostly based on scanning EM (SEM) allow faster and more reliable acquisition of serial images through tissue volumes and achieve higher z-resolution...
July 18, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Kun Liu, Hitoshi Tsujimoto, Yuzheng Huang, Jason L Rasgon, Peter Agre
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Anopheles gambiae is the major mosquito vector for Plasmodium falciparum malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, where it survives in stressful climates. Aquaporin water channels are expressed in all life forms where they provide environmental adaptation by conferring rapid trans-cellular movement of water (classical aquaporins) or water plus glycerol (aquaglyceroporins). Here, we report an aquaglyceroporin homolog in A. gambiae, AgAQP3. RESULTS: Despite atypical pore-lining amino acids, AgAQP3 is permeated by water, glycerol, and urea, and is not significantly inhibited by 1mM HgCl2 ...
July 13, 2016: Biology of the Cell
Will P Walker, Abby Oehler, Aimee L Edinger, Kay-Uwe Wagner, Teresa M Gunn
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Vacuolation of the central nervous system (CNS) is observed in patients with transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related encephalopathy and some inherited diseases, but the underlying cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Mice lacking the mahogunin ring finger-1 (MGRN1) E3 ubiquitin ligase develop progressive, widespread spongiform degeneration of the CNS. MGRN1 ubiquitinates and regulates TSG101, a central component of the endosomal trafficking machinery...
July 13, 2016: Biology of the Cell
François Hermetet, Elise Jacquin, Sophie Launay, Emilie Gaiffe, Mélanie Couturier, Fabienne Hirchaud, Patrick Sandoz, Jean-Luc Prétet, Christiane Mougin
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Efficient clearance of apoptotic cells, named efferocytosis, is a fundamental physiological process for tissue development and homeostasis. The contribution of non-professional phagocytes like fibroblasts to efferocytosis has been established, although the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We recently demonstrated that horizontal DNA transfer can occur through the uptake of apoptotic human papillomavirus-positive cancer cells by human primary fibroblasts leading to their transformation...
July 2016: Biology of the Cell
Raquel L Bernardino, Ana R Costa, Ana D Martins, Joaquina Silva, Alberto Barros, Mário Sousa, Rosália Sá, Marco G Alves, Pedro F Oliveira
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Infertile men often present deregulation of serum estrogen levels. Notably, high levels of estradiol (E2) are associated with low sperm production and quality. Sertoli cells (SCs) are responsible for spermatogenesis maintenance and are major targets for the hormonal signalling that regulates this complex process. RESULTS: In this study, we used primary cultures of human SCs and studied the localisation, expression and functionality of the Na(+) -dependent HCO3 (-) transporters by confocal microscopy, immunoblot, epifluorescence and voltage clamp after 24 h of exposure to E2 (100 nM)...
July 2016: Biology of the Cell
Danielle Monniaux, Philippe Michel, Marie Postel, Frédérique Clément
In this review, we present multi-scale mathematical models of ovarian follicular development that are based on the embedding of physiological mechanisms into the cell scale. During basal follicular development, follicular growth operates through an increase in the oocyte size concomitant with the proliferation of its surrounding granulosa cells. We have developed a spatio-temporal model of follicular morphogenesis explaining how the interactions between the oocyte and granulosa cells need to be properly balanced to shape the follicle...
June 2016: Biology of the Cell
Gerarda Grossi, Annalisa Grimaldi, Rosa A Cardone, Magnus Monné, Stephan J Reshkin, Rossana Girardello, Maria R Greco, Elena Coviello, Simona Laurino, Patrizia Falabella
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: While enolase is a ubiquitous metalloenzyme involved in the glycolytic pathway, it is also known as a multifunctional protein, since enolases anchored on the outer surface of the plasma membrane are involved in tissue invasion. RESULTS: We have identified an extracellular enolase (Ae-ENO) produced by the teratocytes, embryonic cells of the insect parasitoid Aphidius ervi. We demonstrate that Ae-ENO, although lacking a signal peptide, accumulates in cytoplasmic vesicles oriented towards the cell membrane...
June 2016: Biology of the Cell
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