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Biology of the Cell

Caroline Demangel, Stephen High
Infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans results in a necrotising skin disease known as a Buruli ulcer, the pathology of which is directly linked to the bacterial production of the toxin mycolactone. Recent studies have identified the protein translocation machinery of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane as the primary cellular target of mycolactone, and shown that the toxin binds to the core subunit of the Sec61 complex. Mycolactone binding strongly inhibits the capacity of the Sec61 translocon to transport newly synthesised membrane and secretory proteins into and across the ER membrane...
July 28, 2018: Biology of the Cell
Morgan Gallazzini, Nicolas Pallet
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects millions of persons worldwide and constitutes a major public health problem. Therefore, understanding the molecular basis of CKD is a key challenge for the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies. A major contributor to chronic histological damage associated with CKD is acute kidney injury (AKI). At the cellular level, kidney injuries are associated with microenvironmental alterations, forcing cells to activate adaptive biological processes that eliminate the stressor and generate alarm signals...
July 10, 2018: Biology of the Cell
Timothy J Bergmann, Maurizio Molinari
Study of the unfolded protein responses (UPR) is mainly addressed by challenging eukaryotic cells with chemical compounds that impair calcium, redox or glycan homeostasis. These dramatically alter the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) environment and function, but also trigger pleiotropic effects that may result in multi-organellar failure and cell death. Recent works showed that UPR induced by the accumulation of unfolded polypeptides in the ER lumen drastically differs from chemically induced UPR. Unfolded proteins are tolerated by cells, which activate a finely tuned UPR without entering apoptotic programs...
July 6, 2018: Biology of the Cell
Elmina Mammadova-Bach, Tristan Rupp, Caroline Spenlé, Ivo Jivkov, Pattabhiraman Shankaranarayanan, Annick Klein, Laura Pisarsky, Agnès Méchine-Neuville, Gérard Cremel, Michèle Kedinger, Olivier De Wever, Noona Ambartsumian, Sylvie Robine, Erwan Pencreach, Dominique Guenot, Patricia Simon-Assmann, Jacky G Goetz, Gertraud Orend, Olivier Lefebvre
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Tumor stroma remodeling is a key feature of malignant tumors and can promote cancer progression. Laminins are major constituents of basement membranes that physically separate the epithelium from the underlying stroma. RESULTS: By employing mouse models expressing high and low levels of the laminin α1 chain (LMα1), we highlighted its implication in a tumor-stroma crosstalk, thus leading to increased colon tumor incidence, angiogenesis and tumor growth...
June 15, 2018: Biology of the Cell
Qing Wang, Hsin-Sheng Yang
Programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4), a tumour suppressor, is frequently down-regulated in various types of cancer. Pdcd4 has been demonstrated to efficiently suppress tumour promotion, progression and proliferation. The biochemical function of Pdcd4 is a protein translation inhibitor. Although the fact that Pdcd4 inhibits protein translation has been known for more than a decade, the mechanism by which Pdcd4 controls tumorigenesis through translational regulation of its target genes is still not fully understood...
May 28, 2018: Biology of the Cell
Julie Di Martino, Patrice Mascalchi, Philippe Legros, Sabrina Lacomme, Etienne Gontier, Paulette Bioulac-Sage, Charles Balabaud, Violaine Moreau, Frédéric Saltel
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) possess fenestrae, open transcellular pores with an average diameter of 100 nm. These fenestrae allow for the exchange between blood and hepatocytes. Alterations in their number or diameter in liver diseases have important implications for hepatic microcirculation and function. Although decades of studies, fenestrae are still observed into fixed cells and we have poor knowledge of their dynamics. RESULTS: Using stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution microscopy, we have established a faster and simplest method to observe and quantify fenestrae...
July 2018: Biology of the Cell
Maria Francesca Armentano, Marianna Caterino, Rocchina Miglionico, Angela Ostuni, Maria Carmela Pace, Flora Cozzolino, Maria Monti, Luigi Milella, Monica Carmosino, Piero Pucci, Faustino Bisaccia
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Up-regulated Gene clone 7 (URG7) is an ER resident protein, whose expression is up-regulated in the presence of hepatitis B virus X antigen (HBxAg) during HBV infection. In virus-infected hepatocytes, URG7 shows an anti-apoptotic activity due to the PI3K/AKT signalling activation, does not seem to have tumorigenic properties, but it appears to promote the development and progression of fibrosis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying URG7 activity remain largely unknown...
July 2018: Biology of the Cell
Girisaran Gangatharan, Sylvie Schneider-Maunoury, Marie Anne Breau
Neuronal circuits, the functional building blocks of the nervous system, assemble during development through a series of dynamic processes including the migration of neurons to their final position, the growth and navigation of axons and their synaptic connection with target cells. While the role of chemical cues in guiding neuronal migration and axonal development has been extensively analysed, the contribution of mechanical inputs, such as forces and stiffness, has received far less attention. In this article, we review the in vitro and more recent in vivo studies supporting the notion that mechanical signals are critical for multiple aspects of neuronal circuit assembly, from the emergence of axons to the formation of functional synapses...
June 2018: Biology of the Cell
Patrick von Morgen, Tomas Lidak, Zuzana Horejsi, Libor Macurek
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Repair of damaged DNA is essential for maintaining genomic stability. TP53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) plays an important role in repair of the DNA double-strand breaks. Nuclear localisation of 53BP1 depends on importin β and nucleoporin 153, but the type and location of 53BP1 nuclear localisation signal (NLS) have yet to be determined. RESULTS: Here, we show that nuclear import of 53BP1 depends on two basic regions, namely 1667-KRK-1669 and 1681-KRGRK-1685, which are both needed for importin binding...
June 2018: Biology of the Cell
Silvia Ravera, Maria Grazia Signorello, Martina Bartolucci, Sara Ferrando, Lucia Manni, Federico Caicci, Daniela Calzia, Isabella Panfoli, Alessandro Morelli, Giuliana Leoncini
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Energy demand in human platelets is very high, to carry out their functions. As for most human cells, the aerobic metabolism represents the primary energy source in platelets, even though mitochondria are negligibly represented. Following the hypothesis that other structures could be involved in chemical energy production, in this work, we have investigated the functional expression of an extramitochondrial aerobic metabolism in platelets. RESULTS: Oximetric and luminometric analyses showed that platelets consume large amounts of oxygen and produce ATP in the presence of common respiring substrates, such as pyruvate + malate or succinate, although morphological electron microscopy analysis showed that these contain few mitochondria...
May 2018: Biology of the Cell
Makoto Nakashima, Mariko Watanabe, Kaoru Uchimaru, Ryouichi Horie
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: CD30, which is characteristically expressed in classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), is thought to transduce signals by ligation of trimerised CD30 ligand (CD30L) on the surface of surrounding cells and recruitment of downstream molecules. In this report, we propose a new mechanism for CD30 signalling by its ligand. We prepared two stable transformants, CHO cells expressing CD30L fused to mCherry and HeLa cells expressing CD30 fused to GFP. RESULTS: Co-culture of these cells triggered clustering of CD30 and CD30L at the cellular interface, formation of multiple CD30L-CD30 complexes, internalisation of these complexes with a portion of the plasma membrane into the HeLa cells, and intracellular transport to the lysosomal compartment...
May 2018: Biology of the Cell
Benoit Vianay, Fabrice Senger, Simon Alamos, Maya Anjur-Dietrich, Elizabeth Bearce, Bevan Cheeseman, Lisa Lee, Manuel Théry
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Tissue morphogenesis results from the interplay between cell growth and mechanical forces. While the impact of geometrical confinement and mechanical forces on cell proliferation has been fairly well characterised, the inverse relationship is much less understood. Here, we investigated how traction forces vary during cell cycle progression. RESULTS: Cell shape was constrained on micropatterned substrates in order to distinguish variations in cell contractility from cell size increase...
April 2018: Biology of the Cell
Elisabeth E Charrier, Lorraine Montel, Atef Asnacios, Florence Delort, Patrick Vicart, François Gallet, Sabrina Batonnet-Pichon, Sylvie Hénon
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The mechanical properties of cells are essential to maintain their proper functions, and mainly rely on their cytoskeleton. A lot of attention has been paid to actin filaments, demonstrating their central role in the cells mechanical properties, but much less is known about the participation of intermediate filament (IF) networks. Indeed the contribution of IFs, such as vimentin, keratins and lamins, to cell mechanics has only been assessed recently. We study here the involvement of desmin, an IF specifically expressed in muscle cells, in the rheology of immature muscle cells...
April 2018: Biology of the Cell
Shailaja Seetharaman, Sandrine Etienne-Manneville
Cells sense and respond to the biochemical and physical properties of the extracellular matrix (ECM) through adhesive structures that bridge the cell cytoskeleton and the surrounding environment. Integrin-mediated adhesions interact with specific ECM proteins and sense the rigidity of the substrate to trigger signalling pathways that, in turn, regulate cellular processes such as adhesion, motility, proliferation and differentiation. This process, called mechanotransduction, influenced by the involvement of different integrin subtypes and their high ECM-ligand binding specificity, contributes to the cell-type-specific mechanical responses...
March 2018: Biology of the Cell
Si Ming Pang, Shimin Le, Jie Yan
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Titin is one of the three main filaments in cardiac sarcomere. Besides a chain of Ig domains, cardiac titin also contains a proline (P), glutamate (E), valine (V), lysine (K) (PEVK) domain and a cardiac-specific N2B domain, both are largely unstructured. While they are believed to be involved in the elastic (PEVK and N2B) and the trophic (N2B) functions of the heart, their mechanical responses in physiological level of forces remains poorly understood. RESULTS: In order to gain understanding on their mechanical responses, we used magnetic tweezers to investigate their force responses from 1 to 30 pN...
March 2018: Biology of the Cell
George Kefalas, Louise Larose
In humans, the pathogenesis of diabetes is characterised by two major pancreatic β cell defects: a reduction in β cell mass and the failure of β cells to produce enough insulin. Over the past two decades, multiple studies involving cell cultures, animal models and human subjects have established the importance of the protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) in the adaptive functional capacity of pancreatic β cells during embryonic development and into adulthood. In this review, we will highlight major findings identifying PERK as a crucial player in β cell physiology and in diabetes...
February 2018: Biology of the Cell
Laetitia Vincensini, Thierry Blisnick, Eloïse Bertiaux, Sebastian Hutchinson, Christina Georgikou, Cher-Pheng Ooi, Philippe Bastin
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Eukaryotic cilia and flagella are sophisticated organelles composed of several hundreds of proteins that need to be incorporated at the right time and the right place during assembly. RESULTS: Two methods were used to investigate this process in the model protist Trypanosoma brucei: inducible expression of epitope-tagged labelled proteins and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching of fluorescent fusion proteins. This revealed that skeletal components of the radial spokes (RSP3), the central pair (PF16) and the outer dynein arms (DNAI1) are incorporated at the distal end of the growing flagellum...
February 2018: Biology of the Cell
Justin Joachim, Sharon A Tooze
Within minutes of induction of autophagy by amino-acid starvation in mammalian cells, multiple autophagosomes form throughout the cell cytoplasm. During their formation, the autophagosomes sequester cytoplasmic material and deliver it to lysosomes for degradation. How these organelles can be so rapidly formed and how their formation is acutely regulated are major questions in the autophagy field. Protein and lipid trafficking from diverse cell compartments contribute membrane to, or regulate the formation of the autophagosome...
January 2018: Biology of the Cell
Laura K Hamilton, Karl J L Fernandes
Neural stem cell (NSC) activity and adult neurogenesis are physiologically relevant regulators of adult brain structure, function and repair. Given these roles, the NSC impairments observed in a wide range of neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions likely factor into the overall cognitive dysfunction in these conditions. We investigated NSC regulation in the context of Alzheimer's disease (AD) using the well-characterised triple transgenic (3xTg) model of AD. In this review, we describe our recent findings that link 3xTg-AD neurogenesis impairments to AD-associated abnormalities in brain fatty acid metabolism...
January 2018: Biology of the Cell
Beata Kaczmarek, Jean-Marc Verbavatz, Catherine L Jackson
The ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) small G proteins act as molecular switches to coordinate multiple downstream pathways that regulate membrane dynamics. Their activation is spatially and temporally controlled by the guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Members of the evolutionarily conserved GBF/Gea family of Arf GEFs are well known for their roles in formation of coat protein complex I (COPI) vesicles, essential for maintaining the structure and function of the Golgi apparatus. However, studies over the past 10 years have found new functions for these GEFs, along with their substrate Arf1, in lipid droplet metabolism, clathrin-independent endocytosis, signalling at the plasma membrane, mitochondrial dynamics and transport along microtubules...
December 2017: Biology of the Cell
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