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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 immunoglobulin (Ig) domains, cardiac titin also contains a 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 - 30 pN...
December 11, 2017: Biology of the Cell
George Kefalas, Louise Larose
In humans, the pathogenesis of diabetes is characterized 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...
November 23, 2017: 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 (FRAP) 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...
November 16, 2017: 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...
October 9, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Beata Kaczmarek, Jean-Marc Verbavatz, Catherine L Jackson
The 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 ten years have found new functions for these GEFs, along with their substrate Arf1, in lipid droplet metabolism, clathrin-independent endocytosis, signaling at the plasma membrane, mitochondrial dynamics and transport along microtubules...
October 6, 2017: 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...
October 5, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Patrick C Hoffmann, Wanda Kukulski
Membrane contact sites (MCS) are platforms of physical contact between different organelles. They are formed through interactions involving lipids and proteins, and function in processes such as calcium and lipid exchange, metabolism and organelle biogenesis. In this article, we discuss emerging questions regarding the architecture, organisation and assembly of MCS, such as: What is the contribution of different components to the interaction between organelles? How is the specific composition of different types of membrane contacts sites established and maintained? How are proteins and lipids spatially organised at MCS and how does that influence their function? How dynamic are MCS on the molecular and ultrastructural level? We highlight current state of research and point out experimental approaches that promise to contribute to a spatiomechanistic understanding of MCS functions...
September 28, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Stéphane Gasman, Nicolas Vitale
Neuroendocrine cells secrete hormones and polypeptides through a complex membrane trafficking process that involves the transport of specific organelles, called large dense core secretory granules, from the Golgi apparatus to specialised sites at the plasma membrane where these vesicles are successively exocytosed and recaptured by endocytosis through tightly coupled reactions. The minimal machinery required for exocytosis has been defined as SNARE proteins associated with few accessory proteins. On the other side, clathrin and dynamin constitute major components of some of the most important endocytotic pathways...
September 27, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Florence Niedergang, Stéphane Gasman, Nicolas Vitale, Claire Desnos, Christophe Lamaze
Twenty years ago, a group of French cell biologists merged two scientific clubs with the aim of bringing together researchers in the fields of Endocytosis and Exocytosis. Founded in 1997, the first annual meeting of the Exocytosis Club was held in 1998. The Endocytosis Club held quarterly meetings from its founding in 1999. The first joint annual meeting of the Exocytosis-Endocytosis Club took place in Paris in April, 2001. What started as a modest gathering of enthusiastic scientists working in the field of cell trafficking has gone from strength to strength, rapidly becoming an unmissable yearly meeting, vividly demonstrating the high quality of science performed in our community and beyond...
September 2017: Biology of the Cell
Jean-Léon Maître
During pre-implantation development, the mammalian zygote transforms into the blastocyst, the structure that will implant the embryo in the maternal uterus. Consisting of a squamous epithelium enveloping a fluid-filled cavity and the inner cell mass, the blastocyst is sculpted by a succession of morphogenetic events. These deformations result from the changes in the forces and mechanical properties of the tissue composing the embryo. Here, I review the recent studies, which, for the first time, informed us on the mechanics of blastocyst morphogenesis...
September 2017: Biology of the Cell
Inmaculada Ayala, Antonino Colanzi
The Golgi apparatus plays essential roles in the processing and sorting of proteins and lipids, but it can also act as a signalling hub and a microtubule-nucleation centre. The Golgi complex (GC) of mammalian cells is composed of stacks connected by tubular bridges to form a continuous membranous system. In spite of this structural complexity, the GC is highly dynamic, and this feature becomes particularly evident during mitosis, when the GC undergoes a multi-step disassembly process that allows its correct partitioning and inheritance by daughter cells...
August 10, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Julia P Steringer, Walter Nickel
Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 (FGF2) is a potent cell survival factor involved in tumour-induced angiogenesis. FGF2 is secreted from cells through an unconventional secretory mechanism based upon direct translocation across the plasma membrane. The molecular mechanism underlying this process depends on a surprisingly small set of trans-acting factors that are physically associated with the plasma membrane. FGF2 membrane translocation is mediated by the ability of FGF2 to oligomerise and to insert into the plasma membrane in a PI(4,5)P2 -dependent manner...
August 10, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Gholamreza Fazeli, Ann Marie Wehman
Phagocytosis and autophagy are two distinct pathways that degrade external and internal unwanted particles. Both pathways lead to lysosomal degradation inside the cell, and over the last decade, the line between them has blurred; autophagy proteins were discovered on phagosomes engulfing foreign bacteria, leading to the proposal of LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). Many proteins involved in macroautophagy are used for phagosome degradation, although Atg8/LC3 family proteins only decorate the outer membrane of LC3-associated phagosomes, in contrast to both autophagosome membranes...
July 28, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Jessica L Snyder, Elena McBeath, Tamlyn N Thomas, Yi Jen Chiu, Robert L Clark, Keigi Fujiwara
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) are a well-known cell system used in the study of mechanobiology. Using cultured ECs, we found that platelet EC adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1, CD31), a cell adhesion protein localised to regions of EC-EC contact, was rapidly tyrosine phosphorylated in ECs exposed to shear or cyclic stretch. Src-homology 2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2) binds phosphorylated PECAM-1 and activates the extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) signalling cascade, a known flow-activated signalling pathway...
June 23, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Gemma Dulsat, Sonia Palomeras, Eric Cortada, Helena Riuró, Ramon Brugada, Marcel Vergés
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Cardiac channelopathies arise by mutations in genes encoding ion channel subunits. One example is Brugada Syndrome (BrS), which causes arrhythmias and sudden death. BrS is often associated with mutations in SCN5A, encoding Nav 1.5, the α subunit of the major cardiac voltage-gated sodium channel. This channel forms a protein complex including one or two associated β subunits as well as other proteins. RESULTS: We analyzed regulation of Nav 1...
June 9, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Christelle Angely, Ngoc-Minh Nguyen, Sofia Andre Dias, Emmanuelle Planus, Gabriel Pelle, Bruno Louis, Marcel Filoche, Alexandre Chenal, Daniel Ladant, Daniel Isabey
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The adenylate cyclase (CyaA) toxin is a major virulent factor of Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough. CyaA toxin is able to invade eukaryotic cells where it produces high levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) affecting cellular physiology. Whether CyaA toxin can modulate cell matrix adhesion and mechanics of infected cells remains largely unknown. RESULTS: In this study, we use a recently proposed multiple bond force spectroscopy (MFS) with an atomic force microscope to assess the early phase of cell adhesion (maximal detachment and local rupture forces) and cell rigidity (Young's modulus) in alveolar epithelial cells (A549) for toxin exposure <1 h...
June 9, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Ivone de Andrade Rosa, Marjolly Brigido Caruso, Eidy de Oliveira Santos, Luiz Gonzaga, Russolina Benedeta Zingali, Ana Tereza R de Vasconcelos, Wanderley de Souza, Marlene Benchimol
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The costa is a prominent striated fibre that is found in protozoa of the Trichomonadidae family that present an undulating membrane. It is composed primarily of proteins that have not yet been explored. In this study, we used cell fractionation to obtain a highly enriched costa fraction whose structure and composition was further analysed by electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Electron microscopy of negatively stained samples revealed that the costa, which is a periodic structure with alternating electron-dense and electron-lucent bands, displays three distinct regions, named the head, neck and body...
June 2017: Biology of the Cell
Caroline Arous, Bernhard Wehrle-Haller
Understanding the organisation and role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in islets of Langerhans is critical for maintaining pancreatic β-cells, and to recognise and revert the physiopathology of diabetes. Indeed, integrin-mediated adhesion signalling in response to the pancreatic ECM plays crucial roles in β-cell survival and insulin secretion, two major functions, which are affected in diabetes. Here, we would like to present an update on the major components of the pancreatic ECM, their role during integrin-mediated cell-matrix adhesions and how they are affected during diabetes...
June 2017: Biology of the Cell
Ngoc-Minh Nguyen, Christelle Angely, Sofia Andre Dias, Emmanuelle Planus, Marcel Filoche, Gabriel Pelle, Bruno Louis, Daniel Isabey
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Integrin-mediated adhesion is a key process by which cells physically connect with their environment, and express sensitivity and adaptation through mechanotransduction. A critical step of cell adhesion is the formation of the first bonds which individually generate weak contacts (∼tens pN) but can sustain thousand times higher forces (∼tens nN) when associated. RESULTS: We propose an experimental validation by multiple bond force spectroscopy (MFS) of a stochastic model predicting adhesion reinforcement permitted by non-cooperative, multiple bonds on which force is homogeneously distributed (called parallel bond configuration)...
May 24, 2017: Biology of the Cell
Kathryn Stein, Chelsea Winters, Hui-Ling Chiang
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Exosomes are small vesicles secreted from virtually every cell from bacteria to humans. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a model system to study trafficking of small vesicles in response to changes in the environment. When yeast cells are grown in low glucose, vesicles carrying gluconeogenic enzymes are present as free vesicles and aggregated clusters in the cytoplasm. These vesicles are also secreted into the periplasm and account for more than 90% of total extracellular organelles, while less than 10% are larger 100-300 nm structures with unknown functions...
May 2017: Biology of the Cell
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