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Latest Cytoskeleton Stories

2010-06-29 03:20:03

There are major shifts underway in understanding the physiological mechanisms that control muscle contraction, a field that has been the focus of intense research for centuries. Last September, leading muscle researchers from around the world gathered to discuss new findings, insights, and current questions in the field as part of the 63rd Symposium of the Society of General Physiologists (SGP) on "Muscle in Health and Disease." Inspired by the SGP discussions, the latest Perspectives in...

2010-06-22 01:59:57

The APC protein serves as the colon's guardian, keeping tumors at bay. Now researchers reveal a new function for the protein: helping to renovate the cytoskeleton by triggering actin assembly. The result suggests a second way that mutations in APC could lead to cancer. The study appears online on June 21 in the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org). A faulty APC gene occurs in more than 80% of colon cancers and is one of the early "gateway" mutations leading to abnormal growth. Researchers...

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2010-04-26 14:22:53

Cancer cells need all three of their cytoskeletons"”actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments"”to metastasize, according to a study published online on April 26 in the Journal of Cell Biology. A cancer cell in an epithelial layer is trapped unless it can force through the basement membrane, which cordons off the tissue. Tumor cells start to dissolve the basement membrane with enzymes that build up within extensions called invadopodia. How the different components of the...

2010-04-15 13:54:03

Researchers from Universit© Laval's Faculty of Medicine and the CHUQ Research Center have proven that it is possible to repair the defective gene responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The team, led by Professor Jacques P. Tremblay, is presenting its new therapeutic approach in an article published today in the online version of the scientific journal Gene Therapy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a hereditary disease affecting one in 3,500 males. It causes progressive muscle...

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2010-04-05 09:40:27

The neurodegenerative disease spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 (SCA5) damages nerve cells in two ways. University of Minnesota researchers now report that the defective protein responsible for the disease cuts the number of synaptic terminals and snarls traffic inside neurons. The study appears in the April 5 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. SCA5 results from a faulty gene for {beta}-III"“spectrin. The disease targets the cerebellum's Purkinje cells, which control coordination....

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2010-03-16 14:06:51

Understanding the steps to the intricate dance inside a cell is essential to one day choreographing the show. By studying the molecules that give a cell its structure, University of Illinois researchers are moving closer to understanding one of those steps: the conga line. Led by Steve Granick, Founder Professor of Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, of chemistry,  of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and of physics at the U. of I., the team will publish...

2010-03-15 16:06:12

Novel method distinguishes between structurally similar folding forms Researchers at the Department of Chemistry at the Technische Universität Mnchen (TUM) have developed a method that allows the observation of local movements in proteins on a time scale of nanoseconds to microseconds. Upon examining movements of the protein villin using this method they found two structures that were otherwise barely distinguishable from one another. Quick nanosecond-scale structure changes essential...

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2010-02-18 12:55:00

A team of biologists has unraveled the biochemistry of how bacteria so precisely time cell division, a key element in understanding how all organisms from bacteria to humans use their biological clocks to control basic cellular functions. The discovery, detailed in the February 19 issue of the journal Cell, provides important clues to how the biological clocks of bacteria and other "prokaryotic" cells"”which lack cell nuclei"”evolved differently from that of "eukaryotic" cells...

2010-02-02 10:56:02

A group of Marshall University researchers and their colleagues in Japan are conducting research that may lead to new ways to move or position single molecules"”a necessary step if man someday hopes to build molecular machines or other devices capable of working at very small scales. Dr. Eric Blough, a member of the research team and an associate professor in Marshall University's Department of Biological Sciences, said his group has shown how bionanomotors can be used some day to move...

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2010-02-01 08:56:56

Understanding how aged and damaged mother cells manage to form new and undamaged daughter cells is one of the toughest riddles of ageing, but scientists now know how yeast cells do it. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show how the daughter cell uses a mechanical "conveyor belt" to dump damaged proteins in the mother cell. "This ensures that the daughter cell is born without age-related damage," says professor Thomas Nyström from the...


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