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Latest Cytoskeleton Stories

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2009-08-14 10:00:00

Friction is the force that resists the relative motion of two bodies in contact. The same is true on the nanoscale: Molecular motors have to fight the friction created between them and their tracks. However, since the frictional forces acting on such motors had not been measured before, it was not known how they depend on the speed and the direction of motion.Friction Slows Down ProteinsScientists in Dresden at the Biotechnology Center (BIO-TEC) of the Technical University of Dresden and at...

2009-07-21 19:15:00

Cells rely on tiny molecular motors to deliver cargo, such as mRNA and organelles, within the cell. The critical nature of this transport system is evidenced by the fact that disruption of motors by genetic defects leads to fatal diseases in humans. Although investigators have isolated these motor to study their function in a controlled environment outside the cell, it has been difficult for researchers to follow these fascinating molecular transporters in their natural environment, the...

2009-07-15 12:40:00

Understanding how neurons migrate to their proper place during brain development will offer insights into how malfunctions in the machinery cause epilepsy and mental retardation MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The molecular machinery that helps brain cells migrate to their correct place in the developing brain has been identified by scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The finding offers new insight into the forces that drive brain organization in...

2009-07-15 13:40:00

Understanding how neurons migrate to their proper place during brain development will offer insights into how malfunctions in the machinery cause epilepsy and mental retardationThe molecular machinery that helps brain cells migrate to their correct place in the developing brain has been identified by scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The finding offers new insight into the forces that drive brain organization in developing fetuses and children during their first years....

462f7b8b66d8a6bac25d1a6f0b6875dc1
2009-07-13 10:55:00

New study helps explain why it is easy to encode new memories but hard to hold onto themMemories aren't made of actin filaments. But their assembly is crucial for long-term potentiation (LTP), an increase in synapse sensitivity that researchers think helps to lay down memories. In the July 13, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org), Rex et al. reveal that LTP's actin reorganization occurs in two stages that are controlled by different pathways, a discovery that helps explain...

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2009-06-29 09:55:00

Every cell lining the small intestine bristles with thousands of tightly packed microvilli that project into the gut lumen, forming a brush border that absorbs nutrients and protects the body from intestinal bacteria. In the June 29, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org), Matthew McConnell, Matthew Tyska, and colleagues now find that microvilli extend their functional reach even further using a molecular motor to send vesicles packed with gut enzymes out into the lumen to...

2009-06-24 08:04:41

A group led by Dr. Paul T. Martin of The Ohio State University College of Medicine has demonstrated that the glycosyltransferase Galgt2 can lessen symptoms in multiple models of muscular dystrophy. Their report can be found in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited muscular disorders that are characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death of muscle cells and tissue. Recent studies...

2009-06-22 09:54:37

"“ Notch signaling helps determine the fate of a number of different cell types in a variety of organisms, including humans. In an article that appears in the current issue of Nature Cell Biology, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine report that a new finding about the Notch signaling pathway in sensory organ precursor cells in the fruit fly could explain the mystery behind an immunological disorder called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome."This finding provides a model for how Wiskott...

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2009-06-15 09:55:00

Study shows stalled microtubules might be responsible for some cases of the neurological disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseaseStalled microtubules might be responsible for some cases of the neurological disorder Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, Tanabe and Takei report in the June 15, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org). A mutant protein makes the microtubules too stable to perform their jobs, the researchers find.The mutations behind CMT disease slow nerve impulses,...

2009-06-14 12:33:33

Cellulose is a fibrous molecule that makes up plant cell walls, gives plants shape and form and is a target of renewable, plant-based biofuels research. But how it forms, and thus how it can be modified to design energy-rich crops, is not well understood. Now a study led by researchers at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Plant Biology has discovered that the underlying protein network that provides the scaffolding for cell-wall structure is also the traffic cop for delivering the...