Quantcast

Latest Microfilament Stories

Malaria Pathogen's Cellular Skeleton Under A Super-microscope
2014-04-18 13:17:53

Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research This news release is available in German. The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Germany used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite in high detail. Their results, published in the scientific journal...

2013-07-29 16:33:05

Crystal structure of a key initiation protein while bound is captured in one of two newly reported studies University of Oregon biochemists have determined how tiny synthetic molecules disrupt an important actin-related molecular machine in cells in one study and, in a second one, the crystal structure of that machine when bound to a natural inhibitor. The accomplishments -- done in the name of fundamental understanding, or basic science -- provide new windows on the complexities of...

2012-07-20 01:55:31

Max Planck scientists bring the basis of muscle movement into sharper focus Muscle contraction and many other movement processes are controlled by the interplay between myosin and actin filaments. Two further proteins, tropomyosin and troponin, regulate how myosin binds to actin. While theoretical models have in fact described exactly how these muscle proteins interact, this interaction has never previously been observed in detail. Stefan Raunser and Elmar Behrmann from the Max Planck...

2012-06-11 19:54:23

An actin-ratchet tightens the contractile ring that severs budding daughter cells from their yeast mothers During the final stage of cell division, a short-lived contractile ring constricts the cellular membrane and eventually separates the dividing cell in two. Although this "molecular muscle's" composition, mainly actin and myosin, is similar to its skeletal counterpart, the force-producing mechanism is fundamentally different, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical...

2012-04-09 09:35:14

Cells on the move reach forward with lamellipodia and filopodia, cytoplasmic sheets and rods supported by branched networks or tight bundles of actin filaments. Cells without functional lamellipodia are still highly motile but lose their ability to stay on track, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in the April 9, 2012, online issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Their study provides new insight into cell motility, a complex and integrated process, which, when...

2012-01-30 12:36:51

A new study in the Journal of General Physiology (www.jgp.org) uses state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy to provide a striking 3-D picture of how class V myosins (myoV) "walk" along their actin track. The myosin superfamily of mechanoenzymes, more commonly referred to as molecular motors, play an important role in muscle contraction and other basic cellular processes. MyoV, one of the most highly studied molecular motors, has the ability to travel long distances by taking multiple...

2011-09-14 11:31:38

With new tool, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia researchers show how immune system attacks infected cells Making use of a new "super resolution" microscope that provides sharp images at extremely small scales, scientists have achieved unprecedented views of the immune system in action. The new tool, a stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscope, shows how granules from natural killer cells pass through openings in dynamic cell structures to destroy their targets: tumor cells and...

2011-09-02 12:14:30

Complex system transports essential cargoes such as proteins and membrane vesicles Every cell in the human body contains a complex system to transport essential cargoes such as proteins and membrane vesicles, from point A to point B. These tiny molecular motor proteins move at blistering speeds on miniature railways carrying components of the cell to their proper destinations. But just how cells construct these transport railways to fit precisely inside of confined spaces of the individual...

2011-08-29 12:07:09

Most cells rely on structural tethers to position chromosomes in preparation for cell division. Not so oocytes. Instead, a powerful intracellular stream pushes chromosomes far-off the center in preparation for the highly asymmetric cell division that completes oocyte maturation upon fertilization of the egg, report researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Their findings illustrate how oocytes repurposed a dynamic cellular mechanism capable of generating considerable...


Word of the Day
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
Related