Treatment of wounds and wound healing has always been difficult terrain for scientists to traverse. Very little has been known about these processes and understanding inter cellular mechanisms is the key to knowing more about wound healing.
Researchers led by Vito Quaranta at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, found that integrin-a protein that helps trigger the healing process -- also tells cells when to stop healing a wound. Lets know more about this breakthrough.
The discovery came when scientists analyzed two different proteins on skin cells. The first integrin was called alpha (3) beta (1) and worked as a sort of tug boat that helps cells move along and respond to chemical messages sent out by the wounded tissue. These chemical messages and this first integrin join forces, so to speak, and call on other cells from the bloodstream to move into the wounded area.
Quaranta and colleagues found that the second molecule, which appeared to operate as an anchor, grabbed on to that sticky layer of proteins, which included a substance called laminin 5.
Without interfering with the initial cell movement started by the first round of chemical signals, the second integrin essentially blocked laminin 5 by turning off the first integrin. These findings are reported in the April 30 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology.
This breakthrough gives us the chance of unraveling the unknown truths of wound healing.