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Scientists Uncover Secrets of Internal Cell Fine-Tuning

by Bidita Debnath on July 30, 2014 at 10:28 PM
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 Scientists Uncover Secrets of Internal Cell Fine-Tuning

For the first time, scientists at the University of Kent have shown how the structures inside cells are regulated - a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

A team from Kent's School of Biosciences uncovered the mechanism whereby the physical properties of the internal structures within cells - known as actin filaments - are 'fine-tuned' to undertake different functions.

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While some of these actin filaments appear to completely stable, providing a framework for the cell, others are more dynamic, allowing the cell to respond rapidly to changes in its environment.

The researchers - PhD students Matthew Johnson and Daniel East, who were led by Dr Daniel Mulvihill - used yeast cells to mimic those in humans. They utilised a novel biology 'trick' to switch the location of molecules which bind to, and stabilise, the actin polymer and modulate the movement of molecular motors.
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In this way, they uncovered the mechanism which determines the functional characteristics of actin filaments in all cells and orchestrates cellular activity. It is expected the breakthrough could have a major impact on the development of therapies for a variety of diseases, including cancer.

Source: Eurekalert
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