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.
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.
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.