Archives for posts with tag: cell biology

The movement of cells in the body is of great importance to our lives. For us to learn a language, to fight a cold, to heal a wound, to grow a pair (of arms, say), cells must migrate to the right place at the right time. So cell migration must be tightly controlled – throughout our entire lives.

Cells have many in-built control mechanisms that ensure their appropriate movement, but we still don’t fully understand how these various mechanisms operate.

In new work, published in the Journal of Cell Science this week, Guillaume Jacquemet and others identify a way that cells can coordinate proper cell migration. The research is highlighted by the journal editors and features on the cover of the journal.

Journal of Cell Science cover, 2013, vol. 126 (no. 18) // Image by Mark Morgan & Guillaume Jacquemet // Reproduced with permission from the authors and The Company of Biologists Ltd

Journal of Cell Science cover, 2013, vol. 126 (no. 18)

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Our paper on extracellular matrix networks and stem cell growth makes the cover of this week’s issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The stunning image by Despina Soteriou captures stem cells growing in a web of extracellular matrix.

Journal of Biological Chemistry cover, 2013, vol. 288 (no. 26) // Image by Despina Soteriou

Journal of Biological Chemistry cover, 2013, vol. 288 (no. 26)

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Research at the University of Manchester has identified networks of proteins that control the fate of our body’s stem cells, findings that could aid progress towards new disease therapies.

Extracellular matrix networks control stem cell fate // Image by Adam Byron

Stem cells have the amazing ability to develop into different types of cells of the body, such as blood cells, muscle cells or brain cells. Remarkably, stem cells can also regenerate, essentially renewing themselves an unlimited number of times.

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Interpreting proteomic data // Image by Adam Byron

Proteomic analyses, which often aim to catalogue – to ever-increasing depths – all the proteins present in a particular biological sample, generate vast sets of data. Of course, these datasets are only useful if they are interrogated to extract meaningful information, which is not a trivial task. Proteomic data are usually interpreted on the basis of current knowledge, which is important to gain understanding in the context of the experiment. Still, proteomic approaches such as mass spectrometry lend themselves to the discovery of new insights into proteins.

My letter in today’s issue of the Journal of Proteomics argues that the interpretation of proteomic data should be open to the possibility of identifying unexpected functions or subcellular locations of proteins.

Such approaches to the analysis of the ever-increasing volume of large-scale datasets will likely lead to many new discoveries.

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Work by Mark Bass and others has been published in this week’s issue of Developmental Cell.

This study investigates the cellular mechanisms that are required for tissue repair. To heal a wound, cells called fibroblasts must migrate through the surrounding extracellular matrix to the site of damage. Once at the damaged tissue, fibroblasts contract the wound and begin the healing process. This paper identifies how cells can detect and respond efficiently to tissue damage.

Molecules required for wound healing // Image by Adam Byron

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