Archives for posts with tag: extracellular matrix

Is there a link between kidney disease and the proteins released by kidney cells? And does the underlying genetic code influence this link?

In case you missed it a couple of months ago, work from the Rachel Lennon lab at the University of Manchester has been addressing these questions.

A network of extracellular proteins in kidney glomeruli // Image by Adam Byron

A network of extracellular proteins in kidney glomeruli

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Kidneys perform the vital role of filtering waste products from the blood. Yet the complete catalogue of constituents that comprise these filters is not known. In new work, analyses of extracellular proteins present in specialised filtration units called glomeruli reveal a composition far more complex than previously appreciated.

Extracellular proteins of the glomerulus // Image by Adam Byron

Extracellular proteins of the glomerulus

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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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The surrounding environment is vital for all living things. This is no different for cells, whose environment is known as the extracellular matrix. Just as a worm burrows through soil, as a gazelle leaps across a plain, or as I become diverted by the alluring smell of Italian cooking, cells interact physically and chemically with their surroundings. These interactions, via cell surface receptors, control what cells do next, how they grow and divide, and how healthy they remain.

Extracellular matrix networks // Image by Adam Byron

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