NR/ « News Review » of Cellular biology

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NR/ « News Review » of different discoveries which occurred from June 2014 to September 2014 with an extra borderline weird discovery from the archives.

As of the latest we learn that we still don’t know how cells are “stuck” together, we gain an insight on how cells move, react to stress and how lysosomes help the cells’ decision processes. Finally a bonus article on the interesting discovery that if you give birth to a child there is a possibility that not all cells within yourself are actually “yours”.

So how do cells stick together ?  Well we actually exactly still don’t know but we are aware that actin (a protein) acts like a cable wire all across the cell and works in conjunction with another protein, myosin. Myosin is actually found to pull on actin and generates force. This force apparently maintains the 3 dimensional structure of the cell and allows the cell to grab on any given surface but how myosin generates that force is still a mystery. (take gif online)

What is less of a mystery is how cell migrate within the extracellular matrix as it was discovered that vincalin binds to talin (both are cytoskeletal proteins) to mechanically connect actin to a substrate in the extracellular matrix within focal adhesions (distinct structures that allow the gripping process).

Cells are always subjected to an environment and because of this research on how cells react to stress is crucial into figuring out diseases and irregularities. What has been discovered is a new mechanism on how cells may react to stress. It has been know that there were mechanisms to slow down the assembly line and clean up the misfolded proteins but what we know now is that when that is now enough the cell apparently remodels the organization of its protein production in order to compartmentalize the tasks at hand allowing literally to put everything “on hold”.

With all that clean-up it has been discovered that lysosomes (the cells recycling center) are involved in the cellular decision to divide or not. To understand this, you must understand that some cancerous cells divide even when warning protein (HIF-1alpha) signal them to stop dividing (HIF-1alpha is a protein that signals that the cells oxygen pre-requisites for division are not meet, therefore avoiding all division)

What has been discovered is that Cdk1, Cdk2 protein know to signal cell division can mark HIF-1alpha for destruction via the lysosomes implicating lysosomes for the first time in all this processes.

Finally for the weird news, it has been discovered that if you’re a male, your  “Y” chromosomes can be found in your mothers brain ! This notion of microchimerism (the persistent presence of genetically distinct cells in an organism) was not new as of 2012 (date of the article) as it was previously known that male “Y” chromosomes were found in the bloodstream of women after pregnancy. But what was not known was that theses microchimeric cells could be found her brain too! Spooky when you think about it as I guess that could explain why mothers know best…

Although much has yet to be known about microchimeric cells, they have found to be similar to stem cells as they have the possibility to become a variety of different phenotypes and it has been discovered that there is a relationship between these cells and immune disorders.

Works Cited

David W. Raid, Q. C.-L. (2014, September 11). Cell’s put off protein production during times of stress. Récupéré sur ScienceDaily.

Fogelson, B. (2014, June). How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight. Consulté le June 17, 2014, sur Scientific American.

H. Hirata, H. T. (2014, August 14). Key mechanism that drivers movement in living cells discovered. Récupéré sur ScienceDaily.

Maimon E. Hubbi, D. M. (2014, July 28). Cell’s recycling center implicated in division decisions. Récupéré sur ScienceDaily.

Martone, R. (2012, December 4). Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains. Récupéré sur Scientific American.

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