A team led by researchers from Tohoku University has put forward experimental evidence of the role of proteins in placing developing cells in the right compartments.
According to the findings published in the journal of Nature Communications, cells that tighten cells, known as cell adhesion, appear to be enabled by improved proteins for their role in the immune system.
Scientists have long observed that specialized cells do not yet function in a way that ensures that cell groups remain together for a specific tissue. In 1964, American biologist Malcolm Steinberg proposed that cells with similar adhesion move to come in contact with each other. Minimize energy use, creating a thermodynamically stable structure. This difference is known as the adhesion hypothesis.
“Several other theoretical works have emphasized the importance of differences in cell-to-cell adhesion to differentiate cell populations and maintain boundaries between them, but have not yet been demonstrated in epithelial tissues of living animals Was, ”said Arena Kurugaga of Tohoku University’s laboratory. For histogenetic dynamics, which led the investigation. “Our study showed, for the first time, that cell sorting is regulated by changes in adhesion,” Kuranaga said.
Kuranaga and his team conducted experiments in the fruit fly pupa, which found that a gene called Toll-1 played a major role in this adhesion process. Fruit flies develop from immature larval stage into mature adult, epithelial tissue-forming cells, called histoblasts, clustered together in several ‘nests’ in the abdomen. Each nest has one anterior and one posterior compartment.
Histoblasts are destined to transform larval cells so that the adult epidermis is formed, which is the outer layer that flies cover. Cells in each compartment discrete cell populations, so they need to be interlinked, with a specific boundary between them. The fluorescent tag, Kuranaga and his team observed that the Toll-1 protein is mainly expressed in the posterior compartment. Its fluorescence also showed a sharp boundary between the two compartments.
Further investigation has revealed that Toll-1 acts as an adhesion molecule, allowing similar cells to clump together. This process keeps the boundary between the two compartments straight, correcting distortions as cells divide to increase the number.
Interestingly, Toll proteins are best known for recognizing invasive pathogens, and little is known about their work beyond the immune system. “Our work improves understanding of the non-immune roles of toll proteins,” Kuranaga said. He and his team planned to study the function of other Toll genes in fruit fly epithelial cells.
(This story is published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications.)
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