The connection between a cell's cytoskeleton and its surface receptors

Mar 06, 2011
CD36 trajectories in a primary human macrophage from a 10 Hz/10 s single-molecule movie. Scale bar, 2 µm. Red, linear trajectories; cyan, isotropic trajectories. The linear motion of receptors, which depends on the actin meshwork and on microtubules, enhances receptor clustering in the absence of ligand, priming the macrophages to respond when exposed to ligand. Credit: K. Jaqaman/Harvard Medical School.

New findings from researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto may shed light on the mechanisms that regulate the organization of receptors on the cell surface, a critical aspect of cell signaling not well understood at this time.

The group reports on their use of the macrophage protein CD36, a clustering-responsive class B scavenger receptor, as a model for studying the processes governing receptor clustering and organization. The protein is involved in a number of cellular and physiological functions that range from to immunity, but it is unknown how the CD36 protein is organized in the cell (as monomers or as oligomers) and how that organization leads to its biological functions.

The researchers employed a combination of powerful tools: quantitative live-cell single-molecule imaging and biochemical/pharmacological approaches to study the dynamics, oligomerization and signaling of CD36 in primary human macrophages.

The group reports that movement of CD36 in the macrophage is regulated by the sub-membranous actin meshwork and by microtubules, demonstrating that these cytoskeletal components might play a critical role in receptor function, in general.

In terms of the impact of this research, lead researcher Khuloud Jaqaman says: "In the long run, establishing the relationship between receptor organization and cell signaling might aid in the development of drugs since on the are the most accessible to pharmacological manipulation."

Explore further: Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate

More information: The presentation, "CYTOSKELETAL CONTROL OF RECEPTOR DIFFUSION IN MEMBRANE PROMOTES CD36 FUNCTION AND SIGNALING" by Khuloud Jaqaman, Hirotaka Kuwata, Nicolas Touret, Richard Collins, William S. Trimble, Gaudenz Danuser, and Sergio Grinstein is at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 6, 2011 in Room 307 of the Baltimore Convention Center. ABSTRACT: tinyurl.com/4omy687

Provided by American Institute of Physics

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Accessory protein determines whether pheromones are detected

Oct 17, 2007

Pheromones are like the molecules you taste as you chomp on a greasy french fry: big and fatty. In research to be published in the October 17 advance online issue of Nature, Rockefeller University researchers reveal an una ...

AMD discovery: New hope for treatment of vision loss

Feb 20, 2008

Scientists have won a major battle in the fight against age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, a blinding eye disease that affects millions of people. An international team, led by researchers at Sainte-Justine Hospital ...

Recommended for you

Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate

19 hours ago

Embryonic stem cells can develop into a multitude of cells types. Researchers would like to understand how to channel that development into the specific types of mature cells that make up the organs and other structures of ...

Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning

Jul 29, 2014

New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated – a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

User comments : 0