biosights: April 14, 2014 - An actin lever flattens out the cell

submitted by: JCB
The lamella is a broad, flat region that forms at the front of migrating cells and adheres to the underlying substrate. Burnette et al. reveal that cells flatten out the lamella by mechanically coupling a contractile actomyosin network at the dorsal surface to ventral cell adhesions. This biosights episode presents the paper by Burnette et al. from the April 14, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with authors Dylan Burnette (Vanderbilt University School of...

Rotating Egg

submitted by: hsrikm

Graph of an egg derived from an equation and uneven unique angular periods from division of pi by whole numbers.

biosights: March 17, 2014 - Blebs lead the way in Dictyostelium chemotaxis

submitted by: JCB
Membrane blebs can help the leading edge of migrating cells protrude forwards, but the contribution of blebs to the motility of Dictyostelium cells is unclear. Zatulovskiy et al. reveal that blebs form at the front of chemotaxing Dictyostelium cells, particularly when the cells are faced with a mechanically resistant environment, and that this process is guided by a PI3-kinase-dependent signaling pathway. This biosights episode presents the paper by Zatulovskiy et al. from the March 17,...

biosights: February 17, 2014 - Shroom takes embryos to new dimensions

submitted by: JCB
During development, the planar polarized distribution of Rho kinase and Myosin II helps Drosophila germ-band cells intercalate so that the embryo extends along its anterior-posterior axis. Simoes et al. reveal how Rho GTPase and the actin-binding protein Shroom combine to regulate the localization of Rho kinase and actomyosin contractility during axis elongation. This biosights episode presents the paper by Simoes et al. from the February 17, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and...

Melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 polymorphisms are associated with components of energy balance in the CODING study

submitted by: bfontain
BACKGROUND: The melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) is a G protein-coupled receptor that regulates energy balance and body composition in animal models. Inconsistent effects of MCHR1 polymorphisms on energy homeostasis in humans may partly be attributable to environmental factors. OBJECTIVES: We examined the effect of 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs133073, rs133074, rs9611386, and rs882111) in the MCHR1 gene on body composition as well as energy-related lifestyle...
Authors: Bénédicte Fontaine-Bisson, James Thorburn, Anne Gregory, Hongwei Zhang, Guang Sun

biosights: January 20, 2014 - Motors give a new twist to platelet activation

submitted by: JCB
The discoid shape of resting platelets is maintained by a peripheral ring of bundled microtubules called the marginal band. Diagouraga et al. reveal that, upon platelet activation, the motor protein dynein slides microtubules apart, inducing marginal band coiling and the conversion of platelets to a spherical shape. This biosights episode presents the paper by Diagouraga et al. from the January 20, 2014, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with senior author Karin...