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...

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...

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...

biosights: Decemeber 23, 2013 - Tumor cells WASH away the extracellular matrix

submitted by: JCB
Tumor cells invade through extracellular matrices by forming actin-rich structures called invadopodia, which contain the transmembrane matrix metalloproteinase MT1-MMP. Monteiro et al. reveal that the Arp2/3 activating protein WASH works with the exocyst complex to deliver MT1-MMP from late endosomes to the invadopodial plasma membrane. This biosights episode presents the paper by Monteiro et al. from the December 23, 2013, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with...

biosights: November 25, 2013 - Caspases work as branch managers

submitted by: JCB
When a growing axon nears its target, it arborizes, or branches, to form numerous synaptic connections. Campbell and Okamoto reveal that localized caspase activation downstream of Slit-Robo signaling promotes arbor dynamics and restricts arbor growth. This biosights episode presents the paper by Campbell and Okamoto from the November 25, 2013, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with lead author Douglas Campbell (formerly at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute,...

biosights: October 28, 2013 - A framework for understanding muscle microtubules

submitted by: JCB
The microtubules of skeletal muscle fibers are arranged into an orthogonal grid, but how this network is formed is unknown. Oddoux et al. reveal that the network is built by dynamic microtubules nucleated from Golgi elements. This biosights episode presents the paper by Oddoux et al. from the October 28, 2013, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with senior author Evelyn Ralston (NIH, Bethesda, MD). Produced by Caitlin Sedwick and Ben Short. See the associated...

biosights: September 30, 2013 - The nodal network

submitted by: JCB
In addition to specialized actin structures such as lamellipodia and stress fibers, cells are thought to contain a contractile actomyosin matrix that maintains cell shape. Luo et al. describe the organization and dynamics of an actomyosin network that may fulfill this function. This network is formed by actin nodes that contain the formin DAAM1 and the crosslinker filamin A, and that are connected to each other by myosin II. This biosights episode presents the paper by Luo et al. from the...

biosights: September 2, 2013 - Shrinking microtubules pull the centrosome into place

submitted by: JCB
When a T cell encounters a target antigen-presenting cell, it moves its centrosome to the immunological synapse that connects the two cells. Yi et al. reveal that centrosome repositioning is a biphasic process driven by the dynein-dependent capture and depolymerization of microtubules. This biosights episode presents the paper by Yi et al. from the September 2, 2013, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an interview with senior author John Hammer (NHLBI, Bethesda, MD). Produced...

biosights: August 5, 2013 - Epithelia restored by healing waves

submitted by: JCB
Epithelial cells around the edge of a wound assemble an actomyosin cable that constricts to draw the wound closed, but the events that precede cable formation are largely unknown. Antunes et al. reveal that wounding induces a wave of actomyosin assembly and cell constriction that flows toward the wound edge to promote cable assembly and tissue repair. This biosights episode presents the paper by Antunes et al. from the July 22, 2013, issue of The Journal of Cell Biology and includes an...