A multidisciplinary research team discovers how cells know to rush to a wound and heal it — opening the door to new treatments for diabetes, heart disease and cancer
Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered what causes and regulates collective cell migration, one of the most universal but least understood biological processes in all living organisms.
The findings, published in the March 13, 2015, edition of Nature Communications, shed light on the mechanisms of cell migration, particularly in the wound-healing process. The results represent a major advancement for regenerative medicine, in which biomedical engineers and other researchers manipulate cells’ form and function to create new tissues, and even organs, to repair, restore or replace those damaged by injury or disease.
“The results significantly increase our understanding of how tissue regeneration is regulated and advance our ability to guide these processes,” said Pak Kin Wong, UA associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and lead investigator of the research.
“In recent years, researchers have gained a better understanding of the molecular machinery of cell migration, but not what directs it to happen in the first place,” he said. “What, exactly, is orchestrating this system common to all living organisms?”
Leaders of the Pack
The answer, it turns out, involves delicate interactions between biomechanical stress, or force, which living cells exert on one another, and biochemical signaling.
The UA researchers discovered that when mechanical force disappears — for example at a wound site where cells have been destroyed, leaving empty, cell-free space — a protein molecule, known as DII4, coordinates nearby cells to migrate to a wound site and collectively cover it with new tissue. What’s more, they found, this process causes identical cells to specialize into leader and follower cells. Researchers had previously assumed leader cells formed randomly.
Wong’s team observed that when cells collectively migrate toward a wound, leader cells expressing a form of messenger RNA, or mRNA, genetic code specific to the DII4 protein emerge at the front of the pack, or migrating tip. The leader cells, in turn, send signals to follower cells, which do not express the genetic messenger. This elaborate autoregulatory system remains activated until new tissue has covered a wound.
The same migration processes for wound healing and tissue development also apply to cancer spreading, the researchers noted. The combination of mechanical force and genetic signaling stimulates cancer cells to collectively migrate and invade healthy tissue.
Biologists have known of the existence of leader cells and the DII4 protein for some years and have suspected they might be important in collective cell migration. But precisely how leader cells formed, what controlled their behavior, and their genetic makeup were all mysteries — until now.
Broad Medical Applications
“Knowing the genetic makeup of leader cells and understanding their formation and behavior gives us the ability to alter cell migration,” Wong said.
With this new knowledge, researchers can re-create, at the cellular and molecular levels, the chain of events that brings about the formation of human tissue. Bioengineers now have the information they need to direct normal cells to heal damaged tissue, or prevent cancer cells from invading healthy tissue.
The Latest on: Wound healing
via Google News
The Latest on: Wound healing
- Pet Docs: After Miniature Poodle suffers massive wound, long healing process beginson August 16, 2019 at 4:44 am
Skittles is a 3-year-old, 10-pound miniature poodle. His appointment was innocuously labeled as a “Bandage Change," for a wound that was originally treated at our emergency clinic a couple of days ...
- IDTechEx: advanced wound care market to exceed $22 billion by 2030 | IDTechEx Research Articleon August 15, 2019 at 5:56 pm
... main driver for this growing market is the rising incidence of non-healings wounds requiring advanced wound care technologies. Common non-healing wounds include diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), venous ...
- Turmeric extract finds use in wound-healing foamon August 15, 2019 at 9:09 am
Most people think of turmeric as a kitchen spice, or perhaps as a health supplement that's taken orally. Now, however, scientists have incorporated curcumin – a compound extracted from turmeric ...
- New biodegradable wound dressing developedon August 15, 2019 at 4:08 am
Scientists have developed a new biodegradable wound dressing that can speed up healing and is made from all-natural materials. Researcher Abhishek Gupta, of the University of Wolverhampton's ...
- Short-term influences of radiation on musculofascial healing in a laparotomy rat modelon August 15, 2019 at 2:40 am
However, the influences of radiation on musculofascial wound healing remains unclear. The purpose of the study was to investigate the short-term effects of preoperative local radiation on the ...
- Association of Cyclin Dependent Kinase 10 and Transcription Factor 2 during Human Corneal Epithelial Wound Healing in vitro modelon August 14, 2019 at 10:38 am
Proper wound healing is dynamic in order to maintain the corneal integrity and transparency. Impaired or delayed corneal epithelial wound healing is one of the most frequently observed ocular defect ...
- Researchers to develop smart bandages that can monitor wound healingon August 13, 2019 at 9:43 am
Engineers at Heriot-Watt University are developing a tiny electronic sensor that will help medics heal wounds by “listening” to them. The microsensor will help patients, doctors and nurses manage how ...
- Probiotic hydrogels heal gut wounds other bandages can't reachon August 13, 2019 at 4:23 am
... can often be easily covered with a simple Band-Aid or a larger wound patch to protect them and facilitate their healing. When it comes to some internal surfaces like those of the gut that are ...
- Harvard hydrogel made by bacteria helps heal internal woundson August 12, 2019 at 8:37 pm
That lets the hydrogel stick to the normally-slippery surface, creating a water-tight seal that aids healing of the wound. The CsgA curli proteins are produced by the E. coli, which has a few ...
- Bandage sensor developed to track progress of healing woundson August 12, 2019 at 6:01 am
A sensor that detects how well patient wounds are healing so that doctors and nurses can better manage them is being developed by engineers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Wounds cost the NHS ...
via Bing News