Study shows how signaling pathways operate on molecular and cellular levels

Study shows how signaling pathways operate on molecular and cellular levels

Scientists have made a pivotal breakthrough in understanding the way in which cells communicate with each other. A team of international researchers, including experts from the University of Exeter's Living Systems Institute, has identified how signalling pathways of Wnt proteins - which orchestrate and control many cell developmental processes - operate on both molecular and cellular levels. Various mechanisms exist for cells to communicate with each other, and many are essential for development. This information exchange between cells is often based on signalling proteins that activate specific intracellular signalling cascades to control cell behaviour at a distance. Wnt proteins are produced by a relatively small group of cells and orchestrate cell proliferation and differentiation, but also cell movement and polarity of the neighbouring cells. However, one of the most crucial functions of the Wnt signalling is patterning of the body axis - which essentially helps determine where the head and tail should form in in a developing tissue. Previous research led by Professor Steffen Scholpp, from the Living Systems Institute, highlighted that thin finger-like protrusions, known as cytonemes, carry Wnts …
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