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Ring-around-the-cell

is on the move, these little dots amble randomly around the cell, but when the cells prepare to dissolve the bone, they make a beeline for the edge. Scientists had been unsure how podosomes were involved in ring formation or, if they did form the ring, whether they somehow fused together or kept their individual shapes. The research teams findings showed clearly that the ring is made of individual podosomes held together by interconnecting protein filaments they throw out to each other. "The podosomes are like folk dancers," says Geiger. "As soon as the music starts up, they join hands and form a tight circle. From afar, a circle of dancers looks like a blur, but now we have managed to make out the individual dancers."

Addadi points out that, from above, isolated podosomes look like a tent with rope-like lines radiating from a central pole. "In effect," she says, "the podosomes may be more than just seals. They appear to act as highly connected nodes of communication between the inside and outside of the cell, enabling the cell to adjust its activity according to the condition of the bone underneath."


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Contact: Jennifer Manning
jennifer@acwis.org
212-895-7952
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
27-Mar-2007


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