Dr. Ben & Dr. Paul!
Cells live, move, rest, proliferate, and differentiate, and all of these processes are essential for the development of a healthy organism. The extracellular environment determines cell fate but cells in turn also create their own (micro-) environment, a process vital to the lifecycle of cells and tissues. In order to maintain a healthy lifecycle cells have developed sensing mechanisms that help them to communicate with and respond to changing environments. Identifying mechanisms involved in the cell’s sensing abilities is important because defects result in numerous diseases including those of old age, e.g. normal and chronic wound healing, neurodegeneration, inflammation and metastasis.
Talin is a component of the focal adhesion, a structure that senses the environement around a cell. In this paper we discovered how talin is activated and regulated in the focal adhesion. We showed that it is vital for correct cell migration, which is important to keep the tissue healthy.
Since vinculin's discovery in 1979, it has become one of the best-characterised proteins of the focal adhesion. Recent advances in technology have allowed us to gain deeper insight into its precise location within the FAs. Here we show it's role in health and disease.
Vincu-linking talin to actin
The Role of Vinculin
University of Manchester FLS
Paper of the Year!