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Understanding how diversity can be generated in the growing embryo

To make a human, it is necessary for the single cell produced at fertilization to divide many times to make all the cells of the body. All the cells then need to become different from one another to make over 200 different cell types. The process of cell fate decisions is controlled by signaling Read more

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Integrin-specific functions in epithelial cells

Cell cycle used to be thought of as being controlled by growth factors only. However for cells in multicellular organisms, adhesion to the cellular microenvironment has an essential role as well. Integrins are adhesion receptors that enable cells to ‘integrate’ into their tissues by binding them to Read more

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Identifying fibrotic liver extracellular matrix (ECM) components using proteomics

Fibrosis of tissues results from the excessive accumulation of ECM. Fibrosis is observed in a wide range of organs resulting in a pathological state associated with organ failure and possibly death. Central to the altered ECM composition in liver fibrosis is the activation of hepatic stellate cells Read more


CLIC3 - a cancer cell’s helper

People die of cancer when cells from a tumour spread to other parts of the body, in a process called metastasis. In order for cancer cells to do this, they invade the web of protein and sugar fibres that surround cells in tissues, called the extracellular matrix (ECM). Cells are hooked onto the ECM Read more


New melanoma drug combination

The MAP-kinase signalling pathway stimulates cell growth and is deregulated in over 90% of malignant melanoma skin cancers. Therefore drugs targeting MEK, the central kinase of this signaling pathway, are currently trialed in the clinic. However, responses are disappointingly lower than expected, Read more

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Shaping up stem cell fate

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from the adult bone marrow can be induced to change into different cell types, through a process known as differentiation. MSCs therefore hold considerable promise for tissue repair and regenerative medicine. However, realising the therapeutic potential of MSCs Read more


Fine-tuning new blood vessel growth through a novel TSG-6/PTX3/FGF2 triad

The growth of new blood vessels, known as angiogenesis, needs to be tightly regulated to avoid tissue damage. Although angiogenesis plays an important role in wound healing, uncontrolled blood vessel formation contributes to diseases such as arthritis and cancer. In healthy tissues, it is crucial Read more

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Phospholipids show trafficking integrins the way

Migration of cancer cells through the extracellular matrix (ECM) is the driving force behind metastasis, the process by which cancer cells leave the site of the primary tumour and populate distant sites to form secondary tumours.  Because metastasis is the leading cause of death in cancer patients, Read more