A new structure in human cells has been discovered by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in collaboration with colleagues in the UK.
The cells in a tissue are enclosed by a net-like structure called the extracellular matrix. To attach itself to the matrix the cells have receptor molecules on their surfaces, which govern the assembly of large protein complexes inside them.
These ‘adhesion complexes’ connect the outside to the cell interior and also signal to the cell about its instant situation, which affects its properties and behavior.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now revealed a new type of adhesion complex with an exclusive molecular composition that sets it apart from those already known about.
The researchers also show that the newly discovered structures control the ability of daughter cells to occupy the precise place after cell division. This memory function was interjected when the scientists obstructed the adhesion complex.