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当前位置: Science » 细胞 » Science:科学家们参与全球细胞速度竞赛


摘要 : 对于如何赢得一场赛跑,你可能会听到很多建议:“一开始就要快”、“缓慢而稳定”,最重要的是,“确保你的兴奋剂方案优于竞赛方案”。

对于如何赢得一场赛跑,你可能会听到很多建议:“一开始就要快”、“缓慢而稳定”,最重要的是,“确保你的兴奋剂方案优于竞赛方案”。细胞在穿越迷宫的竞赛中就牢牢记住了这些要领。最近发表于PLOS ONE的新研究称,来自世界各地的科学家们参加了世界黏菌比赛,这是对研究人员的一场挑战,看他们是否能设计出可以尽快通过人造迷宫的细胞。比赛当日,14只研究团队朝一只高能显微镜下的一个1毫米长的有机硅迷宫中注射了两个细胞系——黏菌(或Dicty)和HL60——的特殊改良版,这两个细胞系通常被用于研究细胞的运动(通常被称为趋化性)。黏菌细胞是取自构成黏菌的单细胞组织,而HL60细胞是被广泛研究的人类癌细胞。迷宫的末端装载有细胞能感知并奔向的一种高浓度化学物(趋化物),在整个迷宫中该化学品的浓度逐渐减弱,形成一种赛跑中的细胞将需要读取和跟随的梯度,从而从低浓度向高浓度移动。胜出的团队可以看到他们的细胞正在通过上方的迷宫,他们将黏菌细胞中一个叫Ric8的分子的数量提高,这加强了黏菌细胞在化学环境中感知变化的能力,使它们得以在通向终点的过程中采取更多的直线。所有的黏菌系,特别是获胜团队的黏菌系,也从快速起跑中获得了加速,比HL60细胞更快地从迷宫的起跑区移动进赛道。这不只是娱乐和游戏:理解细胞,尤其是白细胞如何在人体中移动可以帮助科学家们创造更好的针对癌症、感染性疾病和自身免疫性疾病的治疗方案。


Scientists race cells in worldwide competition


There’s a lot of advice out there about how to win a race: “Be fast out of the gate,” “slow and steady,” and, most importantly, “make sure your doping regimen is superior to the competition’s.” Cells racing through a maze have taken all this wisdom to heart. In new study, published today in PLOS ONE,scientists from around the globe participated in the Dicty World Race, a competition that challenges researchers to design cells that can navigate across an artificial maze as quickly as possible. On race day, 14 teams injected specially modified version of two cell lines, Dictyostelium(or Dicty) and HL60, which are commonly used to study cell movement (known as chemotaxis), into a 1-millimeter-long silicone-based maze underneath a powerful microscope. The Dicty cells were taken from the single-celled organisms that make up slime molds, wheras the HL60 cells are highly studied human cancer cells. The end of the maze was loaded with high concentrations of a chemical the cells would sense and home toward (known as a chemoattractant), and the concentration of the chemical gradually waned across the maze, forming a gradient that the racing cells would need to read and follow, moving from low concentration to high. The winning team, whose cells can be seen navigating the maze above, boosted the amount of a molecule called Ric8 in Dicty cells that increased the cells’ ability to sense changes in the chemical environment, allowing them to take more direct pathways to the finish line. All Dicty lines, especially in the winning group, also got a boost from their quick starts, moving from maze’s starting area into the channels much faster than the HL60 cells. It’s not all just fun and games: Understanding how cells—especially white blood cells—navigate through the human body could help scientists create better treatments for cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmune disorders.

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