How spatial confinement regulates cell proliferation
In confined spaces, cells modulate their proliferation through little-known mechanisms. By studying baker's yeast cells, scientists have discovered that an increase in crowding in these cells is linked to a decrease in protein production. Published in Nature Physics, this work presents new avenues for studying solid tumors, which are precisely confined to organs.
As long as the conditions are right, the cells multiply. But what happens when they proliferate in confined spaces? Far from being anecdotal, this is the case in the underground growth of plant roots and in the development of solid tumors in organs. Unfortunately, these restricted and constrained environments are difficult to study, even though various phenomena occur in them, such as the appearance of mechanical forces strong enough for a tree to pierce a concrete slab with its roots, or the fact that cell proliferation decreases, without knowing how. Researchers from the MIcro-Nanofluidics for Life science and Environment - MILE team of LAAS-CNRS, the Toulouse biotechnology institute, bio & chemical engineering (TBI, CNRS/INRAE/INSA Toulouse) and New York University (USA) have discovered the existence of a physical feedback: too much clutter in the interior of cells reduces protein production, which slows down their proliferation.
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