New Probe Aids Novel Findings on Cell Functions
Published:06 Jul.2023    Source:University of Cincinnati
Collaborative research at the University of Cincinnati has developed a new probe to better study cells that has already led to new knowledge about certain cellular processes.
The team's research focused on organelles, or specialized structures that perform various jobs inside cells, called endolysosomes. Lysosomes are organelles that act as the "recycling center" of the cell, reusing broken or malfunctioning building blocks for different purposes, and endolysosomes are a subset of lysosomes that begin as a different organelle called an endosome. If lysosomes are not functioning normally, then the cell will accumulate lots of waste, eventually leading to cell death.
When a cell's environment changes, like when a cell is damaged, it needs to increase the number of lysosomes in order to recycle or clean up the cell. But the process cells use to increase the number of lysosomes was not previously known. Using the new probe, the researchers found no matter what environment a cell is in, and whether it is a normal or abnormal cell, it will keep a constant ratio of endosomes that it then converts into lysosomes.