Cells creep around using radiating filaments called lamellipodia shown here as red spikes projecting out from this human cell (with the nucleus shown in blue). Lamellipodia are formed from many different proteins, which must be sorted and packaged by the tiny structures, called golgi bodies (shown in green) before they are posted to the right place inside the cell. By preventing the delivery of certain proteins, researchers found that one, called clathrin heavy chain, is vital for orchestrating the formation of lamellipodia. Different cell types are creeping around our bodies all the time and this cellular migration is key to many biological processes. Knowing which proteins are in control boosts our understanding of how cells behave in health, as in wound healing and development, and also in disease, as in cancer cell migration (metastasis).
Written by Helen Pilcher
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.