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October, 2006
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Cell Movement: The movement of cells from one location to another. Distinguish from Cytokinesis which is the process of dividing the Cytoplasm of a cell.

Cell Migration

JoVE 10911

Cell migration, the process by which cells move from one location to another, is essential for the proper development and viability of organisms throughout their life. When cells are not able to migrate properly to their ordained locations, various disorders may occur. For example, disruption in cell migration causes chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Generally, cellular migration begins when a cell, such as a fibroblast, responds to an external-polarizing-chemical signal. As a result, one end extends itself as a protrusion called the leading edge, which attaches itself to substrates via secreted adhesive compounds, in its microenvironment. The trailing edge—the area that serves as the back of the cell—also adheres to substrates to anchor the cell. After adhesion, the cell is propelled towards its destination by a sequence of contractions that are generated by cytoskeletal motility structures. Then, the adhesive attachment at the trailing edge gets released. These steps are repeated cyclically until the fibroblast reaches its destination. There is a diversity in the different types of signaling molecules that initiate cell migration. They illicit two types of responses: chemokinetic and chemotactic. Chemokinesis refers to movement that occurs when signaling molecules either symmetrically or asymmetrically stimulate cell

 Core: Biology

An Introduction to Cell Motility and Migration

JoVE 5643

Cell motility and migration play important roles in both normal biology and in disease. On one hand, migration allows cells to generate complex tissues and organs during development, but on the other hand, the same mechanisms are used by tumor cells to move and spread in a process known as cancer metastasis. One of the primary cellular machineries that make cell movement…

 Cell Biology

The Transwell Migration Assay

JoVE 5644

Cells migration in response to chemical cues is crucial to development, immunity and disease states such as cancer. To quantify cell migration, a simple assay was developed in 1961 by Dr. Stephen Boyden, which is now known as the transwell migration assay or Boyden chamber assay. This set-up consists an insert which separates the wells of a multiwell plate into top and…

 Cell Biology

The Extracellular Matrix

JoVE 10695

In order to maintain tissue organization, many animal cells are surrounded by structural molecules that make up the extracellular matrix (ECM). Together, the molecules in the ECM maintain the structural integrity of tissue as well as the remarkable specific properties of certain tissues.

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is commonly composed of ground substance, a gel-like fluid, fibrous components, and many structurally and functionally diverse molecules. These molecules include polysaccharides called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs occupy most of the extracellular space and often take up a large volume relative to their mass. This results in a matrix that can withstand tremendous forces of compression. Most GAGs are linked to proteins—creating proteoglycans. These molecules retain sodium ions based on their positive charge and therefore attract water, which keeps the ECM hydrated. The ECM also contains rigid fibers such as collagens—the primary protein component of the ECM. Collagens are the most abundant proteins in animals, making up 25% of protein by mass. A large diversity of collagens with structural similarities provide tensile strength to many tissues. Notably, tissue like skin, blood vessels, and lungs need to be both strong and stretchy to perform their physiological role. A protein called elastin gives p

 Core: Biology

Invasion Assay Using 3D Matrices

JoVE 5645

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a network of molecules that provide a structural framework for cells and tissues and helps facilitate intercellular communication. Three-dimensional cell culture techniques have been developed to more accurately model this extracellular environment for in vitro study. While many cell processes during migration through 3D matrices…

 Cell Biology


JoVE 10909

Gastrulation establishes the three primary tissues of an embryo: the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. This developmental process relies on a series of intricate cellular movements, which in humans transforms a flat, “bilaminar disc” composed of two cell sheets into a three-tiered structure. In the resulting embryo, the endoderm serves as the bottom layer, and stacked directly above it is the intermediate mesoderm, and then the uppermost ectoderm. Respectively, these tissue strata will form components of the gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and nervous systems, among other derivatives. Depending on the species, gastrulation is achieved in different ways. For example, early mouse embryos are uniquely shaped and appear as “funnels” rather than flat discs. Gastrulation thus produces a conical embryo, arranged with an inner ectoderm layer, outer endoderm, and the mesoderm sandwiched in between (similar to the layers of a sundae cone). Due to this distinct morphological feature of mice, some researchers study other models, like rabbit or chicken—both of which develop as flat structures—to gain insights into human development. One of the main morphological features of avian and mammalian gastrulation is the primitive streak, a groove that appears down the vertical center of the embryo, and through which cells migrate t

 Core: Biology

An Introduction to Molecular Developmental Biology

JoVE 5328

Molecular signals play a major role in the complex processes occurring during embryonic development. These signals regulate activities such as cell differentiation and migration, which contribute to the formation of specific cell types and structures. The use of molecular approaches allows researchers to investigate these physical and chemical mechanisms in detail.

This video will …

 Developmental Biology


JoVE 10967

The cytoplasm consists of organelles, an aqueous solution called the cytosol, and a framework of protein scaffolds called the cytoskeleton. The cytosol is a rich broth of ions, small organic molecules such as glucose, and macromolecules such as proteins. Several cellular processes including protein synthesis occur in the cytoplasm.

The composition of the cytosol promotes protein folding such that hydrophobic amino acid side chains are oriented away from the aqueous solution and towards the protein core. However, cellular stressors such as aging and changes in pH, temperature, or osmolarity cause protein misfolding. Misfolded proteins may aggregate to form insoluble deposits in the cytoplasm. Insoluble protein aggregates are implicated in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The eukaryotic cytoskeleton consists of three types of filamentous proteins: microtubules, microfilaments, and intermediate filaments. Microtubules–the largest type of filament–are made up of the protein tubulin. Microtubules are dynamic structures that can grow or shrink by adding or removing tubulin molecules from the ends of their strands. They provide structural stability and provide tracks for the transport of proteins and vesicles within the cell. In addition, microtu

 Core: Biology
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