Cell Organization and Communication
Country: United States
Date: September 2005
How does a cell organize it self and speak to other cells?
I am guessing that by organize you mean develop with other cells into an
organized tissue. The short answer is, we don't know. We have lots of
information on cell membrane glycoproteins that support cell to cell
connnections and we have information on genes involved in the tissue
development, along with cytokines that communicate among cells not
necessarily in contact, but we don't have a clear picture at all as to what
is really going on. This is a very big question for us and will probably
take many years to develop into a reaonably clear picture.
One of the ways in which cells communicate with each other is through
hormones. One of the cells secretes a hormone that circulates throughout the
body and binds to receptors on the target cell which stimulates the target
cell to initiate a biochemical reaction. For example, when the concentration
of glucose rises in the blood, pancreatic cells (specifically Islets of
Langerhans cells) secrete insulin which then stimulates liver cells to
take-up glucose and store it a glycogen.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives
Update: June 2012