Into the breach: How cells cope with wounds

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Repair of wounds to individual cells is crucial for organisms to survive daily physiological or environmental stresses, as well as pathogen assaults, which disrupt the plasma membrane. Sensing wounds, resealing membranes, closing wounds and remodelling plasma membrane/cortical cytoskeleton are four major steps that are essential to return cells to their pre-wounded states. This process relies on dynamic changes of the membrane/cytoskeleton that are indispensable for carrying out the repairs within tens of minutes. Studies from different cell wound repair models over the last two decades have revealed that the molecular mechanisms of single cell wound repair are very diverse and dependent on wound type, size, and/or species. Interestingly, different repair models have been shown to use similar proteins to achieve the same end result, albeit sometimes by distinctive mechanisms. Recent studies using cutting edge microscopy and molecular techniques are shedding new light on the molecular mechanisms during cellular wound repair. Here, we describe what is currently known about the mechanisms underlying this repair process. In addition, we discuss how the study of cellular wound repair-a powerful and inducible model-can contribute to our understanding of other fundamental biological processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration, cancer metastasis and human diseases.




Nakamura, M., Dominguez, A. N. M., Decker, J. R., Hull, A. J., Verboon, J. M., & Parkhurst, S. M. (2018, October 1). Into the breach: How cells cope with wounds. Open Biology. Royal Society Publishing.

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