Scientists have already discovered that multi-cellular organisms are depending on inter-cellular data exchange. This dynamic code communication between cells is conferring them with the activities coordination which is needed for their proliferation.
Translating the code used by the cells to communicate has been a challenge for researchers for many years. Just recently, a team of scientists from Caltech has discovered that cells are using only one communication channel.
Michael Elowitz, a professor of bioengineering and biology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, conducted a study in his own laboratory to observe how the cells communicate. He has published his findings in the journal Cells on February 8th.
The “Notch” has been observed to be the key to communication between cells
The Notch communication system is almost every living animal. The Notch is involved in some developmental disorders and some forms of cancer, therefore, Elowitz focused on it hoping to depict some new methods to treat such diseases.
The cells are communicating with each other using the molecules called “ligands” which are acting like antennas.
The Notch cellular communicating system is used by the cells to send information about multiplication or about changing the cells’ types. The cells translate the Notch-related communications with their nucleus which is set to do it by the “ligands”.
“They are usually excellent at distinguishing between the presence or absence of signal, but not very much more. In this sense, cellular messaging is closer to sending smoke signals than texting. So, the question is, as a cell, how do you differentiate between two ligands, both of which look like similar puffs of smoke in the distance?” said Michael Elowitz.
The science team depicted two “ligands” responsible for inter-cellular communication
Elowitz and his science team revealed that only two “ligands” are responsible for cells communication. Named Delta 1 and Delta 4, these two “ligands” activate the receptors within cells. These receptors decypher the dynamic code communication and send the information to cells which change accordingly.