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Cells missing a key molecule look spiky and cannot move normally

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Praveen Suraneni and Rong Li, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Kansas City, Mo.

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Cells missing a key molecule look spiky 

This is a fibroblast, a connective tissue cell that plays an important role in wound healing. Normal fibroblasts, have smooth edges. In contrast, this spiky cell is missing a protein that is necessary for proper construction of the cell's skeleton. Its jagged shape makes it impossible for the cell to move normally. In addition to compromising wound healing, abnormal cell movement can lead to birth defects, faulty immune function and other health problems.

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This page last reviewed on July 28, 2016