New images of structural fibers inside a cell appear in a study featured on the cover of the Journal of Cell Science special issue on 3D Cell Biology, published this month. The images, obtained by scientists in the Biosciences Area, show thread-like cytofilaments reaching into and traversing a human breast cell’s chromatin-packed nucleus. It provides the first visual evidence of a physical link by which genes can receive mechanical cues from its microenvironment.
The work leading up to the images began in the early 1980s when Biological Systems & Engineering’s Mina Bissell proposed the idea that gene expression and cell fate were dependent on their physical surroundings called extracellular matrix. The images were captured by Manfred Auer, staff scientist, and Ke Xu, faculty scientist, both in the Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging Division. Read more at the Berkeley Lab News Center.