The cell surface represents the interface between the cell and its environment. As such, the cell surface controls cell–cell interactions and functions such as adhesion and migration, and will transfer external cues to regulate processes such as survival, death, and differentiation. Redefining the cell surface by temporarily (or permanently) modifying the molecular landscape of the plasma membrane affects the way in which the cell interacts with its environment and influences the information that is relayed into the cell along downstream signaling pathways. This chapter outlines the role of key enzymes, the glycosyltransferases, in posttranslationally modifying proteins and lipids to fine-tune cells, ability to migrate. These enzymes are critical in controlling the formation of a platform structure, sialyl Lewis x (sLex), on circulating cells that plays a central role in the recognition and recruitment by selectin counter receptors on endothelial cells that line blood vessels of tissues throughout the body. By developing methods to manipulate the activity of these enzymes and hence the cell surface structures that result, treatments can be envisioned that direct the migration of therapeutic cells to specific locations throughout the body and also to inhibit metastasis of detrimental cells such as circulating tumor cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Micro- and Nanoengineering of the Cell Surface|
|Number of pages||39|
|State||Published - Jun 7 2014|