Cytoskeleton Restructuring or Novel Filament Forming “Cell Snakes”

 By Kathryn A. Augustyn
MRG Associate Researcher

Cytoskeleton Restructuring or Novel Filament Forming Cell Snakes

New filaments in Cytoskeleton?

Morgellons filaments or filamentous forms can be likened to what is being called “Cell Snakes”. This is a new novel finding; however, it may link into the 4 filaments outside of actin, intermediate filaments and microtubules, which make up the cytoskeleton. According to scientists at Wilhelm Lab, these are normal. However, what is now being found are 4 additional filaments not noticed before. Could these have been created in a CTP synthase? Much information is out there on the restructuring of the cytoskeleton cell.

Peter Sitte said in 1980: “Biochemical data only become meaningful when they can be assigned to distinctive subcellular structures.”

According to the University of Oxford scientists, intracellular compartmentalization in drosophila, a model for RNA study focused on 3 fundamental questions. This research was done in the Liu group. This is described in the following excerpt:

“First, we will investigate how a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) assembly and RNA splicing factor survival motor neuron (SMN) and the abundance of U snRNP bodies (U bodies) are regulated during development. SMN, a major constituent of U bodies which contain snRNPs (small nuclear RNPs), is the determining factor for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common genetic cause for childhood death. The study of SMN and the U body thus holds the key to identifying the cellular mechanism of SMA.

Second, we will study the mechanisms by which the synthesis of CTP, one of the critical precursors of RNA, is compartmentalized within a cell. We have recently discovered that CTP synthase is compartmentalized in a novel evolutionarily conserved organelle, the cytoophidium. Compartmentalization is essential for the localization of biological processes within a eukaryotic cell. CTP synthase has been an attractive target for developing agents against cancer, viruses and parasites.  Cytoophidia (green) in fruit fly ovarian cells (Liu, 2010)

Finally, we are interested in the biological roles of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) in Drosophila. While much knowledge has been gained on the functionality of protein-coding genes, we know very little about the mechanisms by which lincRNAs function in flies or other higher organisms.”  http://groups.mrcfgu.ox.ac.uk/liu-group/research

Are “cell snakes”, cytoophidium and the 4 new biological filamentous forms the same thing? These new filaments are composed of nine proteins according to the Wilhelm Lab at the University of California, San Diego. The below article shows very similar forms called “cell snakes” at Oxford, as of October 3, 2011. New biological filaments are showing up in yeast, flies, bacterial cells rat neurons by the Wilhelm Lab and the Oxford Lab is finding them in humans. They are currently being called “cell snakes” My question, in a Morgellons mindset is how did they get there? In the article below it appears that these are found in many species, besides human. The term cytoophidium was used at the Oxford labs as well. Also the below article ties in the groups who are studying this and there is a consensus on the “snake like structures”

‘Snakes’ seen in human cells’

October 3, 2011 By Jonathan Wood (PhysOrg.com) — Curious snake-like forms have been spotted in cells from many different species across the evolutionary tree. Now Oxford scientists have shown they exist in human cells as well.

Three groups reported observations of the snakes in cells from a whole range of different species at around the same time in 2010, including Dr. Ji-Long Liu’s group at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in Oxford.

Ji-Long and colleagues named the structures ‘cytoophidia’ because of how they looked under the microscope: cytoophidium is ‘cell snake’ in Greek.

“Cytoophidia have heads and tails and can move around. They really do look like snakes,” explains Ji-Long Liu. “I reported the finding in fruit flies early in the summer of 2010,’ he says. “Two months later, two papers – one from Zemer Gitai’s group in Princeton and the other from James Wilhelm’s group at the University of California, San Diego – reported similar snake-like structures in bacteria, brewer’s yeast, flies and rats.”

Ji-Long’s group has now reported the first observation of these cellular structures in human cells in the Journal of Genetics and Genomics.

“Amazingly, these snakes occur across the tree of life, from bugs to humans,” he says. “Cytoophidia are found inside cells, and sometimes they stay near the surface of cells. It looks like the number of snakes in a cell is tightly controlled.”

But what are they? Having initially observed the snakes in cells from fruit flies, Ji-Long got curious and decided to follow up the chance observation. He took advantage of a collection of fruit flies at the Carnegie Institution Department of Embryology [CIDE], where he worked before moving to Oxford.

Methyltransferase Protein – Active Human Recombinant HMT’s HTS Validated for Screening – http://www.ReactionBiology.com

In this collection, individual proteins in the fruit flies had been labelled with a fluorescent green marker, allowing Ji-Long to identify the cell snakes as containing the enzyme CTP synthase.

CTP synthase is a crucial but not necessarily glamorous enzyme, one of many such enzymes involved in necessary biological processes that keep our cells ticking over. In this case, the enzyme plays a role in making the molecule CTP, a building block that helps make up DNA and RNA. The CTP molecule also crops up in fat metabolism.

If the generation of CTP goes wrong, it could cause a lot of damage to the cell,” Ji-Long says.

It is possible to speculate about why an enzyme would form these long filament structures in cells. For a start, cells are a long way from just being bags of biological molecules and enzymes that float around freely, magically carrying out their many functions, reactions and chains of metabolic processes.

The cell needs an organized structure to bring this industry of biochemical reactions under control, with many processes cordoned off in separate chambers, capsules and compartments. It allows related reactions to be better controlled and regulated, with the right concentrations of the different molecules brought together in the right environment. After all, you don’t just bung all the ingredients into a chemical engineering plant, a brewery or a baking tin imagining that the recipe will be fine.

“The beauty of a well-organized cell has not been appreciated by everyone. Without the structure, a bag of the same amounts of all the molecules would not do the same thing as a living cell,” explains Ji-Long. “Compartmentation could be a general feature for many enzymes in a cell,” he believes.

He notes that six enzymes that produce a set of biomolecular building blocks called purines are known to cluster in a specific compartment, and studies have shown that many proteins are found localized in just one part of a cell. “It seems to us that the filaments are necessary for the CTP synthase enzyme activity,” he says. “We are trying to understand the relationship between filament-forming and the overall function of the enzyme in a cell – but we have no clear answer yet.”

His research group has found some drugs that affect the assembly of the CTP synthase enzyme into snakes, making the filaments appear in human and fruit fly cells. This approach could give a new handle to study the snakes’ function in the cell.

Another interesting question is why the enzyme forms a snake-like filament or rings rather than spheres or just irregular capsules. These shapes have different surface-to-volume ratios, which might give some clues as to the difference this makes to the activity of the enzyme.

“It would be fascinating to know more about what the role of the cytoophidium plays in regulating the production of CTP,” says Ji-Long. He notes that the CTP synthase enzyme is found in larger amounts in many types of cancer cells, and that his group has shown that some potential anti-cancer drugs can promote the formation of cytoophidia.

At the moment the existence of these snakes is an interesting observation that opens up intriguing new research questions, but what role the snakes play in our cells is unknown. Ji-Long also suggests that it’s ‘very likely’ there are other enzymes packaged up in structures in the cell that we don’t know about yet. “Time will tell,” he says.
Provided by Oxford University (news : web) http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-snakes-human-cells.html

From a Morgellons standpoint, having felt filaments and fibers that seem out of place in the skin one wonders if these new fiber filaments are a form of recombinant Methyl Transferase. Is this the mobile DNA that is talked about by many of the Rna/Dna geneticists? Are these airborne? Or could they be in the wild now as a directed evolutionary process forced upon the environment? In other words, is this a method of altering the environment to adapt to the new designs placed upon it? These new designs, forms and structures can resemble what is natural, but they are not. They are forms that would mimic nature, but are made in a lab from organic chemistry or from inorganic chemistry. These are the closest forms we have seen that compare to the Morgellon’s filamentous structures.

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