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Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;18(9):414-20. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Cytonemes and tunneling nanotubules in cell-cell communication and viral pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Infectious Diseases, King's College London School of Medicine, London Bridge, London SE19RT, UK.

Abstract

Cells use a variety of intercellular structures, including gap junctions and synapses, for cell-cell communication. Here, we present recent advances in the understanding of thin membrane bridges that function in cell-cell signaling and intercellular transport. Cytonemes or filopodial bridges connect neighboring cells via mechanisms of adhesion, which enable ligand-receptor-mediated transfer of surface-associated cargoes from cell to cell. By contrast, tunneling nanotubes establish tubular conduits between cells that provide for the exchange of both cell-surface molecules and cytoplasmic content. We propose models for the biogenesis of both types of membrane bridges and describe how viruses use these structures for the purpose of cell-to-cell spread.

PMID:
18703335
PMCID:
PMC2628975
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2008.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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