Research report 2016 - Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Cells in stand-by mode - How cells escape starvation by solidifying

Alberti, Simon; Munder, Matthias Christoph
Simon Alberti Group, Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik, Dresden
When cells do not get enough nutrients, their energy level drops. This leads to a decrease of the pH value of the liquid interior of the cell, the cytoplasm – the cells acidify. In response, the cells enter into a kind of stand-by mode, enabling them to survive. How cells switch on and off this stand-by mode is unknown. The Max-Planck researchers might have found the answer: The cytoplasm of the seemingly dead cells changes its consistency from liquid to solid, thereby protecting the sensitive structures in the cellular interior.

For the full text, see the German version.

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