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How cells encourage phagocytes to ‘eat’ them

Written by Abigail Sawyer (Senior Editor)

Xkr4 protein membrane crossing

A molecular mechanism that leads to activation of an ‘eat me’ cell signal from cell death has been elucidated.  A team of scientists at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (Kyoto, Japan) has uncovered a novel molecular mechanism involved in the removal of unwanted cells in the body. Their recently published study in Molecular Cell details how the display of an ‘eat me’ lipid signal by a cell membrane protein is triggered.  “Every day, ten billion cells die and are engulfed by blood cells called phagocytes. If this didn’t happen, dead cells would burst, triggering an auto-immune reaction,” explained study leader, Jun...

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