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Myosin-Driven Intercellular Transportation of Wheat Germ Agglutinin Mediated by Membrane Nanotubes between Human Lung Cancer Cells

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posted on 27.11.2012 by Zhi-Gang Wang, Shu-Lin Liu, Zhi-Quan Tian, Zhi-Ling Zhang, Hong-Wu Tang, Dai-Wen Pang
Membrane nanotubes can facilitate direct intercellular communication between cells and provide a unique channel for intercellular transfer of cellular contents. However, the transport mechanisms of membrane nanotubes remain poorly understood between cancer cells. Also largely unknown is the transport pattern mediated by membrane nanotubes. In this work, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a widely used drug carrier and potential antineoplastic drug, was labeled with quantum dots (QDs-WGA) as a model for exploring the intercellular transportation via membrane nanotubes. We found that membrane nanotubes allowed effective transfer of QDs-WGA. Long-term single-particle tracking indicated that the movements of QDs-WGA exhibited a slow and directed motion pattern in nanotubes. Significantly, the transport of QDs-WGA was driven by myosin molecular motors in an active and unidirectional manner. These results contribute to a better understanding of cell-to-cell communication for cancer research.