Amin Rustom

Amin Rustom
Universität Heidelberg · Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Centre for Neurosciences (IZN)

About

32
Publications
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Introduction
Tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) are increasingly recognized as central players in a multitude of cellular mechanisms and diseases. A broader field of vision, including their striking functional and structural resemblance with membrane tube-mediated phenomena found throughout the phylogenetic tree, points to a universal, conserved and tightly regulated mechanism of cell-to-cell communication.

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Full-text available
Coordinated collective electrochemical signals in multicellular assemblies, such as ion fluxes, membrane potentials, electrical gradients and steady electric fields, play an important role in cell and tissue spatial organization during many physiological processes like wound healing, inflammatory responses and hormone release. This mass of electric...
Article
Full-text available
Cell biology considers most animal tissues as assemblies of "individual" cells that rely on different contact-dependent communication mechanisms, including synapses, gap junctions or - a recent awareness - membrane nano- and microtubes. However, by protease-mediated singularization of dense 2D/ 3D cell cultures and tissue explants, we show here tha...
Article
Full-text available
Tunnelling nanotubes (TNTs) are increasingly recognized as central players in a multitude of cellular mechanisms and diseases. Although their existence and functions in animal organisms are still elusive, emerging evidence suggests that they are involved in developmental processes, tissue regeneration, viral infections or pathogen transfer, stem ce...
Article
Full-text available
The functional fusion of "living" biomaterial (such as cells) with synthetic systems has developed into a principal ambition for various scientific disciplines. In particular, emerging fields such as bionics and nanomedicine integrate advanced nanomaterials with biomolecules, cells and organisms in order to develop novel strategies for applications...
Article
LNTs are unique 3D structures made only of safe and abundant biomaterials by self-assembly. Current bottleneck for developing applications using LNTs is lack of easy technique to pattern them on substrates. We report a method to free draw single lipid nanotube (LNT) patterns in any shape on surfaces with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamin...
Article
Full-text available
Peritoneal dialysis (PD) has attained increased relevance as continuous renal replacement therapy over the past years. During this treatment, the peritoneum functions as dialysis membrane to eliminate diffusible waste products from the blood-stream. Success and efficacy of this treatment is dependent on the integrity of the peritoneal membrane. Chr...
Article
The receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), a multiligand receptor of the immunoglobulin superfamily, takes part in various inflammatory processes. The role of this receptor in the context of intercellular communication, like nanotube (NT)-mediated interaction, is largely unknown. Here, we use cell cultures of human and murine peritone...
Article
Full-text available
The recent awareness that eukaryotic cells can be linked and communicate via membranous nanotubes (NTs) has extended previous conceptions of cell-to-cell interaction. Apart from mediating functional connectivity between a broad range of cells, facilitating intercellular transmission of electric signals or various cellular components, there is stron...
Article
Surface-bound self-assembled lipid nanotubes (LNTs) made of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) were used to visualize the contractile activity of spreading cells. The interaction of cells with LNTs resulted in the nucleation of new nanotubes, directed toward the cell center, from existing ones. This process depended on cell genera...
Article
The development of multi-cellular organisms involves a comprehensive and tightly regulated cell-to-cell communication system to coordinate the activity and behavior of individual cells. Diverse signaling pathways ranging from receptor-mediated signal transduction to contact-dependent communication via gap junctions achieve these complex interaction...
Article
Cross-sections of cylindrically shaped nanowires are fabricated using a focused ion beam technique. They are oriented such that the electron beam direction is parallel to a low-index zone axis for high- resolution imaging. In this configuration the direction of gold nanowire growth can be determined using electron diffraction.
Article
Full-text available
The biogenesis, maturation, and exocytosis of secretory granules in interphase cells have been well documented, whereas the distribution and exocytosis of these hormone-storing organelles during cell division have received little attention. By combining ultrastructural analyses and time-lapse microscopy, we here show that, in dividing PC12 cells, t...
Data
Movie SM1. A PC12 cell coexpressing hCgB-DsRedExpress (red) and EGFP-tubulin (green) is observed as it progresses through cell division. Indicated time refers to “hrs:min:sec, msec”. Movie SM2. A PC12 cell coexpressing hCgB-DsRedExpress (red) and EGFP-tubulin (green) is observed as it progresses through late stages of mitosis. Single time frames fr...
Data
Assessment of an exchange of cellular material between NT-connected HPMCs by microinjection. (A) Cell membranes were stained with WGA 488 (green) and for injection of fluorescently labeled dextran Texas Red® (red) one cell of a NT-connected cell-pair was selected (asterisk). The arrow points to the connecting NT. (B) Merged fluorescence picture sho...
Data
NT numbers between HPMCs from CAPD-patients. Quantitative analyses of the NTs/cells ratio from 3 different individuals (Donors VII–IX) undergoing CAPD. (TIF)
Data
Patient characteristics. Peritoneal biopsies from 5 individuals (Donors I–IV, VI) and overnight bags from four PD-patients (Donor V, VII–IX) were collected as described. Details concerning age, gender, reason for surgery, tumors, diabetes and infections/sepsis of the patients are listed. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
A well-known role of human peritoneal mesothelial cells (HPMCs), the resident cells of the peritoneal cavity, is the generation of an immune response during peritonitis by activation of T-cells via antigen presentation. Recent findings have shown that intercellular nanotubes (NTs) mediate functional connectivity between various cell types including...
Article
Recently, numerous innovative approaches have attempted to overcome the shortcomings of standard tissue culturing by providing custom-tailored substrates with superior features. In particular, tunable surface chemistry and topographical micro- and nanostructuring have been highlighted as potent effectors to control cell behavior. Apart from tissue...
Article
Precise coordination of various cell types and tissues represents a substantial prerequisite for the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. Therefore, eukaryotic cells have developed a variety of complex structures, including synapses or gap junctions. Recently, thin membranous channels, termed "tunnelling nanotubes," were discover...
Article
This paper presents an automated method for the identification of thin membrane tubes in 3D fluorescence images. These tubes, referred to as tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), are newly discovered intercellular structures that connect living cells through a membrane continuity. TNTs are 50-200 nm in diameter, crossing from one cell to another at their nea...
Article
Centrosomes are the major microtubule nucleating center in the cell; they also contribute to spindle pole organization and play a role in cell cycle progression as well as completing cytokinesis. Here we describe the molecular characterization of a novel human gene, CEP55, located in 10q23.33 that is expressed in multiple tissues and various cancer...
Chapter
I ntercellular communication is a major requirement for the development and maintainance of multicellular organisms. Diverse mechanisms for the exchange of signals between cells during evolution have been established. These mechanisms include intercellular membrane channels between plant cells, called plasmodesmata, and proteinaceous channels of an...
Article
Full-text available
Cell-to-cell communication is a crucial prerequisite for the development and maintenance of multicellular organisms. To date, diverse mechanisms of intercellular exchange of information have been documented, including chemical synapses, gap junctions, and plasmodesmata. Here, we describe highly sensitive nanotubular structures formed de novo betwee...
Article
Hyaluronan is the sole glycosaminoglycan whose biosynthesis takes place directly at the plasma membrane. The mechanism by which hyaluronan synthase (HAS) becomes inserted there, as well as the question of how the enzyme discriminates between particular membrane species in polarized cells, are largely unknown. In vitro translation of HAS suggested t...
Article
In epithelial cells, soluble cargo proteins destined for basolateral or apical secretion are packaged into distinct trans-Golgi network-derived transport carriers. Similar carriers, termed basolateral- and apical-like, have been observed in nonepithelial cells using ectopically expressed membrane marker proteins. Whether these cells are capable of...
Article
Full-text available
Secretory granules store neuropeptides and hormones and exhibit regulated exocytosis upon appropriate cellular stimulation. They are generated in the trans-Golgi network as immature secretory granules, short-lived vesicular intermediates, which undergo a complex and poorly understood maturation process. Due to their short half-life and low abundanc...
Article
Full-text available
The generation of spectral mutants of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) set the stage for multiple-color imaging in living cells. However, the use of this technique has been limited by a spectral overlap of the available GFP mutants and/or by insufficient resolution in both time and space. Using a new setup for dual-color imaging, we demonstrate...

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of technologies in our daily life. The underlying algorithms are in general based on well-established conceptions of neurobiology. However, an important concept of intercellular communication may have been missed so far. Our hypothesis that animal tissues represent membrane tube-based syncytia, rather than networks of individual cells, would imply the existence of an additional layer of information spread that will dramatically increase the complexity of neuronal networks. Since it is questionable, whether an assembly of cell individuals that communicate – even in the most complex manner – can develop something like consciousness, the concept of an individual syncycial assembly - in which perception, information transfer and experience are shared functions of the network – might come closer to the in vivo situation. Although many aspects of membrane nanotube-based cell-cell communication, e.g. their electrophysiological properties etc., are still poorly characterized, we are looking for interested AI experts to proceed in this direction.