1,100 Words

Bagnat LRE

An Alternative Path to Nutrition

The guts of zebrafish and newborn mammals have a limited capacity to digest proteins, which is a good thing, because it means they don’t chew up antibodies and antigens that could be useful for their developing immune systems. But they also need proteins from their food to survive and grow. How does that work? Cell biologist Michel Bagnat and his lab have found a specialized cell called the ‘lysosome-rich enterocyte’ (lysosomes marked in red) that aids the protein uptake in zebrafish and newborn mammals. Interfering with these structures in young mice led to malnutrition. (Developmental Cell - DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.08.001)