Dr. Ying Wai Chan and Dr. Anna Santamaria, scientists from Prof. Erich Nigg’s research group, have been able to show that the enzyme Aurora B and the protein complex Ska play a central role in flawless chromosome segregation. These findings, also relevant to cancer research, have now been published in the current issue of «Journal of Cell Biology».
Spindle apparatus (left): Aurora B regulates the Ska complex. The chromosomes (blue) can be captured by the spindle fibres (green) at the attachment points (red). Spindle apparatus (right): Aurora B can’t regulate the Ska complex. Aurora B can’t fix the attachment points (red) between chromosomes (blue) and spindle fibres (green). (Photo: University of Basel)
The human body grows by cells dividing and multiplying. In this highly complex process, flaws may occur, which are responsible for the development of tumor cells. To ensure the error-free division of the cell, the genetic material of the cell – consisting of 23 pairs of chromosomes – must be divided evenly into two new daughter cells.
Prof. Erich Nigg’s research group has been able to show how the enzyme Aurora B, important for cell proliferation, ensures the error-free separation of the chromosomes. Aurora B regulates the interaction between two protein complexes (Ska complex and KMN complex) with the spindle apparatus, the molecular machine that drives cell division.
Aurora B determines the point in time and tensile strength
During cell division, the spindle apparatus produces spindle fibres. They reach out from two poles and each attaches to one sister chromosome. These are then pulled apart in opposite directions and incorporated into two daughter cells. “How the spindle fibre attaches to a chromosome is critical for the whole process“, explains Dr. Anna Santamaria. She and her co-workers have investigated the mechanism regulating how chromosomes get captured by the spindle fibres. The team found that, by regulating the protein complex Ska, the enzyme Aurora B determines the strength of the bond as well as the timing for optimal adhesion of the spindle fibres. Both must be exactly right to ensure that all sister chromosomes are correctly transferred to the two new daughter cells.
Tumor cells through errors in cell division
Should an error occur in this control mechanism, it could result in a chromosome being mis-segregated. Such cells could then develop into tumor cells and lead to cancer. Hence, the findings offer also insights which may lead to new approaches in cancer research. In collaboration with Prof. Elena Conti’s research group at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Martinsried, Erich Nigg’s team is concentrating its efforts on elucidating the structure of the Ska complex. The results so far look very promising and this spring another publication is expected.Original article
J Cell Biol, Published online February 27, 2012. doi:10.1083/jcb.201109001Contact
Heike Sacher | Universität Basel
Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses
24.04.2017 | Indiana University
Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years
24.04.2017 | University of Oxford
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences