Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cells send dirty laundry home to mom

Understanding how aged and damaged mother cells manage to form new and undamaged daughter cells is one of the toughest riddles of ageing, but scientists now know how yeast cells do it. In a groundbreaking study researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show how the daughter cell uses a mechanical "conveyor belt" to dump damaged proteins in the mother cell.

"This ensures that the daughter cell is born without age-related damage," says professor Thomas Nyström from the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.

Thomas Nyström is a professor of microbiology at the University of Gothenburg and one of Sweden's leading researchers in the field of cellular and molecular biology. His research group has published countless scientific discoveries about cell ageing which have provided a new understanding of aging and age-related diseases. Now he and his colleagues have identified a key piece in the ageing puzzle.

Mechanic transport

In a study published as a feature article in the scientific journal Cell, two collaborating research groups at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology have been able to show how newly formed yeast cells transport damaged and aged proteins back to the mother cell, guaranteeing that the new cell is born young and healthy.

Mother dustbin

"Previously it was believed that these structures allowed only one-way traffic of proteins and organelles from mother cell to daughter cell," says Nyström. "We can now show that damaged proteins are transported in the opposite direction. In principle, this means that the daughter cell uses the mother cell as a dustbin for all the rubbish resulting from the ageing process, ensuring that the newly formed cell is born without age-related damage."

Conveyor belt

In the study, the researchers show that this transportation is mechanical, using conveyor-like structures called actin cables. A special gene which controls the rate of ageing, called SIR2, is needed for these cables to form properly. Previous research has shown that changing the SIR2 gene can markedly extend the life-span of an organism.

Longer life
"Increased SIR2 activity means a longer life, whereas a damaged SIR2 gene accelerates ageing," says Nyström. "This has been demonstrated in studies of yeast, worms, flies and fish, and may also be the case in mammals."

Future treatment

This knowledge of how age-damaged proteins are transported from daughter cell to mother cell could eventually be used in the treatment of age-related diseases caused by protein toxicity in humans, but Nyström says that it is too early to say how.

The first step

"The first step is to study whether this transportation of damaged proteins also occurs in the cells of mammals, including humans, for example in the formation of sex sells and stem cells."

The article The Polarisome Is Required for Segregation and Retrograde Transport of Protein Aggregates was published in Cell on 22 January. The study was performed jointly by Thomas Nyström and Julie Grantham's research groups at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg. The lead author of the article is Beidong Liu, a postdoctoral researcher in Nyström's group.

Thomas Nyström, professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
+46 31 786 2582
+46 706 929 260

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>