Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Florida State researcher uncovers protein's role in cell division

16.06.2010
A Florida State University researcher has identified the important role that a key protein plays in cell division, and that discovery could lead to a greater understanding of stem cells.

Timothy L. Megraw, an associate professor in the College of Medicine, has outlined his findings in the cover story of the June 15 issue of Developmental Cell. The article, "CDK5RAP2 Regulates Centriole Engagement and Cohesion in Mice," was co-authored by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and the University of North Texas.

In August, Megraw received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore the role of centrosomes and cilia in cell division and their connections to human disease.

One long-term goal of Megraw's research has been to discover which parts of the cell play which roles in cell division. The centrosome is an important player. When a cell is ready to divide, it typically has two centrosomes, each containing a "mother and daughter" pair of centrioles tightly connected to each other, or "engaged."

"Two is important," Megraw said, "because you divide your genetic material into two equal sets. Each of these centriole pairs organizes the cytoskeletal machinery that pulls the chromosomes apart. So you don't want there to be more than two, because then you run the risk of unequal separation of the chromosomes."

The centrioles are supposed to replicate only once during the cell cycle. What keeps them from replicating more often was discovered a few years ago, Megraw said, when researchers identified mother-daughter engagement as the key. Once those two become disengaged, it acts as the "licensing" step, in effect giving the centrioles permission to replicate.

Unknown until now, Megraw said, was what regulated those centrioles to remain engaged until the proper time, to prevent excess replication. He suspected that the protein CDK5RAP2 was at least partly responsible. His team tested the protein's role using a mutant mouse in which the protein was "knocked out" and not functioning. These researchers looked for any effects on engagement and "cohesion," in which centriole pairs are tethered by fibers.

They noted in the mutant mouse that engagement and cohesion did not occur in their typical orderly fashion and that centrioles were more numerous and often single rather than paired. The amplified centrioles assembled multipolar spindles, a potential hazard for chromosomal stability. The researchers concluded that CDK5RAP2 is required to maintain centriole engagement and cohesion, thereby restricting centriole replication.

They are looking at how this discovery might apply to the human brain.

"The two mouse mutants we made mimic the two known mutations in humans in CDK5RAP2 — which has another name, MCPH3, in humans," Megraw said. "The disease associated with that is a small brain.

"Our next step is to look at the brains of the mice and try to determine what's wrong. We think it's the stem cells — that the progenitors that give rise to all the neurons in the brain are dying early or changing from a progenitor into a neuron too early."

Another gene called myomegalin might be functionally redundant to CDK5RAP2, Megraw said, adding, "Our goal is to knock that out, too."

The research his lab has done might also be applicable to cancer drugs for humans, he said. Centrosomes organize microtubules, which are structures in the cell that many important anti-cancer drugs target.

"The amplified centrioles and multipolar spindles suggest that the mutant mice may be more susceptible to developing cancers," Megraw said. "We are in a position to test this with our new mouse models."

College of Medicine student Zach Folzenlogen created the cover design for this issue of Developmental Cell.

Learn more about Megraw's research at http://www.med.fsu.edu/biomed/lab/megraw/.

Timothy Megraw | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

Further reports about: CDK5RAP2 anti-cancer drug cancer drug cell death cell division mouse model

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Tag it EASI – a new method for accurate protein analysis
19.06.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries
19.06.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>