Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New insight into double-protected dance of cell division

06.03.2013
Biochemists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst including assistant professor Peter Chien recently gained new insight into how protein synthesis and degradation help to regulate the delicate ballet of cell division. In particular, they reveal how two proteins shelter each other in “mutually assured cleanup” to insure that division goes smoothly and safely.
Cells must routinely dispose of leftover proteins with the aid of proteases that cut up and recycle used proteins. The problem for biochemists is that the same protein molecule can be toxic garbage at one time, but essential for function at another time such as during the cell cycle, that is, events that unfold to achieve replication of chromosomes and division of the cell.

As Chien explains, “We know that a process that has to happen as reliably and stably as cell division also has to be flexible enough to allow the organism to grow and respond to its ever-changing environment. We’re interested in uncovering all the steps and back-up safeguards that cells use to robustly protect replication while at the same time allowing other functions to proceed.” Results appear in the early online edition of Molecular Microbiology.

To do this work, Amber Cantin in Chien’s lab, closely collaborated with Michael Laub and colleagues at MIT to look in a bacteria, Caulobacter, where they had previously figured out how cells distinguish waste proteins from useful molecules. They focused on a protein called CtrA that sits on DNA like a cap, controlling replication until conditions are right for division to occur.

Destruction of CtrA allows cells to start replicating their chromosome. Cantin used biochemical experiments with highly purified proteins to show that CtrA was only degraded when it was bound to DNA and that another protein, SciP, could help make CtrA bind better to DNA, making CtrA more resistant to proteolysis.

Surprisingly, this also made SciP less able to be destroyed as well, showing that both proteins prevent their own destruction by protecting each other. In addition, while both proteins were destroyed, they were recognized by completely different proteases. These advances, along with current findings, may offer medical researchers a clue for understanding diseases such as abnormal cell cycle progression in cancer.

This work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and additional funds from UMass Amherst.

Janet Lathrop | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umass.edu

Further reports about: Amherst Cantin CtrA DNA SCIP cell cycle molecular microbiology

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie

nachricht Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

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...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

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...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

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...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>