Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UGA research team reveals molecular key to cell division

25.08.2003


Anyone who made it to high school biology has learned about mitosis, or cell division. One cell divides into two, two into four and so forth in a process designed to pass on exact copies of the DNA in chromosomes to daughter cells. New research, by a University of Georgia team, shows how the genes that control this process are regulated.



The study is important for cancer research because the regulation of cell division goes awry in tumors and normal cell growth and behavior are lost. Understanding how normal cell division is regulated will allow scientists to identify potential targets for cancer therapeutics, said Stephen Dalton, the molecular geneticist who led the UGA team.

"This is fundamental molecular cancer research," Dalton said. "One major problem in cancer is mis-segregation, [when the cell’s] ability to equally divide chromosomes is lost. One [daughter] cell might get too much genetic information and the other too little.


"This is why many tumors have unbalanced genetic makeup," he said. " The cells lose the ability to accurately segregate their chromosomes because control mechanisms, known as checkpoint controls, are lost."

Dalton worked with Bruce Kemp, deputy director of St. Vincent’s Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and UGA graduate student Cameron McLean.

Using Brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as their model system, the group found that molecules called cyclin-dependent kinases drive the mitosis process. More than 30 genes are switched on at the beginning of the process and switched off after chromosome segregation is complete.

"The yeast is easily manipulated genetically," Dalton said. "And because the mechanisms of cell division are conserved between yeast and humans, the observations we make in yeast, in general, are applicable to humans."

Now, Dalton and his team have turned their attention from yeast to human cells. They are focusing primarily on a group of molecules that have been implicated in many tumors. Collectively, these genes are known as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

"Our work is now focusing on how some of these initial observations in yeast can be applied to understanding molecular control of cell division in human cells," Dalton said, "and how that can be applied to understanding cancer."

The researchers have already made some novel observations about how the cyclin-dependent protein kinases function in human cells. Their findings will be published soon in a separate report.

"We’ve identified some new mechanisms by which oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are controlled," Dalton said. "Over the next year, I think we’ll get a clear idea of new roles these molecules play in early cell development and then try to fit the pieces together to see how they may influence cell behavior in the context of cancer.

"We’ve made some observations which fly in the face of the [scientific] literature," he said. "It’s going to be quite controversial but very exciting. It’s going to have some strong implications for the role these molecules play in cancer development."

The paper outlining the initial research with yeast was published in the July 15 issue of Genes and Development.

A geneticist of international renown, Dalton joined the faculty of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in January. He is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientists and a consultant for BresaGen, a cell therapy biotech company in Athens.

Kim Carlyle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System

nachricht Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea 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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>