In order to divide, cells must first replicate their chromosomes. Cells use an array of proteins to accomplish the job, including a large enzyme complex that synthesizes new strands of DNA. In a paper to be published Oct. 22 in the journal Molecular Cell, University of Minnesota researchers report that a particular protein, called minichromosome maintenance protein 10 (Mcm10), protects the enzyme from destruction and, like a molecular tugboat, escorts it to its "port"--the location on a chromosome where DNA replication will begin. Mcm10s versatility implies that it is indispensable for cell division. Therefore, drugs that target Mcm10 could be effective in stopping the uncontrolled cell division seen in cancerous tumors.
The work grew out of a desire to learn the identity of the "tugboat," said Anja Bielinsky, an assistant professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics, in whose laboratory the work was performed. The first author on the paper is Robin Ricke, a graduate student. The two scientists worked with bakers yeast, an organism often used to study basic biological mechanisms.
First, a little background on how DNA replicates itself: Before DNA replication can begin, the two strands in the DNA double helix must be unwound. Next, multiple molecules of a certain protein attach to the strands to keep them from spontaneously sticking together again. Only then can the star of the show--DNA polymerase alpha, the enzyme complex that synthesizes new DNA strands--be escorted to the specific sites on the DNA strands where it can attach and go to work.
Deane Morrison | EurekAlert!
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown University
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences