Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel connection found between biological clock and cancer

03.07.2006
Dartmouth Medical School geneticists have discovered that DNA damage resets the cellular circadian clock, suggesting links among circadian timing, the cycle of cell division, and the propensity for cancer.

Their work, reported June 29 in Science Express, the advance electronic publication of Science, implies a protective dimension for the biological clock in addition to its pacemaker functions that play such a sweeping role in the rhythms and activities of life.

"The notion that the clock regulates DNA-damage input and that mutation can affect the clock as well as the cell cycle is novel," says Jay Dunlap, professor and chair of genetics at DMS. "It suggests a fundamental connection among circadian timing, cell cycle progress, and potentially the origins of some cancers."

Dunlap is a co-author of the paper with DMS colleagues, Jennifer Loros, professor of biochemistry, graduate student Christopher L. Baker, and former students António M. Pregueiro and Qiuyun Liu.

The team of Loros and Dunlap were among to first to delineate the intricate web of clockwork genes, proteins and feedback loops that drive circadian rhythms, working chiefly in the classic genetic model organism Neurospora, the common bread mold.

One gene (period-4) was identified over 25 years ago by a mutation that affects two clock properties, shortening the circadian period and altering temperature compensation. For this study, the researchers cloned the gene based on its position in the genome, and found it was an important cell cycle regulator. When they eliminated the gene from the genome, the clock was normal, indicating that the mutation interfered in some way with the clock, rather than supplying something that the clock normally needs to run.

Biochemically, the mutation results in a premature modification of the well understood clock protein, frequency (FRQ). The investigators demonstrated that this was a direct result of action by an enzyme, called in mammals checkpoint kinase-2 (CHK2), whose normal role is exclusively in regulating the cell division cycle. CHK2 physically interacts with FRQ; the mutation makes this interaction much stronger. However, a mutant enzyme that has lost its activity has no effect on the clock.

Normally CHK2 is involved in the signal response pathway that begins when DNA is damaged and results in a temporary stoppage of cell division until the damage is fixed. The researchers found that the resetting effect of DNA damage requires the period-4 clock protein, and that period-4 is the homolog, the Neurospora version, of the mammalian checkpoint kinase.

Moreover, the clock regulates expression of the period-4 gene. This closes a loop connecting the clock to period-4 and period-4 to the clock and the cell cycle. The clock normally modulates expression of this gene that encodes an important cell cycle regulator, and that cell cycle regulator in turn affects not only the cell cycle but also the clock.

Recent evidence in mammalian cells shows that other cell cycle regulators physically interact with clock proteins. Loss of at least one clock protein (mammalian period-2) is known to increase cancer susceptibility. The coordination of the clock and cell division through cell cycle checkpoints, supports the clock's "integral role in basic cell biology," conclude the researchers." Their work can help advance understanding of cancer origins as well as the timing of anti-cancer treatment.

Dartmouth Public Affairs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dartmouth.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

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...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

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...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

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...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>