The discovery, reported in the article “Arpc 1b, a centrosomal protein, is both an activator and substrate of Aurora A,” furthers the science world’s understanding of what happens during the fundamental process of mitosis, when cells divide. The article was published in the current issue of The Journal of Cell Biology.
“This represents a crucial moment when the division of genetic material is still equally distributed. An even exchange is critical for stable genetic changes,” said Rakesh Kumar, Ph.D., chair of the GW Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In mitosis, cells begin to divide and genetic material coalesces around separate poles to form new cells. If all goes well that material is evenly distributed and two genetically identical “daughter cells” are formed. If something goes awry, however, it can result in the cascading production of aberrant cells with unequal and less ordered DNA and possibly cancer.
Lead authors Poonam R. Molli, Ph.D., ex-postdoctoral fellow, and Da-Qiang Li, M.D., assistant research professor, from GW’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, have identified a protein, Arpc 1b, that serves as both an activator as well as a substrate for Aurora A, an enzyme which plays a central role in cellular reproduction in normal cells but is overexpressed in several cancers. This represents perhaps the earliest step in mitosis and serves as the missing link regarding the role this protein plays in starting the cell cycle and what keeps the process in balance. The authors discovered that Arpc1b also exists as a stand alone protein and believe that it might also play an independent role outside its established contribution to actin machinery.
More than just an observation of how cells divide, this discovery also offers a potential target for pharmaceutical therapy. Both Aurora A and Arpc1b are over-expressed in breast cancers. Pharmaceutical inhibitors targeting Aurora A are currently available and thus, could be combined with other future targeting strategies. The researchers discovered that an over-expression of Arpc1b promotes tumorigenic properties of breast cancer cells. Scientists believe that if they can someday find a means of suppressing the activity of Arpc 1b in cancer cell, the balance could be restored to this dynamic yet tightly regulated biological event.
“This discovery is the result of persistence and the commitment to scientific breakthrough,” said Dr. Kumar. “Asking a question and staying involved until you find the answer to close the loop is critical in scientific discovery.” In this case the earliest piece of data used here was obtained in 2001.
To learn more about this research, view The Journal of Cell Biology article: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/early/2010/06/30/jcb.200908050.full
Anne Banner | Newswise Science News
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease
19.02.2018 | University of Cambridge
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...
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...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Information Technology
19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences