Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Discover Missing Link in Cell Mitosis: The Role of Protein in Controlling Cell Division is Unveiled

22.07.2010
A major discovery, led by researchers from The George Washington University Medical Center, promises to revolutionize the way scientists think about key aspects of cellular lifecycle and offers a new avenue for cancer researchers to explore in their quest to one day slow down the progression of cancer.

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

About The George Washington University Medical Center
The George Washington University Medical Center is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary academic health center that has consistently provided high-quality medical care in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1824. The Medical Center comprises the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the 11th oldest medical school in the country; the School of Public Health and Health Services, the only such school in the nation’s capital; GW Hospital, jointly owned and operated by a partnership between The George Washington University and a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.; and The GW Medical Faculty Associates, an independent medical practice with nearly 550 physicians in 47 clinical specialties.

Anne Banner | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.gwumc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological 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: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now?

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks

08.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>