Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Reshape Basic Understanding of Cell Division

09.11.2010
Potentially big implications for cancer control

By tracking the flow of information in a cell preparing to split, Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a protein mechanism that coordinates and regulates the dynamics of shape change necessary for division of a single cell into two daughter cells.

The protein, called 14-3-3, sits at an intersection where it integrates converging signals from within the cell and cues cell shape change and, ultimately, the splitting that allows for normal and abnormal cell growth, such as in tumors.

In a report published Nov. 9 in Current Biology, the Hopkins team links 14-3-3 directly to myosin II, a complex of motor proteins that monitors and smoothes out the shape changes to ensure accurate division.

“The discovery of this role for 14-3-3 has immediate and important medical implications because cell division already is one of the major targets of anticancer drugs,” says Douglas Robinson, Ph.D., an associate professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “This protein provides a new opportunity for tweaking the cell division system.”

The new findings grew out of studies of the so-called mitotic spindle in the one-celled amoeba Dictyostelium. The spindle’s job is to separate all the genetic material into two identical sets, one for each daughter cell, and coordinate cell division activities at the cell’s outer membrane.

Using a painstaking chemical-genetic approach, the scientists altered the cells so that they grew only half as well as normal. They then used tools of genetic engineering to try to make the cells grow normally again.

Specifically, they used a chemical that makes the spindles fall apart, and then they searched for genes “turned on” in response to this catastrophe. Out popped 14-3-3. When they increased production of 14-3-3, they found that the chemical lost its damaging effect.

Next, they blocked 14-3-3 and noticed traits in these cells reminiscent of what happens when myosin II muscle-moving machinery is disturbed, suggesting that 14-3-3 plays a critical role in cell shape dynamics and cell division.

The amoeba has only one form of the 14-3-3 protein compared to humans, whose seven forms interact with hundreds of proteins to regulate many cellular processes. Some 14-3-3s in humans are thought to be tumor suppressors because their function is lost in tumor cells; other 14-3-3s in humans are over-productive in certain types of cancers, suggesting that they may be biomarkers for disease progression.

Ironically, division failure may put a cell on the pathway of tumor development because it results in a cell having twice as many parts and chromosomes during the next cell cycle. Such chromosomal instability may put it at risk of losing genetic material such as tumor suppressors.

Tumor cells often have alterations in their mechanical properties, Robinson says, adding that those alterations are thought to contribute to how cells can metastasize, invade and pass through different cell layers to migrate to new locations in the body.

Says Robinson: “Having studied myosin II for 13 years, it still surprised us that 14-3-3 coordinates myosin II in the critical processes of cell shape change and division.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and American Cancer Society.

Johns Hopkins authors of the study, in addition to Robinson, are Qiongqiong Zhou, Yee-Seir Kee, Christopher C. Poirier, Christine Jelinek, Jonathan Osborne, Srikanth Divi, Alexandra Surcel, Pablo A. Iglesias, Marie E. Will and Robert J. Cotter.

Other authors are Ulrike S Eggert of Harvard Medical School and Annette
Müller-Taubenberger of the Ludwig-Maximillians-University, Munich.
On the Web:
Doug Robinson: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/cellbio/robinson/index.html
Current Biology: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/

Maryalice Yakutchik | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/cellbio/robinson/index.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>