Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists Discover How to Map Cell-Signaling Molecules to Their Targets

10.09.2013
University of Montreal, McGill researchers develop new method to link signaling molecules to target regulators of cell division

A team of University of Montreal and McGill University researchers have devised a method to identify how signaling molecules orchestrate the sequential steps in cell division.


Conrad Hall, McGill University

A mitotic spindle hub (the orange and grey hub-and-spoke structure) primed by Cdk-Clb3 signaling (red).

In an article published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists explain how they could track the relationship between signaling molecules and their target molecules to establish where, when and how the targets are deployed to perform the many steps necessary to replicate an individual cell’s genome and surrounding structures.

Breakdowns in individual steps in these processes are a hallmark of a number of diseases, including cancers. The method outlined in the PNAS paper could provide a valuable tool to researchers seeking to better understand these processes.

“How living cells divide and how this process is accurately achieved are among the deepest questions scientists have been addressing for decades,” said Dr. Stephen Michnick, co-senior investigator and a University of Montreal biochemistry professor. Co-senior investigator Jackie Vogel, a biology professor at McGill, said, “We know what are the main players in cell division – molecules called cyclins and a common actuator molecule called Cdk1 – but it has proved a vexing problem to figure out precisely how the cyclin-Cdk1 partners deploy target molecules to orchestrate everything that must happen and in precisely the right order to assure accurate cell division.”

The University of Montreal and McGill team worked out a method to identify interactions between cyclin-Cdk1 (cyclin-dependent kinase 1) complexes and their targets in living cells. Cdk1 is a signaling protein that plays a key role in cell division – it has been studied extensively in yeast, because of yeast’s rapid reproduction, and is found in many other living organisms including humans. “It is a simple method that could be performed in any laboratory, unlike existing methods that are much more labor- and skill-intensive,” said Dr. Michnick.

“The method also picks up cyclin-Cdk1 interactions that traditional methods don’t,” added Dr. Vogel. “For instance, we study the assembly of a massive molecular machine called the mitotic spindle, a structure that orchestrates the coordinated separation of two copies of the genome between the two new cells that emerge from division. We’d been chasing, for over a decade, an elusive link between a specific cyclin called Clb3-Cdk1 complex and a spindle target called gamma-tubulin that we thought could be a key step in building mitotic spindles accurately. All evidence pointed to this interaction, including a massive effort I was involved in to map out cellular communication directed to the centrosome, a molecular machine that organizes assembly of the mitotic spindle. So we teamed up with Dr. Michnick to try the new method and out popped the Clb3-Cdk1-gamma tubulin interaction -- just like that.” Now, in collaboration with Paul François, a physics professor at McGill, the researchers have been able to use this information to show that the Clb3-Cdk1-gamma-tubulin interaction controls a massive remodeling of the mitotic spindle.

“The tool that we’ve developed will be available to the scientific community and concerted efforts by many labs may ultimately unlock the mysteries of one of life’s most essential processes,” said Dr. Michnick.

Notes:
The University of Montreal is known officially as Université de Montréal. The research involved in the study “Dissection of Cdk1–cyclin complexes in vivo” was financed by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grants MOP-GMX-192838 and MOP-GMX- 231013 to Dr. Michnick and CIHR grant MOP-123335 and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) grant RGPIN 262246 to Dr. Vogel. This press release references findings by Keck et al., Science 2011 and Nazarova et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2013.
About the University of Montreal: www.umontreal.ca/english
About McGill University: www.mcgill.ca
About the Department of Biochemistry www.bcm.umontreal.ca
About the Department of Biology http://biology.mcgill.ca
About Dr. Michnick’s research: michnick.bcm.umontreal.ca/Michnicklab
About Dr. Vogel’s research: http://aguada.biol.mcgill.ca
Contact:
Chris Chipello
Media Relations Office
McGill University
Tel. 514-398-4201 | christopher.chipello@mcgill.ca
William Raillant-Clark
International Press Attaché
University of Montreal (officially Université de Montréal)
Tel: 514-343-7593 | w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca | @uMontreal_News
http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/
http://twitter.com/McGillU

Chris Chipello | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.mcgill.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>