Scientists at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal have discovered a key mechanism used by cells to efficiently distribute chromosomes to new cells during cell multiplication.
Published in the journal Molecular Cell, the study is the first to demonstrate that this mechanism relies on the polo kinase, an enzyme implicated in several cancers. Inhibiting this mechanism could be key to developing effective therapies to treat cancer.
Each human cell contains, in its nucleus, all the coding instructions necessary to direct the cell's activities. A complete set of those instructions is referred to as a genome. Cancer cells are capable of altering their genome in order to promote uncontrolled growth. "Cancer cells achieve this by gaining or losing specific chromosomes, or by inducing structural defects in their genome," explains Damien D'Amours, Principal Investigator at IRIC and director of the study, "We discovered that the polo kinase, overexpressed in a broad range of human tumours, tells the chromosomes exactly when to condense during cell division."
Misregulation of the polo kinase is associated with cancers, thereby suggesting a link between defects in chromosome condensation and the formation of tumours. "Pharmaceutical companies and independent researchers are already working on the development of new cancer drugs to inhibit the activity of the polo kinase," points out Damien D'Amours, "Understanding this enzyme's mode of action should enable us to control it. Such knowledge may reveal itself to be key in developing effective therapies to treat cancer."
In a preview article commissioned by Molecular Cell, world leader in chromosome dynamics Tatsuya Hirano, of the Riken Advanced Science Institute in Japan, qualifies the research as a tour de force study that will help address outstanding questions in the field.
About the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer
IRIC is a state-of-the-art biomedical research at the Université de Montréal. IRIC is committed to finding novel cancer therapeutics through multidisciplinary approaches. Its team of more than 350 scientists and professionals work on various aspects of cancer research from basic science through to clinical applications. For more information about IRIC, visit www.iric.ca. For more information about Damien D'Amours, visit http://www.iric.ca/Recherche/Chercheurs/Damours_D_EN.html.
Papers cited: Julie St-Pierre, Mélanie Douziech, Franck Bazile, Mirela Pascariu, Éric Bonneil, Véronique Sauvé, Hery Ratsima and Damien D'Amours. Polo Kinase Regulates Mitotic Chromosome Condensation by Hyperactivation of Condensin DNA Supercoiling Activity, Molecular Cell (2009), 34, 416-426. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2009.04.013.
Tatsuya Hirano. Let's Play Polo in the Field of Condensation Molecular Cell (2009) 34, 399-401.
Carolyne Lord | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences