Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery sheds light on how cancer cells grow and divide

20.04.2004


A Mayo Clinic discovery about a protein known as Dynamin-2 has thrown conventional wisdom for a loop. Finding the protein on the centrosome, a minute structure near a cell’s nucleus, may lead to new strategies for stopping cancer growth.

The Mayo team, already known for discovering several families of dynamins, this time discovered them -- not on a membrane, as expected -- but on the unlikely centrosome which has no membrane. It was the last place they expected to find them, but the surprise finding offers a new lead in the fight against cancer.

"These findings provide us with a basic understanding of how normal and cancer cells are organized; how they divide and how they might grow and die -- which is an important part of cancer," says Mark McNiven, Ph.D., the cell biologist who led the Mayo Clinic research team’s investigation. "A lot of cancers, you could argue, don’t grow faster; they just don’t die. So this discovery will improve our understanding of this very relevant cellular process. It promotes understanding the cell at its most basic level, giving us a new layer of detail."



The research is featured in the April issue of Nature Cell Biology (http://www.nature.com/ncb/). The journal’s editor, Dr. Bernd Pulverer, noted the Mayo results as a novel insight into how cells work. "The Mayo Clinic group has discovered a rather unexpected and surprising connection ... While it remains unclear how exactly Dynamin-2 functions at the centrosome, it clearly localizes to this important structure and it is critical to maintaining an intact centrosome structure. We will follow with great interest further insights into how Dynamin-2 functions in this context, and if this connection serves to integrate signals from the cell surface and membrane trafficking with cell division."

Significance of the Mayo Clinic Discovery

The newly described relationship between Dynamin-2 and the centrosome poses the intriguing possibility that their partnership connects the cell’s surface and its interior via signals that coordinate and organize cell division. This is compelling because cancer, in essence, is cell division out of control. Taking control of a cell’s "switchboard" -- if that’s what this partnership turns out to be -- would be a promising potential strategy to pursue in designing new drugs for cancer treatment.

Scientific Background

The centrosome is a tiny cellular organ that helps organize chromosomes during cell division. It’s also a signaling center for the cell, and as such is involved in the natural programmed cell death called apoptosis. In yet another role, the centrosome is important in setting up the two poles of the cell during mitosis, when cells segregate their chromosomal material and divide. Both these functions, when disrupted, can cause disease.

Dynamin-2 is an enzyme that helps cells form vesicles used to internalize agents from the cell’s external environment. Through a series of laboratory manipulations of mammalian cells that included disrupting the centrosome, the research team was able to demonstrate that Dynamin-2 is a normal and necessary component of the centrosome. "When we reduced the levels of dynamin in cells, this led to an impairment of the centrosome," Dr. McNiven explains. The researchers also identified the part of Dynamin-2 that connects it to the centrosome. On the centrosome, they identified the part that recruits and binds Dynamin-2. "As a result of all this investigation, we now know that Dynamin-2 is vital to normal cell structure and organization," Dr. McNiven says.

The next step is to learn more about the relationship and roles of this partnership. Says Dr. McNiven: "Is the enzymatic activity of Dynamin-2 important in this process? How is it regulated? How does it affect the cell cycle? All these are great questions that will enable us to pursue the ramifications of our discovery."


[Thompson H.M., Cao H., Chen J., Euteneuer, U., McNiven, M.A. (2004.) Dynamin-2 binds gamma-tubulin and participates in centrosome cohesion. Nat. Cell Biol. Apr;6(4):335-42. Epub 2004 Mar 14.]

Bob Nellis | Mayo Clinic
Further information:
http://mayo.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
16.01.2018 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication
12.01.2018 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>