Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ancient mystery of cell division solved

03.01.2014
Göttingen scientists decipher mechanism of chromosome condensation

An international team of scientists led by the University of Göttingen has deciphered a key mechanism of cell division. A striking feature of cell division is the condensation or compaction of chromosomes, which was first observed more than 130 years ago, but whose mechanism had been only vaguely understood so far. The Göttingen researchers successfully identified a force in a dividing cell that drives this process. The results were published in the journal Science.


Dividing cell (right) with chromosomes colored in blue. Foto: Universität Göttingen

The scientists at the Göttingen Centre for Molecular Biosciences led by Prof. Dr. Heinz Neumann used a trick from synthetic biology to equip cellular proteins with amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – that do not occur in nature. This endowed the proteins with particular properties, such as the ability to form cross-links with other proteins in the immediate vicinity upon irradiation.

Thereby, the researchers observed for the first time in an intact cell an interaction between nucleosomes, the basic building blocks of chromatin, and showed that this interaction plays a crucial role in the condensation of chromosomes during cell division. „Furthermore, we identified the mechanism of its regulation,“ explains Prof. Neumann: A signaling cascade triggers the interaction at the beginning of cell division and suppresses it again after its conclusion.

„Errors in the process could cause chromosomal aberrations, one of the main causes for the emergence of tumor cells,“ says Prof. Neumann. „With the discovery of the mechanisms and forces that control the condensation of chromosomes, new opportunities for the development of alternative therapeutic approaches to treat cancer may emerge.“

Original publication: Bryan J. Wilkins et al. A Cascade of Histone Modifications Induces Chromatin Condensation in Mitosis. Science 2014. Doi: 10.1126/science.1244508.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Neumann
Georg-August University Göttingen
Faculty of Biology and Psychology
Free Floater Research Group „Applied Synthetic Biology“
Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Phone +49 551 39-14088
Email: hneumann@uni-goettingen.de
Weitere Informationen:
http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/121502.html
Free Floater Research Group „Applied Synthetic Biology“

Thomas Richter | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-goettingen.de

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researcher deciphers flows that help bacteria feed and organize biofilms

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>