Scientists from the University of Bath have found that a protein called RASSF7 is essential for mitosis, the process by which a cell divides in two.
In research published in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell, the scientists have shown that the protein is essential for building the microtubules that allow the two halves of the cell to slide apart.
“What makes mitosis so interesting is that it is one of the biological processes that everyone remembers from their days at school,” said Dr Andrew Chalmers from the University’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry.
“As well as being one of Nature’s most important processes, our interest in mitosis stems from the fact that if you want to kill cancer cells, then stopping them from dividing is a useful way of doing this.
“Several cancer treatments block cell division by targeting microtubules, Taxol is a well known example. It is even possible that RASSF7 might be a future drug target”.
During the different phases of mitosis the pairs of chromosomes within the cell condense and attach to microtubule fibres that pull the sister chromatids to opposite sides of the cell.
The cell then divides in cytokinesis, to produce two identical daughter cells.
RASSF7 is the latest of a battery of proteins involved in managing the complex process of mitosis.
“During mitosis, the chromosomes containing the DNA are pulled apart in two halves by an array of microtubules centred on the centrosomes,” said Dr Chalmers.
“Without the RASSF7 protein, the microtubules do not develop properly and cell division is halted.
“This is the first functional study of this protein, and we hope to extend our knowledge of how it works in the future.”
The research was funded by the Medical Research Council.
The work was carried out in Dr Chalmers laboratory by Dr Victoria Sherwood and two final year undergraduate project students from the University, Ria Manbodh and Carol Sheppard.
Dr Sherwood will now continue her research on cancer at a new job at the Lund University Clinical Research Centre, Sweden.
The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. In 15 subject areas the University of Bath is rated in the top ten in the country.
Andrew McLaughlin | EurekAlert!
Hopkins researchers ID neurotransmitter that helps cancers progress
26.04.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Trigger region found for absence epileptic seizures
25.04.2019 | RIKEN
For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide. In addition, they found a long-sought explanation for the unusual magnetic properties of the material. The journal Science has published the findings.
The use of atomically thin, two-dimensional van der Waals materials promises innovations in numerous fields in science and technology. Scientists around the...
Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.
It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.
Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.
Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.
Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
09.04.2019 | Event News
26.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
26.04.2019 | Life Sciences
26.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy