Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UGA research team reveals molecular key to cell division

25.08.2003


Anyone who made it to high school biology has learned about mitosis, or cell division. One cell divides into two, two into four and so forth in a process designed to pass on exact copies of the DNA in chromosomes to daughter cells. New research, by a University of Georgia team, shows how the genes that control this process are regulated.



The study is important for cancer research because the regulation of cell division goes awry in tumors and normal cell growth and behavior are lost. Understanding how normal cell division is regulated will allow scientists to identify potential targets for cancer therapeutics, said Stephen Dalton, the molecular geneticist who led the UGA team.

"This is fundamental molecular cancer research," Dalton said. "One major problem in cancer is mis-segregation, [when the cell’s] ability to equally divide chromosomes is lost. One [daughter] cell might get too much genetic information and the other too little.


"This is why many tumors have unbalanced genetic makeup," he said. " The cells lose the ability to accurately segregate their chromosomes because control mechanisms, known as checkpoint controls, are lost."

Dalton worked with Bruce Kemp, deputy director of St. Vincent’s Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and UGA graduate student Cameron McLean.

Using Brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as their model system, the group found that molecules called cyclin-dependent kinases drive the mitosis process. More than 30 genes are switched on at the beginning of the process and switched off after chromosome segregation is complete.

"The yeast is easily manipulated genetically," Dalton said. "And because the mechanisms of cell division are conserved between yeast and humans, the observations we make in yeast, in general, are applicable to humans."

Now, Dalton and his team have turned their attention from yeast to human cells. They are focusing primarily on a group of molecules that have been implicated in many tumors. Collectively, these genes are known as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

"Our work is now focusing on how some of these initial observations in yeast can be applied to understanding molecular control of cell division in human cells," Dalton said, "and how that can be applied to understanding cancer."

The researchers have already made some novel observations about how the cyclin-dependent protein kinases function in human cells. Their findings will be published soon in a separate report.

"We’ve identified some new mechanisms by which oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes are controlled," Dalton said. "Over the next year, I think we’ll get a clear idea of new roles these molecules play in early cell development and then try to fit the pieces together to see how they may influence cell behavior in the context of cancer.

"We’ve made some observations which fly in the face of the [scientific] literature," he said. "It’s going to be quite controversial but very exciting. It’s going to have some strong implications for the role these molecules play in cancer development."

The paper outlining the initial research with yeast was published in the July 15 issue of Genes and Development.

A geneticist of international renown, Dalton joined the faculty of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in January. He is a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scientists and a consultant for BresaGen, a cell therapy biotech company in Athens.

Kim Carlyle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uga.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells

19.07.2018 | Life Sciences

In the ocean's twilight zone, tiny organisms may have giant effect on Earth's carbon cycle

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

Lying in a foreign language is easier

19.07.2018 | Social Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>