Discovery may lead to insights into cancer, birth defects, fertility and neurological disorders
CHO cells dividing with isolated midbodies surrounding them. The cells and midbodies are stained with anti-actin (red), anti-tubulin (green) and DAPI (blue). This image shows Chinese hamster ovary cells in the last stages of division. The red outer membrane is complete around each new cell, while the green midbody still remains between them. Isolated midbodies are also pictured in green around the cells to show the organelles in more detail.
Photo by: courtesy Ahna Skop
CHO cells dividing. The cells are stained with anti-actin (red), anti-tubulin (green) and DAPI (blue). This image shows two Chinese hamster ovary cells in the last stages of division. The red outer membrane is complete around each new cell, while the green midbody still remains between them.
Photo by: courtesy Ahna Skop
A cellular structure discovered 125 years ago and dismissed by many biologists as "cellular garbage" has been found to play a key role in the process of cytokinesis, or cell division, one of the most ancient and important of all biological phenomena.
The discovery of the function of the dozens of proteins harbored within this structure - which are necessary for normal cell division - by a team of scientists led by a University of Wisconsin-Madison geneticist was announced in todays edition of the journal Science.
The discovery promises a better understanding of the role of cell division in the growth and development of all organisms and, critically, of abnormal cell division, when the key proteins fail. These failures can lead to infertility, birth defects, cancer and neurological problems such as Huntingtons and Alzheimers diseases.
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