Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European researchers tackle mitosis

15.07.2004


EMBL and partners begin MitoCheck, a multinational research project on cell cycle regulation

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) join forces with top scientists from eleven research institutes in Austria, Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom for "MitoCheck" - the largest integrated research project on cell cycle control within the European Commission’s 6th Framework Programme (FP6). The partners will receive an 8.5 million Euro grant to address a fundamental question: How is cell division regulated?

Cell division (or "mitosis") is one of the key processes of life. Mistakes during mitosis can cause infertility and mental retardation, and can contribute to cancer. For the most part, mitosis is still poorly understood. Scientists do know that protein kinases - a certain type of enzyme - play a key role, but researchers don’t know how these enzymes bring about the important changes in cells that cause them to divide. To understand cell division in a comprehensive manner, the MitoCheck consortium of European scientists will systematically hunt for all genes that are required for division and then check the products of these genes to see how they are regulated by mitotic kinases.



"This project is vital to understanding one of the most basic processes of life - making two cells out of one. Here at EMBL, we will identify which genes are required for mitosis by suppressing them gene-by-gene in live human cells and testing whether they can still divide afterwards," notes Jan Ellenberg, EMBL Group Leader and co-initiator of the MitoCheck project.

To achieve this, EMBL scientists use a method called "RNA interference," where RNA molecules can target and silence specific genes involved in mitosis. Another MitoCheck partner, the Max-Planck Institute of Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden will provide a vast library of these molecules. About 20,000 genes will be suppressed one-by-one and EMBL researchers will make movies of the cells undergoing division, using sophisticated microscopes developed by Rainer Pepperkok, Jan Ellenberg and Leica Microsystems. Several hundred thousand movies will be produced, filming each group of cells over a 48-hour period, to capture the full impact of silencing particular genes. The task of analyzing the enormous amount of data will be accomplished in a close collaboration of scientists at EMBL and the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ).

The end result of the work at EMBL will be a comprehensive list of genes required for mitosis in human cells. But most importantly, for the first time, scientists will know exactly which genes are active during mitosis and what happens in the cell when these genes are suppressed. This information will be used by all the partners in this European project to determine the biochemical regulation of mitotic genes, and to test them as tools for cancer diagnosis. All data produced through MitoCheck will be readily available to the scientific community and the public - through databases at the DKFZ, and at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, another MitoCheck partner.

"This project is an excellent example of a European research network," Jan Ellenberg says. "We have assembled a group of top scientists across Europe, each of whom is contributing an essential piece towards a common goal - understanding mitosis."

Trista Dawson | EMBL
Further information:
http://www.embl.de
http://www.embl.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified
26.03.2019 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Decoding the genomes of duckweeds: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity
26.03.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>