Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Prove That Parts Of Cell Nuclei Are Not Arranged At Random

Date:
October 20, 2006
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
The nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically, says new research. Scientists hope this discovery that parts of the inside of a cell nucleus are not arranged at random will give greater insight into how cells work and could eventually lead to a greater understanding of how they become dysfunctional in diseases like cancer.

Mammal cell nuclei stained with dye to show pockets of CBP protein in relation to other components of the nucleus.
Credit: Image courtesy of Imperial College London

The nucleus of a mammal cell is made up of component parts arranged in a pattern which can be predicted statistically, says new research published today. Scientists hope this discovery that parts of the inside of a cell nucleus are not arranged at random will give greater insight into how cells work and could eventually lead to a greater understanding of how they become dysfunctional in diseases like cancer.

The study, published today in PLoS Computational Biology, involved systems biologists working together with mathematicians to identify, for the first time, 'spatial relationships' governing the distribution of an important control protein in the nucleus, in relation to other components within the nuclei of mammal cells.

This widespread protein called CBP acts on certain genes within the cell nucleus, turning them on to make specific proteins at different times throughout the life of the cell. The research began with a team of biologists in Canada labelling components inside cell nuclei with fluorescent dyes, which enabled them to identify concentrated pockets of CBP. However the pattern seen under the microscope is very complex. When the 'nearest neighbours' of the CPB pockets, such as gene regions and other protein machinery are visualised, the spatial relationships become too difficult to define.

To overcome this, the mathematicians involved in the research analysed the nearest neighbour distance measurements between the nuclei's components, and developed a toolkit for showing where other proteins and gene regions are likely to be located in relation to CBP across the nucleus. Specifically, they were able to develop a model for showing which components were more likely to be located closest to a CBP pocket, and those that were less likely. This effectively created a probability map of the nucleus, with components' locations derived relative to the location of concentrations of CBP.

Professor Paul Freemont from Imperial College London's Division of Molecular Biosciences one of the leaders of the research said: "We chose to focus on CBP because it is a well established gene regulator that activates genes by altering their local structure to allow the production of the specific proteins encoded by the genes. By using fluorescent dyes and sophisticated imaging techniques, we discovered that CBP pockets are more likely to be located closest to gene regions with which it is known to modify. This research is very important as it advances our understanding of how the cell nucleus is organised, although it leaves us with a 'chicken-or-egg' question to answer: is CBP located close to certain gene regions because they are active or does the location of CBP result in the activation of these genes?"

By developing these quantitative approaches and applying them more broadly, biologists will in the future be able to have complete spatial models for cells that not only define where things are but also the likelihood of them being in a particular location at a particular time. This will allow a deeper understanding of how cells are organised and will be of particular importance in understanding and predicting cells whose structure becomes altered as a first sign of disease such as cancer.

Professor Freemont added: "This research is groundbreaking in the field of systems biology because we're working with mathematicians to provide a solid statistical framework to explain aspects of how the cell nucleus is organised."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Scientists Prove That Parts Of Cell Nuclei Are Not Arranged At Random." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061020080650.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2006, October 20). Scientists Prove That Parts Of Cell Nuclei Are Not Arranged At Random. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061020080650.htm
Imperial College London. "Scientists Prove That Parts Of Cell Nuclei Are Not Arranged At Random." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061020080650.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins