Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Let's Divide: How Daughter Cells Get Their Share Of Genetic Material

Date:
October 28, 2006
Source:
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Summary:
When cells divide, control mechanisms ensure that the genetic material, in other words the chromosomes, is correctly distributed to the daughter cells. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have now explained the molecular principles of these control processes.

Abnormal mitotic spindle, whose deformation is caused by defective cell division control. The chromosomes are dyed red, the microtubules green.
Credit: Image : Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics

When cells divide, control mechanisms ensure that the genetic material, in other words the chromosomes, is correctly distributed to the daughter cells. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have now explained the molecular principles of these control processes.

The so-called checkpoint kinases, i.e. the enzymes which perform this controlling, are not directly associated only with the chromosomes, as was previously assumed to be the case. On the contrary, they interact with a different category of proteins which are involved in the development of the cell division spindle. This finding is highly significant, since incorrect distribution of the chromosomes can lead to abnormalities and diseases such as cancer. The new understanding of this process will in turn promote a better understanding of the molecular principles of the development of cancer (Science, October 27, 2006).

The rod-shaped filaments of the microtubules are responsible for dividing the chromosomes in a cell. They form a connection between the starting point in the chromosomes, the kinetochors, and the centrosome. The centrosome organizes the spindle-shaped arrangement of the microtubule filaments in the cell by means of gamma tubulin ring complexes. Until now it was assumed that control of even distribution of chromosomes was only monitored by the checkpoint kinases in the kinetochors. When microtubules are correctly attached to the kinetochors, these kinases then inform the cell that a precise distribution of chromosomes can be carried out.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have now discovered that the checkpoint kinases are also associated with the gamma tubulin ring complex proteins. Accordingly, the researchers have proved that these checkpoint kinases also exist alongside the centrosome and perform their function there. This is a crucial new finding, since it shows that the correct organization of these filaments at both ends is important for correctly distributing the chromosomes during cell division (see picture).

Another surprising finding is that these control mechanisms function independently of the integrity of the kinetochors or the centrosomes. This reveals that a cell has widely differing mechanisms for controlling cell division and monitors these directly at the level of protein complexes.

These findings are extremely important for the understanding of cell division regulation, which is often disrupted in cancer cells. The checkpoint kinases in cancer cells are frequently modified or present in incorrect quantity ratios. In their next step, the researchers plan to carry out targeted analysis of the molecular reactions between the different regulatory proteins and then investigate how these interactions differ in healthy cells and cancer cells. Long term, this could lead to the development of new diagnostic or therapeutic strategies.

The research work on the role and function of the checkpoint kinases was carried out in the context of the Ultrastructure Network (USN) and the Systematic Method Platform Protein (SMP Protein) project of the National Genome Research Network (NGFN2). The aim of the USN network is to clarify the function and structure of certain protein complexes, while the remit of the SMP Protein project is to investigate disease-related protein-protein interactions on a molecular basis. The project was supported by the Max Planck Society, the European Union, the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur (Berlin Senate Administration for Science, Research and Culture) and by the NGFN (BMBF).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Let's Divide: How Daughter Cells Get Their Share Of Genetic Material." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061027184057.htm>.
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. (2006, October 28). Let's Divide: How Daughter Cells Get Their Share Of Genetic Material. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061027184057.htm
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. "Let's Divide: How Daughter Cells Get Their Share Of Genetic Material." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061027184057.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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