Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteins Strangle Cell During Division

Date:
December 7, 2008
Source:
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Summary:
A Swedish research group has discovered a new mechanism for cell division in a microorganism found in extremely hot and acidic conditions. The results of the research offer insights into evolution, but also into the functioning of the human body.

A new mechanism for cell division was discovered in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, a microorganism found in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park.
Credit: Image courtesy of NWO

A Swedish research group has discovered a new mechanism for cell division in a microorganism found in extremely hot and acidic conditions. The results of the research offer insights into evolution, but also into the functioning of the human body.

Related Articles


The new mechanism for cell division was discovered in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, a microorganism found in hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. The organism is a member of the third main group of life on earth, the Archaea. Archaea, like bacteria, are unicellular organisms but in terms of evolution they are more closely related to another main group of living things, the eukaryotes (humans, animals, plants, fungi, etc).

Strangler proteins

Until now little was known about the proteins that control cell division in the Archaea. With the use of immunofluorescence the researchers determined the location of these proteins in the cell and in doing so discovered that three proteins play a crucial role in the cell division of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Once the whole chromosome has been replicated, these three proteins form a band-like structure over the cell equator. One chromosome is then found on each side of this band. The band then squeezes the cell into two so that two new daughter cells are formed. At first it looks like mitosis, as discussed in many a biology lesson. However, mitosis is the process whereby the chromosomes are distributed between the two daughter cells. Cell division is the process whereby the two daughter cells are separated.

It is striking that these cell division proteins are not related to other proteins known to be involved in cell division. Some of the proteins in the new type of cell division are similar to proteins in other eukaryotes that have a completely different function. The study shows that the proteins involved in cell division in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius are related to the so-called ESCRT proteins. In eukaryotes, and therefore also in humans, these proteins are involved in protein transport within the cell. It has recently been shown that the HIV virus makes use of the ESCRT transport system to escape from the host cell. Studying the process of cell division in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius could therefore lead to new insights into the processes involving ESCRT proteins, such as HIV particle release.

Evolution

Some theories suggest that in evolutionary terms the Archaea are the predecessors of eukaryotes. This is confirmed by the fact that genes involved in cell division in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius are related to eukaryotic genes. In one way or another, these organisms are related to us humans. The study shows that this resemblance is possibly somewhat closer than at first thought.

Among other things, microbiologist Thijs Ettema has taken a closer look at the resemblance between the cell division proteins and the ESCRT proteins.

This research was partly financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Thijs Ettema, member of the research group, received a Rubicon grant from NWO in 2006 to gain experience abroad.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lindas et al. A unique cell division machinery in the Archaea. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 5, 2008; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0809467105

Cite This Page:

NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Proteins Strangle Cell During Division." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125121337.htm>.
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). (2008, December 7). Proteins Strangle Cell During Division. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125121337.htm
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Proteins Strangle Cell During Division." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125121337.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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