Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Protein Function Discovered; Sheds Light On Intricate Mechanics Of Cell Division

Date:
January 12, 2009
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Researchers have found a new function for one of the proteins involved with chromosome segregation during cell division.

Protein NOD at the end of a microtubule.
Credit: Illustration by Jared Cochran

A group of Dartmouth researchers has found a new function for one of the proteins involved with chromosome segregation during cell division. Their finding adds to the growing knowledge about the fundamental workings of cells, and contributes to understanding how cell function can go wrong, as it does with cancerous cells.

Related Articles


The researchers studied a protein called NOD, distantly related to the motor proteins that power diverse cellular activities, including intracellular transport, signaling, and cell division. They used X-ray crystallography to determine its structure, and then they used enzyme kinetics to find out how it performed. While this protein is found in fruit flies, the results are helpful in determining how related proteins work in humans.

"This study on NOD provided evidence for a new way a kinesin motor could function," said Jared Cochran, a postdoctoral fellow at Dartmouth and the lead author on the study. "Rather than moving on its own, it hitches a ride on the ends of microtubules which results in a dynamic cross-linking between the arms of chromosomes and the cell's growing spindle of microtubules. If NOD doesn't function properly, then the two cells end up with either both or none of that particular chromosome, which is lethal [to the cell and the organism] in most cases."

With colleagues from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, the Dartmouth group published their study in the journal Cell.

"Before this study, it had been shown that kinesin motors either walked along their microtubule tracks or functioned to break microtubules apart," says Jon Kull, the senior author on the paper, associate professor of chemistry at Dartmouth, and a 1988 Dartmouth graduate. "This work describes a novel mode for kinesin function, in which NOD does not walk, but rather alternates between grabbing on to and letting go of the end of the growing filament, thereby tracking the end as it grows. The diversity of function of these proteins is remarkable."

One of the authors on the paper, Natasha Mulko, is a 2007 Dartmouth graduate, and worked on this project as her senior honors thesis in chemistry. Mulko is currently a graduate student in dentistry at Creighton University. "Natasha's work was integral to this study as she worked on obtaining and improving the protein crystals necessary to solve the structure," says Kull, her thesis advisor.

In addition to Cochran, Kull, and Mulko at Dartmouth, authors on this study include Charles Sindelar from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Kimberly Collins, Stephanie Kong, and R. Scott Hawley from Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Hawley is also affiliated with Kansas University Medical Center.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Cochran et al. ATPase Cycle of the Nonmotile Kinesin NOD Allows Microtubule End Tracking and Drives Chromosome Movement. Cell, 2009; 136 (1): 110 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.11.048

Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "New Protein Function Discovered; Sheds Light On Intricate Mechanics Of Cell Division." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109115042.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2009, January 12). New Protein Function Discovered; Sheds Light On Intricate Mechanics Of Cell Division. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109115042.htm
Dartmouth College. "New Protein Function Discovered; Sheds Light On Intricate Mechanics Of Cell Division." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090109115042.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 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