Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unpacking condensins' function in embryonic stem cells

Date:
February 23, 2010
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
Regulatory proteins common to all eukaryotic cells can have additional, unique functions in embryonic stem cells, according to a new study. If cancer progenitor cells -- which function similarly to stem cells -- are shown to rely on these regulatory proteins in the same way, it may be possible to target them therapeutically without harming healthy neighboring cells.

The nuclei of embryonic stem cells lacking Smc2 (right) are large and misshapen.
Credit: Fazzio, T.G., and B. Panning. 2010. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200908026.

Regulatory proteins common to all eukaryotic cells can have additional, unique functions in embryonic stem (ES) cells, according to a study in the February 22 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. If cancer progenitor cells -- which function similarly to stem cells -- are shown to rely on these regulatory proteins in the same way, it may be possible to target them therapeutically without harming healthy neighboring cells.

Related Articles


The new study, by Thomas Fazzio and Barbara Panning (University of California, San Francisco) finds that two chromatin regulatory proteins essential for ES cell survival, Smc2 and Smc4, together form the heart of the condensin complexes that promote chromosome condensation in mitosis and meiosis. Because somatic cells lacking condensins continue to proliferate with relatively minor mitotic defects, Fazzio and Panning wondered why ES cells died in the absence of Smc2 or Smc4.

ES cells lacking the condensin subunits accrued massive amounts of DNA damage that resulted in cell death. It isn't clear why ES cells are so sensitive to the loss of condensins, but it may be connected to two other phenotypes seen in ES, but not somatic, cells. After Smc2 or Smc4 was blocked, mitotic ES cells arrested in metaphase and interphase ES cell nuclei were enlarged and misshapen.

This suggests that condensins promote mitotic progression and maintain interphase chromatin compaction in ES cells -- functions that they don't have in somatic cells. In fact, many other chromatin regulatory proteins involved in ES cell survival can be depleted in differentiated cells without affecting viability, indicating that the chromatin of ES cells -- and possibly cancer progenitor cells -- is fundamentally different from somatic cell chromatin.

Reference: Fazzio, T.G., and B. Panning. 2010. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200908026.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Unpacking condensins' function in embryonic stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222094746.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2010, February 23). Unpacking condensins' function in embryonic stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222094746.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Unpacking condensins' function in embryonic stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222094746.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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