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 November 23, 2014 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. 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