Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell division orchestrated by multiple oscillating proteins

Date:
April 28, 2010
Source:
Rockefeller University
Summary:
Cell division is a crucial but dangerous business. It unfolds in a cycle of many steps, including DNA replication, spindle formation, mitosis and others, and they must happen in the right order to prevent abnormal cell death and cancer formation. New research examines the activity of two proteins at the heart of the cell-cycle control system and finds that the cycle has not just one, but several independent processes that help to maintain order. The work suggests that autonomous oscillating proteins may coordinate the events of the cell cycle through a phenomena called "phase-locking," similar to how our circadian rhythm syncs to the light-dark cycle of our environment.

Cellular synchrony. Scientists blocked yeast cells from dividing to observe the behavior of key proteins that control cell-cycle events. Above, Cdc14 (green) oscillates, separating from the nucleolus (red), and sometimes overlapping with it (yellow).
Credit: Image courtesy of Rockefeller University

Cell division is a crucial but dangerous business. It unfolds in a cycle of many steps, including DNA replication, spindle formation, mitosis and others, and they must happen in the right order to prevent abnormal cell death and cancer formation. New research from Rockefeller University examines the activity of two proteins at the heart of the cell-cycle control system and finds that the cycle has not just one, but several independent processes that help to maintain order. The work suggests that autonomous oscillating proteins may coordinate the events of the cell cycle through a phenomena called "phase-locking," similar to how our circadian rhythm syncs to the light-dark cycle of our environment.

Related Articles


"Our research suggests that the modern eukaryotic cell-cycle may start from multiple oscillatory modules," says Ying Lu, a former graduate fellow in Frederick R. Cross's Laboratory of Yeast Molecular Genetics, who led the research. "That modularity may provide a functional robustness to cell division."

At the center of the cell-cycle control system is a protein called cyclin-dependent-kinase (Cdk); Cdk's independent oscillating activity can establish the pace and order of cell cycle events. The researchers, led by Lu, reasoned that if Cdk oscillation was the only cycle-setting pacemaker in the cell, blocking it would cause the cell cycle to stall. In experiments published recently in Cell, they tested the hypothesis by watching what happens to another important protein in the cell cycle known as Cdc14, which normally moves away from the nucleolus, activates and begins antagonizing Cdk as the cell exits mitosis. Using quantitative time-lapse microscopy, the researchers were able to capture the transient Cdc14 movement and activation process. They then blocked Cdk oscillation and overt cell-cycle progression, and surprisingly found that the periodic Cdc14 activation/inactivation continued just as it would in a normally dividing cell. They also discovered a negative feedback pathway underlying this Cdc14 oscillator, a finding which indicates that the cell cycle may be composed of multiple autonomous pacemakers.

The existence of these pacemakers raises another question, says Lu, who is now a postdoc in Marc Kirschner's lab at Harvard University. How do oscillators with different intrinsic frequencies coordinate with each other to form a coherent cell cycle progression? The experiments suggest that, although Cdc14 activity oscillated at constant Cdk levels, its frequency was controlled by several different Cdk activities, which indicates that autonomous cell-cycle oscillators may coordinate each other through a phenomena called phase-locking. Such a system, which is analogous to day-night cycles entraining our circadian clocks, would help explain the evolution of the cell cycle, and to ensure its accuracy and reliability.

"We think multiple oscillators, as they exist independently in the cell cycle, could achieve coherence through interactions affecting their frequencies," Lu says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lu et al. Periodic Cyclin-Cdk Activity Entrains an Autonomous Cdc14 Release Oscillator. Cell, 2010; 141 (2): 268 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.021

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University. "Cell division orchestrated by multiple oscillating proteins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427115203.htm>.
Rockefeller University. (2010, April 28). Cell division orchestrated by multiple oscillating proteins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427115203.htm
Rockefeller University. "Cell division orchestrated by multiple oscillating proteins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427115203.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
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