Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Art of dividing: Researchers decode function and protein content of the centrosome

Date:
September 21, 2010
Source:
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics
Summary:
A basic requirement for growth and life of a multicellular organism is the ability of its cells to divide. Chromosomes in the cells duplicate and are then distributed among the daughter cells. This distribution is organized by a protein complex made up of several hundred different proteins, called the centrosome. In cancer cells, the centrosome often assumes an unnatural shape or is present in uncontrolled numbers. The reasons for this were previously largely unknown. Scientists in Germany have now investigated the functions of the different centrosomal components and report their findings.

(A) During cell division, chromosomes (red) are distributed evenly by thread-like structures (microtubules) emanating from the centrosome (green). (B) Inactivation of a centrosomal protein causes abnormal organisation of the mitotic spindle microtubules and a faulty distribution of chromosomes. © MPI for Molecular Genetics / B. Lange

A basic requirement for growth and life of a multicellular organism is the ability of its cells to divide. Chromosomes in the cells duplicate and are then distributed among the daughter cells. This distribution is organized by a protein complex made up of several hundred different proteins, called the centrosome. In cancer cells, the centrosome often assumes an unnatural shape or is present in uncontrolled numbers. The reasons for this were previously largely unknown.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, together with colleagues at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and at the Leibniz Institute for Age Research -- Fritz Lipmann Institute in Jena, have investigated the functions of the different centrosomal components. The researchers led by Bodo Lange now present their results in the EMBO Journal, detailing the centrosome's components and their functions. Their work extends our knowledge of regulation of cell division and opens the door to new investigations into cancer development.

As part of their research, the scientists examined centrosomes of the fruit fly Drosophila as well as those from human cells. "The fruit fly is a terrific system for investigating the centrosome, because the basic mechanisms of cell division are very similar between fly and human," Bodo Lange, the research group leader, explains.

The group isolated centrosomes from the eggs of fruit flies and, using mass spectrometry methods, identified more than 250 different proteins making up this complex. These components were then subjected to targeted inactivation through RNA interference (RNAi), to discover their role in the structure of the centrosome and in chromosome distribution. The scientists were able to determine the protein functions quantitatively through use of state-of-the-art automatic and robotic microscopes. They found a whole series of proteins responsible for the separation of chromosomes, number of centrosomes and their structure. As these characteristics are often disrupted in cancer cells, the researchers believe their findings will have a significant impact on the understanding of cell division and the development of cancerous diseases.

The work of these scientists has brought new insight into the abnormalities seen in cancer cells. "Based on our findings, we hope to be able to unravel regulatory networks in the future, which will help to target and interfere with the division of cancer cells."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah Mόller, David Schmidt, Sandra Steinbrink, Ekaterina Mirgorodskaya, Verena Lehmann, Karin Habermann, Felix Dreher, Niklas Gustavsson, Thomas Kessler, Hans Lehrach, Ralf Herwig, Johan Gobom, Aspasia Ploubidou, Michael Boutros, Bodo M H Lange. Proteomic and functional analysis of the mitotic Drosophila centrosome. The EMBO Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2010.210

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. "Art of dividing: Researchers decode function and protein content of the centrosome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100903121431.htm>.
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. (2010, September 21). Art of dividing: Researchers decode function and protein content of the centrosome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100903121431.htm
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics. "Art of dividing: Researchers decode function and protein content of the centrosome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100903121431.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) — Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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