Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Organ size is determined by p53 protein

Date:
December 16, 2010
Source:
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB
Summary:
In studies conducted on the fruit fly, researchers have revealed that organs have the molecular mechanisms to control their proportions. In this process the protein p53 plays a crucial role.

Flies with wings of different sizes but in proportion.
Credit: Copyright Milán Lab, IRB Barcelona.

In studies conducted on the fruit fly, researchers at IRB Barcelona headed by ICREA Professor Marco Milán have revealed that organs have the molecular mechanisms to control their proportions. In this process the protein p53 plays a crucial role. The study was published December 15 in the journal PLoS Biology.

The correct establishment of organ proportions, which occurs during embryonic development, is vital for the proper function of all organisms. Alterations in the mechanisms responsible for these processes cause fatal errors in embryos and even cause their death. In the Renaissance period, Leonardo da Vinci, in his famous picture of the "Vitruvian man," reflects the importance of the size of the human beings and of the organs it holds.

Hormones, such as insulin and steroidal hormones, contribute to maintaining this equilibrium. "What we have demonstrated is that the organs themselves also have the mechanisms to maintain a balance of shapes and to grow in a coordinated fashion," states Milán.

Organs have 'decision-making' capability

The tumour suppressor protein p53 is activated in response to stress, such as that caused by oncogenic mutations, chemical agents or physical stimuli like ultraviolet radiation. This protein induces the death of those cells in which the stress has caused irreversible damage and that can become cancerous. In addition, p53 impedes the proliferation of cells that have self-repairing capacity. In this study the researchers used the wing primordium of the fruit fly "Drosophila melanogaster" as a model. The primordium is responsible for forming the adult wing and was used to study how this stress affects remaining healthy tissue.

Headed by Milán, the study shows that when some specific cells of the wing primordium are subjected to stress, not only is the growth of this part of the organ reduced but also that of the remaining section. As a result, adult flies have smaller but proportional wings. "These experiments indicate that stressed cells send signals to the remaining tissues in order to reduce their growth in order to allow damaged tissue to repair itself and allow the organ to grow in a coordinated manner," explains Milán. When p53 was suppressed in stressed cells, the resulting wings were disproportional. This observation indicates that this protein is crucial for the coordinated growth of the different parts of an organ. Again, nature dictates that size is not relevant but proportions are.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Duarte Mesquita, Andrés Dekanty, Marco Milán. A dp53-Dependent Mechanism Involved in Coordinating Tissue Growth in Drosophila. PLoS Biology, 2010; 8 (12): e1000566 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000566

Cite This Page:

Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "Organ size is determined by p53 protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215083223.htm>.
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. (2010, December 16). Organ size is determined by p53 protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215083223.htm
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "Organ size is determined by p53 protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215083223.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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