Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key element of cell division: How daughter cells receive the same number of chromosomes

Date:
November 1, 2011
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Scientists have uncovered the molecular process of how cells are bypassing the body's inbuilt "health checkpoint" with unequal numbers of chromosomes that have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Scientists at Warwick Medical School have uncovered the molecular process of how cells are by-passing the body's inbuilt 'health checkpoint' with cells that carry unequal numbers of chromosomes that have a higher risk of developing cancer.

Studying simple yeast cells, scientists now understand the mechanism by which cells ensure their daughter cells receive the correct number of chromosomes.

Most cells in our bodies contain 23 pairs of chromosomes that encode our individual genetic identities. In healthy, dividing human cells, each of these chromosomes is duplicated and one copy passed to each of the two daughter cells. However, if this process is disturbed, daughter cells receive an unequal number of chromosomes, a state that is known to drive normal cells to become cancerous. In fact, aggressive human tumours are frequently composed of cells with an abnormal complement of chromosomes.

Professor Jonathan Millar explained: "This cell division process is monitored by the body's surveillance system known as the 'spindle checkpoint', and that is only switched off once everything within the cell is set up correctly. Amazingly, all of the elements of this process are conserved from yeast to human cells.

"Therefore it is extremely likely that what we have found in yeast also happens in human cells. So by preventing this process happening with drugs, you could restrict the cell's ability to develop into full blown cancer," explained Professor Millar.

Currently, one of the most frequently used classes of anti-cancer drugs are taxanes, which target the mitotic apparatus in part by preventing proper silencing of the spindle checkpoint. However, this class of drug affects healthy and cancerous cells alike and can have debilitating side effects including permanent neurological damage and hair loss.

Professor Millar said: "Now that we have pinpointed the central elements of cell division, we are in a great position to design drugs that can be more selective and targeted about which cells they treat. But this is just the start -- much more research has to be done before we can convert this into a commercial treatment for patients, but we are greatly encouraged that our research here at Warwick is leading the way in the search for more effective cancer treatments with fewer side effects."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. JohnC. Meadows, LindseyA. Shepperd, Vincent Vanoosthuyse, TheresaC. Lancaster, AlicjaM. Sochaj, GrahamJ. Buttrick, KevinG. Hardwick, JonathanB.A. Millar. Spindle Checkpoint Silencing Requires Association of PP1 to Both Spc7 and Kinesin-8 Motors. Developmental Cell, 2011; 20 (6): 739 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.05.008

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Key element of cell division: How daughter cells receive the same number of chromosomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101125947.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2011, November 1). Key element of cell division: How daughter cells receive the same number of chromosomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101125947.htm
University of Warwick. "Key element of cell division: How daughter cells receive the same number of chromosomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101125947.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. 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:
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