Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research into fruit fly cells could lead to cancer insights

Date:
January 2, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
New research has shown that cells demonstrate remarkable flexibility and versatility when it comes to how they divide -- a finding with potential links to the underlying causes of many cancers.

Fruit fly embryos undergoing cell division.
Credit: University of Exeter

New research by scientists at the University of Exeter has shown that cells demonstrate remarkable flexibility and versatility when it comes to how they divide -- a finding with potential links to the underlying causes of many cancers.

Related Articles


The study, published today in Developmental Cell, describes a number of routes to the formation of a microtubule spindle -- the tracks along which DNA moves when a cell divides in order to make two genetically identical cells.

In order to understand the phenomenon, the authors, including Biosciences researchers Dr. James Wakefield, PhD student Daniel Hayward and Experimental Officer in Image Analysis, Dr. Jeremy Metz, combined highly detailed microscopy and image analysis with genetic and protein manipulation of fruit fly embryos.

The innovative research not only describes how the cell can use each pathway in a complementary way, but also that removal of one pathway leads to the cell increasing its use of the others. The researchers also identified that a central molecular complex -- Augmin -- was needed for all of these routes.

The authors were the first to identify that each of four pathways of spindle formation could occur in fruit fly embryos.

It was previously thought that, in order for chromosomes -- packages containing DNA -- to line up and be correctly separated, microtubules have to extend from specific microtubule-organising centres in the cell, called centrosomes. However, this study found that microtubules could additionally develop from the chromosomes themselves, or at arbitrary sites throughout the main body of the cell, if the centrosomes were missing.

All of these routes to spindle formation appeared to be dependent on Augmin -- a protein complex responsible for amplifying the number of microtubules in the cell.

Dr. Wakefield said of the project "We have all these different spindle formation pathways working in humans. Because the cell is flexible in which pathway it uses to make the spindle, individuals who are genetically compromised in one pathway may well grow and develop normally. But it will mean they have fewer routes to spindle formation, theoretically predisposing them to errors in cell division as they age."

The group is currently investigating cancer links in light of these findings.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Hayward, Jeremy Metz, Claudia Pellacani, JamesG. Wakefield. Synergy between Multiple Microtubule-Generating Pathways Confers Robustness to Centrosome-Driven Mitotic Spindle Formation. Developmental Cell, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.12.001

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Research into fruit fly cells could lead to cancer insights." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113142.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, January 2). Research into fruit fly cells could lead to cancer insights. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113142.htm
University of Exeter. "Research into fruit fly cells could lead to cancer insights." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140102113142.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

RightThisMinute (Feb. 25, 2015) This wounded fox knew what she was doing when she wandered into the yard of a nature photographer. The photographer got "Scamp" immediately in the hands of Wildlife Aid and she was released back into the wild in no time. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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