Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insights into network that plays crucial role in cell function, disease

Date:
February 5, 2014
Source:
University of Notre Dame
Summary:
A new research paper helps resolve an ongoing debate about the assembly of a subcellular network that plays a critical role in cell function and disease.

A new research paper from the labs of University of Notre Dame researchers Holly Goodson and Mark Alber helps resolve an ongoing debate about the assembly of a subcellular network that plays a critical role in cell function and disease.

Related Articles


Goodson and her former postdoctoral fellow Kamlesh Gupta (now a senior scientist at W. M. Keck Center for Transgene Research) from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry teamed up with Alber's group from the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, to study the dynamical behavior of subcellular fibers called microtubules. The microtubule cytoskeleton is a dynamic polymer network that plays a crucial role in cell division, assembling into the remarkable machine that partitions the DNA. It also forms a transport network that helps cells distribute nutrients and building materials.

"This fiber network is analogous to a railway system, with the microtubules acting as rails for molecular engines that move cargo containers around the cell," Goodson said. "However, unlike human railway systems, which are stable over time, the microtubules are constantly being laid down and picked up."

The constant turnover of these structures is important because it enables the transport network to find its cargo and rearrange in response to cell movements and division. Because of its significance for cell function, this microtubule turnover process is the target of some key anticancer drugs.

The microtubule assembly and dynamics are precisely controlled, and a key regulator is the microtubule destabilizer known as stathmin. Stathmin's precise method of action has been open to debate and has remained controversial. One proposed model is that it reduces polymer indirectly by sequestering microtubule units. Another model is that stathmin acts directly on microtubules by an as yet unknown mechanism.

The new paper by the Goodson and Alber groups provides a resolution to this debate by explaining how stathmin works. The experiments (primarily designed and performed by Kamlesh Gupta) present experimental evidence that stathmin can act directly on microtubules and it does so by binding and destabilizing segments of the assembling microtubule before they can be incorporated into the final microtubule structure. Accompanying computer simulations show that this type of molecular activity could produce the experimentally observed effects of microtubule dynamics.

"This work is significant because this disassembly process is essential for basic cell survival and because stathmin, also called oncoprotein 18, is dramatically over produced in a number of cancers," Alber said. "Understanding how the protein works is an important step towards figuring out how to inhibit it, which may provide a route for new anti-cancer drugs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Notre Dame. The original article was written by William G. Gilroy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. K. Gupta, C. Li, A. Duan, E. O. Alberico, O. V. Kim, M. S. Alber, H. V. Goodson. Mechanism for the catastrophe-promoting activity of the microtubule destabilizer Op18/stathmin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (51): 20449 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1309958110

Cite This Page:

University of Notre Dame. "Insights into network that plays crucial role in cell function, disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205133256.htm>.
University of Notre Dame. (2014, February 5). Insights into network that plays crucial role in cell function, disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205133256.htm
University of Notre Dame. "Insights into network that plays crucial role in cell function, disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205133256.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. 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