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.

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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
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