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How size splits cells using protein to measure

Date:
March 27, 2014
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Contrary to previous findings suggesting a protein measures cell length, a different protein is found to measure the cell's surface area. One of the scientists who revealed how plants "do maths" can now reveal how cells take measurements of size. Size is important to cells as it determines when they divide. The study's results reveal that cells measure their surface area using a particular protein, cdr2p.

The scientists found that as cells grow, the concentration of the cdr2p protein grows. The cells use cdr2p to probe the surface area over the whole cell. Their experimental findings contest a previously suggested model.
Credit: Image courtesy of Norwich BioScience Institutes

One of the scientists who revealed how plants "do maths" can now reveal how cells take measurements of size. Size is important to cells as it determines when they divide.

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In a paper published in eLife, Professor Martin Howard from the John Innes Centre and colleagues from the US, Germany and Singapore discovered that cells measure their surface area using a particular protein, cdr2p. The finding challenges a previous model suggesting that another protein called pom1p senses a cell's length.

"Many cell types have been shown to reach a size threshold before they commit to cell division and this requires that they somehow monitor their own size," says Professor Martin Howard from the John Innes Centre.

"For the first time we can show how cells sense size and what aspect of size they measure, such as volume, length, mass or surface area."

The scientists found that as cells grow, the concentration of the cdr2p protein grows. The cells use cdr2p to probe the surface area over the whole cell. Their experimental findings contest a previously suggested model.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. Z. Pan, T. E. Saunders, I. Flor-Parra, M. Howard, F. Chang. Cortical regulation of cell size by a sizer cdr2p. eLife, 2014; 3 (0): e02040 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.02040

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "How size splits cells using protein to measure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101503.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2014, March 27). How size splits cells using protein to measure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101503.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "How size splits cells using protein to measure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327101503.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

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