Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought, new research shows. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative way. In a new study, a team of researchers showed that cells can grow normally without a crucial component needed to duplicate their DNA.

A team led by Kefei Yu shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought.
Credit: Greg Kohuth

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative way.

In a study published in this week's Cell Reports, a team of researchers at Michigan State University showed that cells can grow normally without a crucial component needed to duplicate their DNA.

"Our genetic information is stored in DNA, which has to be continuously monitored for damage and copied for growth," said Kefei Yu, MSU Professor. "If the cell is unable to make copies of its DNA or if it overlooks mistakes in its structure, it can lead to cell death or the production of cancerous cells."

But the study shows that cells are much more flexible in managing their DNA than we thought. When they lack the gadgets required to replicate DNA, they adapt and use other tools instead.

These tools are a family of proteins called DNA Ligases, which are needed for a variety of processes associated with DNA. There are several forms of these ligases, and the consensus among scientists has been that they each have specific roles that don't really overlap.

Belonging to this family of ligases is DNA Ligase I, which is thought to be critical for making copies of DNA and hence essential for growth. However, MSU researchers have shown that DNA Ligase I is actually not needed in some cells.

"This suggests that cells are much more flexible in the way they make more of their DNA," Yu said. "It might be that these ligases can substitute for each other when one of them is missing."

Yu, along with MSU researchers Li Han and Shahnaz Masani, took out DNA Ligase I in a type of mouse cells and examined how the cells would respond to the challenge of losing a supposedly essential component for making copies of DNA.

To their surprise, they saw that these cells could grow just fine, indicating that they were still managing to make more DNA without DNA Ligase I. They even saw that these 'handicapped' cells were able to fix induced damages in the DNA as well.

"Our next question is whether this phenomenon is unique to this specific type of cell, or if it's generally true to a variety of other cells, including those of humans," Yu said. "We're interested in finding out how exactly the cell's adapting."

If the replacement of DNA Ligase I is in fact a general rule among many types of cells, then textbooks will have to be rewritten, and scientists will have to start working toward a better explanation of how DNA is maintained and copied in the cell -- two processes that are essential to the viability of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. The original article was written by Anzar Abbas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Li Han, Shahnaz Masani, Chih-lin Hsieh, Kefei Yu. DNA Ligase I Is Not Essential for Mammalian Cell Viability. Cell Reports, 2014; 7 (2): 316 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.03.024

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Cell resiliency surprises scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125247.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2014, April 24). Cell resiliency surprises scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125247.htm
Michigan State University. "Cell resiliency surprises scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424125247.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
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