Med school discovery could lead to better cancer diagnosis, drugs

Nov 21, 2008

A Florida State University College of Medicine research team led by Yanchang Wang has discovered an important new layer of regulation in the cell division cycle, which could lead to a greater understanding of the way cancer begins.

Wang, an assistant professor of biomedical sciences at the College of Medicine, said the findings will lead to an improved ability to diagnose cancer and could lead to the design of new drugs that kill cancer cells by inhibiting cell reproduction. His paper on the discovery has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The correct timing of chromosome segregation during cell division is necessary to ensure normal, healthy growth," Wang said. "Now we have discovered a previously undetected layer of regulation in how the chromosomes separate, which helps to ensure the correct timing and decreases the potential for the formation of cancerous growth."

The cell division cycle is a collection of tightly regulated events that lead to cell duplication. The most important events are the doubling of the hereditary information encoded within a set of chromosomes, and the division of that duplicated information into two daughter cells that are genetically identical to each other and the mother cell.

The correct order of cell-cycle events is essential for successful cell division. Wang's article addresses the role of a particular protein enzyme, Cdc14, in ensuring that cell division events occur in exactly the right order.

Defects in the regulation of the order of events can lead to cell death or the alteration of genetic information, which contributes to the formation of cancerous cells.

Source: Florida State University

Explore further: Second-line cetuximab active beyond progression in quadruple wild-type patients with mCRC

Related Stories

Why human egg cells don't age well

Jul 01, 2015

When egg cells form with an incorrect number of chromosomes—a problem that increases with age—the result is usually a miscarriage or a genetic disease such as Down syndrome. Now, researchers at the RIKEN ...

A novel DNA damage alarm

Jun 25, 2015

How does our body keep its DNA intact? Researchers at Erasmus MC have just found a new piece of this puzzle. They discovered a novel alarm that cells use to signal DNA damage. "We already knew that DNA damage triggers an ...

Recommended for you

Spicy treatment the answer to aggressive cancer?

Jul 03, 2015

It has been treasured by food lovers for thousands of years for its rich golden colour, peppery flavour and mustardy aroma…and now turmeric may also have a role in fighting cancer.

Cancer survivors who smoke perceive less risk from tobacco

Jul 02, 2015

Cancer survivors who smoke report fewer negative opinions about smoking, have more barriers to quitting, and are around other smokers more often than survivors who had quit before or after their diagnosis, according to a ...

Melanoma mutation rewires cell metabolism

Jul 02, 2015

A mutation found in most melanomas rewires cancer cells' metabolism, making them dependent on a ketogenesis enzyme, researchers at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University have discovered.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.