Researchers describe the key role of a protein in the segregation of genetic material during cell division

December 11, 2013

Researchers at the Cell Cycle Research Group of the Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research (IDIBELL) led by Ethel Queralt have reported in the journal PLoS Genetics an article which delve into the regulator mechanisms of mitosis, a key stage of the cell-cycle for the correct transmision of genetic information from parents to sons.

Cells in all organisms grow and divide into two by an ordered sequence of events called "". Basically, the have to complete four main processes during the cell cycle : growth ( G1 and G2 phases ), doubling the DNA ( S phase ), segregate chromosomes ( M phase , ) and divide ( cytokinesis ).

In the S phase, or replication of DNA, the genetic material doubles and then, during the M phase or mitosis, the cells separate the duplicated chromosomes into the two daughter cells. In this way the correct inheritance of from one generation of cells to the next is assured. The transmission of genetic information (DNA ) from parent to child (or equivalently, from cell to cell ) is a fundamental question in biology.

Aneuploidy, ie lack or excess of chromosomes, is a feature present in almost all human cancers and promotes tumor development. The regulation of mitosis is particularly important to maintain chromosome stability : for example, the aneuploid tumor cells arise as a consequence of defects in chromosome segregation, which originate in cells with varying normal genetic material. However, despite its importance, little is known of the regulation of mitotic exit.

The Hippo tumor suppressor pathway

The article published in the journal Plos Genetics decribes the latest advances in the mechanisms of regulation of mitotic exit. The protein called " separase " is a key component for proper and the regulation of mitosis. In previous work Queralt group first described the involvement of protein phosphatase PP2A in mitosis. These proteins cooperate with 'separase' to ensure correct genetic inheritance between cells.

"In this study," explained Queralt" we have delved into the molecular mechanism by which this protein PP2A regulates mitosis and contributes to the correct segregation of chromosomes by identifying two new substrates, two components of the route Hippo - ".

As explained by the researcher "in recent times are very powerful publishing studies on the use of this pathway as a therapeutic target in cancer. However, in my opinion, before that, we should better understand their molecular mechanisms." In that sense it said that "this work contributes to advancing knowledge of Hippo tumor suppressor pathway on the regulation of mitosis. And the application of such basic knowledge will help develop more specific and direct against different types of cancer treatments.

Explore further: DNA replication protein Cdt1 also has a role in mitosis, cancer

More information: Baro B., Calabria I., Rodríguez-Rodríguez J.A., Hernáez M.L. Gil C. and Queralt E. Dual regulation of the Mitotic Exit Network (MEN) by PP2A-Cdc55 phospatase. PLoS Genetics. 2013.

Related Stories

New key mechanism in cell division discovered

May 18, 2012

Researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) have identified the mechanism by which protein Zds1 regulates a key function in mitosis, the process that occurs immediately before cell division. The ...

Scientists study transient degradation of an actin regulator

February 13, 2013

Scientists at the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University have gained new insight into the process of mitosis in mammalian cells. Researchers under the direction of Prof. Dr. Frauke Melchior, in collaboration ...

EGF growth factor accelerates cell division, study finds

May 14, 2013

Biologists at Heidelberg University have discovered new approaches for the treatment of cancer. They investigated how a special signalling molecule, the epidermal growth factor (EGF), stimulates the separation of chromosomes ...

Recommended for you

Evolution influenced by temporary microbes

May 24, 2016

Life on Earth often depends on symbiotic relationships between microbes and other forms of life. A new theory suggests that researchers should consider how symbiotic microbes can influence the evolution of life on Earth, ...

Great apes communicate cooperatively

May 24, 2016

Human language is a fundamentally cooperative enterprise, embodying fast-paced interactions. It has been suggested that it evolved as part of a larger adaptation of humans' unique forms of cooperation. In a cross-species ...

Silencing cholera's social media

May 24, 2016

Bacteria use a form of "social media" communication called quorum sensing to monitor how many of their fellow species are in the neighborhood, allowing them to detect changes in density and respond with changes in collective ...

Rare evolutionary event detected in the lab

May 23, 2016

It took nearly a half trillion tries before researchers at The University of Texas at Austin witnessed a rare event and perhaps solved an evolutionary puzzle about how introns, non-coding sequences of DNA located within genes, ...

In changing oceans, cephalopods are booming

May 23, 2016

Humans have changed the world's oceans in ways that have been devastating to many marine species. But, according to new evidence, it appears that the change has so far been good for cephalopods, the group including octopuses, ...

Shedding light on the 'dark matter' of the genome

May 19, 2016

What used to be dismissed by many as "junk DNA" is back with a vengeance as growing data points to the importance of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs)—genome's messages that do not code for proteins—in development and disease. ...

0 comments

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.