Cell division finding could boost understanding of cancer

Feb 04, 2014

New insights into how the cells in our bodies divide could improve our knowledge of a condition linked to cancer, a study suggests.

Errors in the cell division process – which allows us to grow and stay healthy – can lead to a called aneuploidy, which is also associated with and infertility.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have pinpointed the key role played by a protein in ensuring that separate correctly.

During cell division, chromosomes containing our DNA duplicate and then separate to form two identical copies of the original cell. Aneuploidy arises when chromosome pairs fail to separate properly.

Scientists say that a protein – called shugoshin – serves two important functions. It recruits other parts of the cell which are needed for chromosome separation and enables an in-built error correction system to monitor cells as they divide.

Researchers studied the effect that disabling shugoshin had on in yeast. The team found that in the absence of a working shugoshin protein, cells were more likely to contain abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

Cell division in yeast is very similar to that of humans, making it an excellent model in which to study the role that shugoshin plays in preventing in people.

The study, published in the journal eLife, was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance and the Darwin Trust of Edinburgh.

Dr Adele Marston, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "Faults in these proteins are linked to some types of cancer, and our new discoveries about how they function in yeast could help us understand how they can sometimes contribute to disease in humans."

Explore further: Cell division discovery could offer fresh insight into cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What makes cell division accurate?

Jan 23, 2014

As all school-children learn, cells divide using a process called mitosis, which consists of a number of phases during which duplicate copies of the cell's DNA-containing chromosomes are pulled apart and ...

Impaired cell division leads to neuronal disorder

Jan 31, 2014

Prof. Erich Nigg and his research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have discovered an amino acid signal essential for error-free cell division. This signal regulates the number of centrosomes ...

Biologists identify proteins vital to chromosome segregation

Dec 24, 2012

New York University biologists have identified how a vital protein is loaded by others into the centromere, the part of the chromosome that plays a significant role in cell division. Their findings shed new light on genome ...

Recommended for you

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

23 hours ago

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

For resetting circadian rhythms, neural cooperation is key

Apr 17, 2014

Fruit flies are pretty predictable when it comes to scheduling their days, with peaks of activity at dawn and dusk and rest times in between. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on April 17th h ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...