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Discovery of cell division 'master controller' may improve understanding and treatment of cancer
Date:9/11/2013

this process held that chromosomes and microtubules pair up individually to find the correct attachment, like conventional dating. However, our results show that the system is more like speed dating. All the chromosomes have to try many connections with microtubules in a short amount of time. Then they all make their final choices at the same time. Cyclin A acts like a timekeeper or referee to make sure no one makes bad connections prematurely."

In normal cells, persistent cyclin A expression prevents the stabilization of microtubules bound to kinetochores even in cells with aligned chromosomes. As levels of cyclin A decline, microtubule attachments become stable, allowing the chromosomes to be divided correctly as cell division proceeds. In contrast, in cyclin A-deficient cells, microtubule attachments are prematurely stabilized. Consequently, these cells may fail to correct errors, leading to higher rates of chromosome mis-segregation.

"Many cancer cells continuously mis-segregate their chromosomes," says Kabeche. "The major cause is improper kinetochoremicrotubule attachments. Therefore, understanding how kinetochoremicrotubule attachments are regulated throughout cell division is important, not only for furthering our understanding of cell division, but also for allowing us to correct these problems in cancer cells."


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Contact: Derik Hertel
derik.hertel@dartmouth.edu
603-650-1211
The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Source:Eurekalert

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