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New key mechanism in cell division discovered
Date:5/18/2012

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 result has been achieved in the online edition of the Journal of Cell Science and opens the door to developing targeted and direct therapies against cancer.

In every organism, cells grow and divide into two daughter cells through an orderly succession of events called "cell cycle". Cells have to complete four main processes during the cell cycle: growth (G1 and G2 phases), doubling the DNA (S phase), segregation of chromosomes (M phase, mitosis) and division (cytokinesis). In the S phase or DNA replication, the genetic material is duplicated and then during the M phase or mitosis, cells separate the duplicated chromosomes between two daughter cells. This will ensure correct inheritance of genetic information from one cell generation to the next.

Chromosomal stability

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 tumour development. Regulation of mitosis is particularly important for maintaining chromosomal stability. For example, tumour cells are aneuploid due to defects in the segregation of chromosomes, which originate cells with more or less genetic material than usual.

However, in spite of its importance, very little is known about the output regulation of mitosis. In the article published in the Journal of Cell Science, the Cell Cycle research group at IDIBELL led by Ethel Queralt, discovers a new mechanism of regulation of mitotic exit.

Separase protein is a key component for proper chromosome segregation and the regulation of mitosis. In previous work, the group of Dr. Qu
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Contact: Jordi Morato
comunicacio@idibell.cat
IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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