Navigation Links
MIT sheds light on how tumor cells form

MIT cancer researchers have discovered a process that may explain how some tumor cells form, a discovery that could one day lead to new therapies that prevent defective cells from growing and spreading.

The work was reported June 8 in the advance online issue of The EMBO Journal, a publication of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Tumor cells that grow aggressively often have an irregular number of chromosomes, the structures in cells that carry genetic information. The normal number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46, or 23 pairs. Aggressive tumor cells often have fewer or more than 23 pairs of chromosomes, a condition called aneuploidy.

To date it has not been clear how tumor cells become aneuploid.

"Checkpoint proteins" within cells work to prevent cells from dividing with an abnormal number of chromosomes, but scientists have been puzzled by evidence that aneuploidy can result even when these proteins appear to be normal.

What MIT researchers have discovered is a reason these checkpoint proteins may be unable to sense the defective cells, which tend to have very subtle errors in them. (These subtle errors are believed to be the cause of aneuploidy and the rapid growth of tumors.)

Before cells divide, individual chromosomes in each pair of chromosomes must attach to a set of tiny structures called microtubules. If they attach correctly, the checkpoint proteins give them the go-ahead to divide. If they don't, the checkpoint proteins are supposed to stop them from dividing.

"The checkpoint proteins are like referees in a tug-of-war contest," said Viji Draviam, a research scientist in MIT's Department of Biology and lead author of the paper. "They make sure that all chromosomes are lined up in the right places before the cell is allowed to divide."

Scientists have known about the function of checkpoint proteins for at least 20 years, and they have suspected that mutations in checkp oint proteins cause the irregular number of chromosomes in the aneuploid cells. But they have been perplexed by the infrequent occurrence of mutations in aneuploid tumors.

"It's puzzling that the suspected culprits - the aneuploidy-inducing checkpoint mutations - are rarely found at the scene of the crime, in the aneuploid tumors," Draviam said.

That lingering question prompted Draviam and her colleagues to study how two other key molecules - a known tumor suppressor protein called APC and its partner protein EB1 - work together to assure that cells divide normally.

They discovered that if they removed either protein from a cell or if they interrupted the way the proteins work together, the cell would become aneuploid. In other words, the checkpoint proteins need to sense that the APC and EB1 proteins both are present for normal cell division to take place.

"This is important because it is the first demonstration that interrupting the normal function of these proteins will cause the cell to become aneuploid," Draviam said. "Our research sheds light on what could go wrong to cause an irregular number of chromosomes in cells even when the checkpoint proteins appear to be functioning properly."


'"/>

Source:Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Related biology news :

1. Bacteria collection sheds light on urinary tract infections
2. Sea skate experiment sheds light on human cell transport
3. Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds
4. Newly discovered genetic disease sheds light on bodys water balance
5. Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations
6. Gene discovery sheds light on causes of rare disease, cancer
7. Skull study sheds light on dinosaur diversity
8. OHSU discovery sheds light into how stem cells become brain cells
9. Clock molecules sensitivity to lithium sheds light on bipolar disorder
10. Lizard third eye sheds light on evolution of color vision
11. Newly identified protein complex sheds light on axon growth mechanism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in ... on medical screening and diagnostic applications, such ... devices that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring ... are being bolstered through new opportunities offered ... acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and low ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology ... service presents an analysis of the digital and computed ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... current trends and market size, as well as regional ... by country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... BURNABY, Canada , February 1, 2016 ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...   --> Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading custom ... Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, 2016. The ... for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalink™ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch ... performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse ... Azure. On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health ... Azure from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an ... treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has been selected to present at the ... Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The purpose of the Forum is to help ...
Breaking Biology Technology: