Navigation Links
How red blood cells nuke their nuclei
Date:2/10/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (February 10, 2008) Unlike the rest of the cells in your body, your red blood cells lack nuclei. That quirk dates back to the time when mammals began to evolve. Other vertebrates such as fish, reptiles, and birds, have red cells that contain nuclei that are inactive. Losing the nucleus enables the red blood cell to contain more oxygen-carrying hemoglobin, thus enabling more oxygen to be transported in the blood and boosting our metabolism.

Scientists have struggled to understand the mechanism by which maturing red blood cells eject their nuclei. Now, researchers in the lab of Whitehead Member Harvey Lodish have modeled the complete process in vitro in mice, reporting their findings in Nature Cell Biology online on February 10, 2008. The first mechanistic study of how a red blood cell loses its nucleus, the research sheds light on one of the most essential steps in mammalian evolution.

It was known that as a mammalian red blood cell nears maturity, a ring of actin filaments contracts and pinches off a segment of the cell that contains the nucleus, a type of cell division. The nucleus is then swallowed by macrophages (one of the immune systems quick-response troops). The genes and signaling pathways that drive the pinching-off process, however, were a mystery.

Using a cell-culture system we were actually able to watch the cells divide, go through hemoglobin synthesis and then lose their nuclei, says Lodish, who is also a professor of biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We discovered that the proteins Rac 1, Rac 2 and mDia2 are involved in building the ring of actin filaments.

We were very interested in that Rac 1 and Rac 2 were involved in disposing the nuclei of red blood cells, says Peng Ji, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in the Lodish lab. These proteins are known for their role in creating actin fibers in many body cells, and a necessary component of many important cellular functions including cell division that support cell growth.

His cell-culture system began with red blood cell precursors drawn from an embryonic mouse liver (in mammalian embryos, the liver is the main producer of such cells, rather than bone marrow as in adults). The cultured cells, synchronized to develop together, divided four or five times before losing their nuclei and becoming immature red blood cells. The researchers used simple fluorescence-based assays that enabled them to probe the changes in the red blood cells through the different stages leading up to the loss of the nucleus.

The researchers plan to further investigate the entire process of red blood cell formation, which may lead to insights about genetic alterations that underlie certain red blood cell disorders.

During normal cell division, each daughter cell receives half the DNA, comments Lodish. In this case, when the red blood cell divides, one daughter cell gets all the DNA. Whats fascinating is that in this case, that daughter cell gets eaten by macrophages. Until now, scientists were unable to study these cells because they were unable to see them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cristin Carr
carr@wi.mit.edu
617-324-0460
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Specific antagonism lowers blood pressure
2. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
3. FDA Updates Prescription Guidelines for Blood Thinner
4. Doctors Often Miss High Blood Pressure in Kids
5. Back to School Means Return of School Blood Drives
6. Blood-flow detector software show promise in preventing brain damage
7. FDA Approves New Roche West Nile Virus Blood Screening Test
8. Australian-led international study shows blood pressure drugs cut death rate in type 2 diabetes
9. Laser blasts viruses in blood
10. Study Demonstrates Marteks Algal DHA Oil Improves Blood Triglyceride Lipid Levels
11. LifeMasters Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... A cylindrical “pipeline” used for treating ... reach ones, according to the results of a clinical trial announced Wednesday. , ... Ricardo A. Hanel, MD, PhD, neurovascular surgeon with Baptist Health and Lyerly Neurosurgery ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... Using the power of the internet, IdrisArkette.com has managed ... a period of just 24 months, thousands of individuals interested in a medical procedure ... , “The internet is not getting quieter. In fact it’s becoming noisier by the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... of issues related to spine practices, is featuring Michigan neurosurgeon Jay Jagannathan, M.D., ... as one of a small number of neurosurgeons in Michigan performing minimally invasive ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Forty-five ... of those report that family members or friends have also commented about their ... hearing loss wear hearing aids. One reason, suggested by 89 percent of American ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... Social media marketing is transitioning from a singular person activity to a ... into this insight and more in its latest episode of its Brains Over Brawn ... with social media strategist and partner of the digital firm Med|Ed Digital Jessica Columbo. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017 The Senior Care Pharmacy ... Senate and House of Representatives that will curtail the ... (PBMs) -- from extracting retroactive direct and indirect remuneration ... (LTC) pharmacies and the Medicare program. S. ... (R-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT), and House ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... DUBLIN , Feb 22, 2017 Research ... Devices Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... The ... of around 5.2% over the next decade to reach approximately $2.1 billion ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 2017 Henry Schein Medical today announced ... with Rijuven, which develops innovative digital medical devices, ... practitioners. CardioSleeve is a stethoscope ... sound signals, transmits real-time data to any smartphone ... to help physicians provide diagnostic interpretation of a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: