Navigation Links
In fight against cancer, a closer look at nuclear blebbing
Date:2/19/2013

Misshapen cell nuclei are frequently observed in the cells of people with cancer and other diseases, but what causes the abnormality -- and why it is associated with certain disorders -- has remained unclear.

Researchers at Northwestern University have recently developed a mathematical model that sheds light on the defect by clarifying the mechanisms that cause bulges known as "blebs" in cells' nuclear membranes. The research -- a collaboration between experts at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Feinberg School of Medicine -- could be a step toward bleb prevention, which may ultimately provide potential therapies for related diseases.

A paper describing the research, titled "Mechanical Model of Blebbing in Nuclear Lamin Meshworks," was published Feb. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS).

"Changes in the shape of the nucleus are indicative of a range of pathologies, including the premature aging disorder Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, EmeryDreifuss muscular dystrophy and some cancers," said Monica Olvera de la Cruz, the corresponding author of the paper. "Our research suggests that blebbing may be the result of an imbalance between the various proteins that constitute the nuclear lamina."

She is a Lawyer Taylor Professor, professor of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School and professor of chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

The nucleus -- the control center of the cell, the keeper of genetic material and overseer of cell growth and reproduction -- is covered by a nuclear envelope consisting of a double membrane and an underlying structure called the nuclear lamina that surrounds the surface of the nucleus and gives it shape. In addition to its mechanical support, the lamina helps regulate cell division and organize genetic material.

In the majority of healthy cells, the nucleus appears smooth and maintains an overall spherical shape, but abnormal nuclear shapes characterized by blebs have been observed in the cells of people suffering from some forms of cancer and other diseases.

In mammals, the lamin meshworks that make up the nuclear lamina consist of mainly two types of lamin proteins, known as types A and B, which are wrapped like two nets around the nucleus. Under normal conditions, the A-type and B-type lamins co-exist throughout the sphere, creating a healthy lamina of approximately even thickness throughout.

But when one of the B-type lamins is depleted, researchers found the A-type and B-type lamins begin to segregate from one another, resulting in an uneven mesh layer with altered mechanical properties. In some regions, the lamina's fibers begin to gap and separate, giving rise to nuclear blebs, bulges in the cell's nuclear envelope.

The nuclear lamins, especially the A-type lamins, are now considered to be major building blocks of nuclear architecture and are thus involved in numerous important nuclear functions. Much of the recent information on the functions of the nuclear lamins comes from findings demonstrating that many different human diseases are caused by hundreds of mutations in the nuclear lamin A gene. Many of these diseases are accompanied by changes in nuclear shape and altered lamin organization.

"This study helps us to begin to understand how these abnormal shapes are formed," said Robert D. Goldman, the Stephen Walter Ranson Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, chair of the department of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School, and one of the paper's authors. "Collaborations between physicists and cell biologists are beginning to reveal new insights into these normal and abnormal cells."

Enabling some of those new insights, the Northwestern researchers designed an energy-minimizing continuum elastic model that enabled them to produce structures with comparable shapes and patterns as those found in naturally occurring pathological nuclei.


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research Foundation for Tick-Borne Infections Fights Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Encephalitis with Pilot Studies
2. Combo of Avastin, second drug shows promise fighting brain cancer, Mayo Clinic finds
3. Report Calls for Better U.S. Efforts to Fight Counterfeit Drugs
4. New hope in fight against multi-resistant germs
5. WeightLossApp.com: The Skinny: Fighting Obesity in the Workplace Through an Innovative Mobile Application
6. Tiger Schulmann's MMA Student, Uriah Hall, Debuts on The Ultimate Fighter
7. Scientists Explore How Zinc Fights Off Infection
8. Electrical Brain Stimulation Plus Drug Fights Depression: Study
9. Tree-Savers™ Reports Successful Launch of Private St Beetle Lab; 100,000 Predator Beetles Now Available to Fight HWA Infestation
10. Scientists identify new strategy to fight deadly infection in cystic fibrosis
11. Bacterial supplement could help young pigs fight disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... PLAINSBORO, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... J. Hennessy Associates, Inc. , a full-service health care communications company offering ... integrated digital news resource for practitioners and specialists working in infectious diseases. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... As part of its ... in February 2016. Each webinar features a dynamic expert and thoughtful presentation to ... athletes, patients and facilities. Both events are free to attend, but registration ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Compliancy Group LLC ... of medical professionals throughout the country. The Guard was specifically designed to handle ... procedures, employee training, regulatory updates, and compliance coaching. , In addition to meeting ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... 10 Best Water is excited to announce a ... owners that topped the list as a result of their commitment to offering clients ... was Tibet 5100, a top notch water company that specializes in providing the public ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Ongoing news of the ravages of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among former ... takes a closer look at cases of TBI being managed by their members. The ... the aging population, and identifies the challenges associated with their care. , During the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - The President of New Venture ... release of an anti-radiation product from their Research ... in the treatment of cancer using radiation and ... assist in the healing of radiation burns, even ... protect only the healthy cells from radiation damage. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Silicon Biosystems ... and products that help uncover the biological complexities ... Biosciences Inc., a developer of innovative technologies for ... co-marketing partnership aimed at enabling translational researchers to ... a couple hundred tumor and normal cells in ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Fla. , Feb. 9, 2016  Until recently, ... were surgery or liposuction. Thankfully, the FDA approved the ... them to death. Coolsculpting was originally approved in 2010 ... the thighs and now the chin. With this add-on ... Center can use a smaller applicator, the CoolMini, to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: