Duke Study Helps Explain How Cells Divvy Up Genes During Reproduction

just how the Ncd motor organizes the apparatus responsible for dividing up chromosomes equally during cell division, Endow and her colleagues attached a glowing fluorescent molecule to the Ncd motor in fruit flies. Then they photographed the chromosomes and molecular motors in action as the chromosomes lined up to separate during cell division, producing some of the first detailed moving pictures of chromosomes being divvied up into individual eggs.

They then made movies of normal cell division and what happens when Ncd is not working properly. When the scientists mutated Ncd, the cell division apparatus doesn't form properly, and chromosomes don't end up divided evenly among the resulting eggs. A reports on this research, detailing how the Ncd motor participates in the cell division process that creates eggs, appears in the September issue of the Journal of Cell Science. The movies can be viewed on the Internet at http:/abacus.mc.duke.edu/moviepage.html.


Contact: Karyn Hede George
(919) 684-4148
Duke University Medical Center

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