HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Algae provide new clues to cancer

A microscopic green alga helped scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies identify a novel function for the retinoblastoma protein (RB), which is known for its role as a tumor suppressor in mammalian cells. By coupling cell size with cell division, RB ensures that cells stay within an optimal size range.

Their findings, which will be published in the October 13 online edition of PLoS Genetics, show that RB blocks cells from dividing before they reach a minimum size and could provide new insights into the origins of cancer.

"Being the right size is very important for cells because their physiology changes quite dramatically when the surface-to-volume ratio changes," explains senior author James Umen, Ph.D., an assistant professor and Hearst Endowment Chair in Salk's Plant Biology Laboratory. "The human body is composed of trillions of cells, each of which must coordinate its growth and division in order to maintain size equilibrium," he adds.

This process is very tightly regulated and any given cell type will always stay within a very narrow size range, but the means by which cell size is determined remain mysterious. In proliferating cells, control mechanisms termed checkpoints are thought to prevent cells from dividing until they reach a specific size, but the nature of the checkpoints has proved difficult to dissect.

Understanding how cells balance the opposing processes of growth and division in order to achieve size control is more than just a fascinating intellectual pursuit for cell biologists: loss of size control is a hallmark of cancer cells, which exhibit severe defects in regulating growth and division.

"In mammalian cells it is very hard to separate size control from cell cycle control because it is very easy to mess up cell size as an indirect consequence of manipulating cell cycle rates," says Umen.

The tiny single-celled alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provided a model orga
'"/>

Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-4100 x1340
Salk Institute
12-Oct-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Algae toxin identification unravels fish-kill mystery
2. Algaes protein tails create motion and aid munching
3. New study suggests Concord grape juice may provide protection against breast cancer
4. Female gender provides an advantage in renal diseases
5. Forecasting system provides flood warnings to vulnerable residents of Bangladesh
6. Discovery of new protein could provide new understanding of male fertility
7. Einstein researchers prototype vaccine could provide improved protection against tuberculosis
8. Genomics study provides insight into the evolution of unique human traits
9. Expert to provide update after worst tomato virus hits California
10. Study provides new data about the laws governing embryo development in organisms
11. Sea anemone genome provides new view of our multi-celled ancestors

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Algae provide new clues cancer

(Date:10/28/2014)... in German . ... acquire sufficient food when times are lean? By studying ... d,Ivoire researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary ... how great apes can acquire extra energy needed to ... their sleeping nests more en route to breakfast sites ...
(Date:10/28/2014)... to expand the Office of Rare Diseases Research ... Sciences (ORDR-NCATS) collaborative Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network ... 22 consortia will work with 98 patient advocacy ... treatments for patients with rare diseases. The collaborations ... 2014 funding from NIH. , Rett syndrome, MECP2 ...
(Date:10/28/2014)... differences in moving activity in a novel environment ... angling, according to an experimental study completed at ... Game and Fisheries Research Institute. The study used ... and authentic angling trials to analyse if behaviours ... reared in traditional and enriched hatchery rearing environments. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):The early chimp gets the fig 2The early chimp gets the fig 3NIH's ORDR-NCATS RDCRN & NICHD awards U54 cooperative agreement for natural history study 2NIH's ORDR-NCATS RDCRN & NICHD awards U54 cooperative agreement for natural history study 3Fish 'personality' linked to vulnerability to angling 2
(Date:10/30/2014)... FREMONT, Calif. , Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ ... clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on cardio-renal, gastrointestinal and ... third quarter 2014 financial results on Thursday, November ... team will host a live conference call and ... financial results and provide a business update. ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) October 30, 2014 ... announced today that they have manually curated public data ... and non profit customers. the data is now ... manually curates and unifies public and internal data sources ... value and knowledge out of the data that becomes ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... Grace Century portfolio project, Provia Laboratories , ... the Board, to the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee ... by the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government ... More than a year after Bahamian Parliament passed the ... Christie said the government has completed the accompanying regulations and ...
(Date:10/30/2014)... 29, 2014) – The severe flooding that devastated a ... less destructive if the bridges, roads and other infrastructure ... study from the University of Colorado Denver. , "People ... said Jimmy Kim, PhD, associate professor of structural engineering ... Science and lead author the study. "There is an ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Ardelyx to Report Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results on November 6, 2014 2Rancho BioSciences Manually Curated TCGA Data Sets Available 2Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 2Grace Century’s Stem Cell Biobank Project Announces Chairman’s Appointment to National Stem Cell Ethics Committee of The Bahamas 3CU Denver study says upgrading infrastructure could reduce flood damage 2
Cached News: