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:


(Date:2/13/2017)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a centralized platform that is designed to enhance ... the latest release in the RSA Fraud & ... to enable organizations to leverage additional insights from ... anti-fraud tools to better protect their customers from ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... , Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass ... analysis of the biomass boiler market globally in terms ... of biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers has ... type, end-user, application, and country/region. The market based on ... & forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 ... growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% ... global markets for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market ... of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  In Atlanta, it seems everyone ... and culture intertwine to create an expressive and dynamic community ... this energy and contribute to it. With ... Hair Fairies seeks to carry on that tradition with ... Atlanta salon is the newest of 13 ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 ... ... Commercialization Award during the 12th annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research ... annually to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... and SAN FRANCISCO , ... privately-held regenerative medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a ... type 1 diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond ... functional cure for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... has been developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today ... at the Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  ... 11:15 AM, at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San ... organizers at Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst ... biotechnology companies, investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: