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:4/17/2014)... State University engineer has developed a patented technique ... explosive devices. The same technique could help police ... M. and Kay L. Theede chair in engineering ... and his research team have created a template-based ... car trunks. The distance detection method called ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, ... Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native ... team of researchers., The invasive pests include including ... East African honeybees appear to be resilient to these ... used to control pests in Europe, Asia and the ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Cell Press journal Current Biology on April ... sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct ... are the first example of an animal with sex-reversed ... in several different animals, Neotrogla is the ... reversed," says Kazunori Yoshizawa from Hokkaido University in Japan. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Patented research remotely detects nitrogen-rich explosives 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 2East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests… for now 3In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises 2
(Date:1/14/2014)... January 14, 2014 Date: Friday, April 11, ... Warrington Country Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. ... organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B ... will host its annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 14, 2014 EquitiesIQ, a leading informational ... ALQA). Alliqua is an emerging biomedical company acquiring, developing, ... care market. , Free report download: http://equitiesiq.com/reports/alliqua/ ... seasoned management team and Board, which launched the company’s ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Jan. 14, 2014  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCQX: RXII), ... commercializing innovative therapies addressing major unmet medical needs ... the Notice of Allowance from the United States ... RNAi compounds (sd-rxRNA®), for the treatment of fibrosis. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... During the 1600’s through the 1800’s doctors contributed ... In this time period, doctors did not know that they ... the death of vulnerable patients. In the same way, medical ... be unwittingly transmitting herpes viruses to their patients. The CBCD ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 2RXi Pharmaceuticals Receives US Notice of Allowance for a Key Patent Relating to its Self-Delivering Technology with sd-rxRNAs targeting CTGF, including RXI-109, for the Treatment of Fibrotic Disorders 3Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 2Study: Fatigued Medical Interns Infect Their Patients with Herpes Viruses; The CBCD Sees a Parallel with “The Doctor’s Plague” 3
Cached News: