Researchers shed light on shrinking of chromosomes

A human cell contains an enormous 1.8 metres of DNA partitioned into 46 chromosomes. These have to be copied and distributed equally into two daughter cells at every division. Condensation, the shortening of chromosomes, allows the cell to handle such huge amounts of genetic material during cell division and helps preventing fatal defects in chromosome separation. Now researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) for the first time tracked chromosome condensation in mammalian cells over the entire course of cell division. In this weeks advanced online publication of Nature Cell Biology they report crucial new insights into timing, function and molecular basis of chromosome condensation.

What happens when chromosomes are not correctly separated and distributed during cell division we know very well; two daughter cells with either broken chromosomes or different numbers of chromosomes result and severe diseases including cancer can arise. But so far we know only little about condensation, a process crucial to the successful separation of chromosomes. Using powerful microscopes, researchers led by Jan Ellenberg at EMBL looked at living mammalian cells to find out how and when chromosomes shorten during cell division.

Condensation begins early, when the cell starts preparing for division, and the chromosomes become shorter and shorter until they are about to separate and migrate towards the poles of the cell.

It is at this stage that textbooks say chromosomes are shortest. Then, after separating they would expand again, says Ellenberg. But we found something very different. Shortly after they finish separating, chromosomes actually condense even further. This makes sense, because in this way they are shortest when the physical division of one cell body into two takes place. Like this, no long chromosome arms extend over the plane of division, because that could expose the DNA to serious mechanical damage.

The extreme condensat

Contact: Anna-Lynn Wegener
European Molecular Biology Laboratory

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
2. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
3. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
4. Researchers witness natural selection at work in dramatic comeback of male butterflies
5. Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell
6. Researchers use new approach to predict protein function
7. Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification
8. Researchers identify genetic mutation that may alter tumor cell proliferation
9. Researchers discover method for identifying how cancer evades the immune system
10. Researchers use adult stem cells to create soft tissue
11. Researchers find gene that spurs development of the epididymis

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/19/2015)... VIEW, Calif. , Nov. 19, 2015  Based ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes BIO-key with the 2015 ... Leadership. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award ... product line catering to the needs of the market ... the product line meets and expands on customer base ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 Paris ... 2015.   --> Paris from 17 ... DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first ... fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two different ... Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... announced expansion of its TDDI product portfolio with ... and display driver integration (TDDI) solutions designed to ... TDDI products add to the previously-announced TD4300 ... resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) solutions. All four ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 1, 2015  An interventional radiology technique shows promise for ... results of a study being presented today at the annual ... (RSNA). --> ... by interventional radiologists as a way to stop bleeding in ... a means of treating obesity is new. Mubin ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... includes an MPP licen ... niversity , s Solid Drug Nanoparticle (SDN) Technology ; ... up through cost cuts of priority ... based anywhere in the world will have the right to make, use and distribute ... where licensees based anywhere in the world will have the right to make, use ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015 Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, Inc. ... developing bioengineered organ implants for life-threatening conditions, today ... NASDAQ Stock Market that it has regained compliance ... noted that as a result of the closing ... $1.00 per share for more than ten consecutive ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Md. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... development company committed to the fostering and monetization ... the current and prospective initiatives designed to create ... Chief Executive Officer of Spherix. "Based on published ... future licensees exceeds $50 billion and Spherix will ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: