Article Source: University of Edinburgh

Abstract: Researchers have revealed crucial details of an essential process that allows cells to divide correctly into two.

Complete Article:

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have revealed crucial details of an essential process that allows cells to divide correctly into two.

The research involved studying and analysing the molecular processes that determine how and when the vital proteins associate, to make a site required for correct DNA separation over a number of generations.

The researchers used biophysical and cell biology techniques to better understand the assembly of a key set of proteins known as Mis18.

Their study displays the details as to how the Mis18 protein complex controls the collection of another protein, known as CENP-A.

The protein CENP-A  accumulates at a site where the dividing cell’s DNA which is packaged into a pair of chromosomes, connects and then divides into two cells.

The researchers also studied the molecular mass of the constituent Mis18 proteins as they combined. This made them determine how many proteins of each type assembled to form a functional Mis18 complex.

They also reported how another protein Cdk1, controls the timing of Mis18 assembly, by temporarily modifying one of the proteins involved to prevent it from binding the others.

In the context of this research, the study’s leader, Dr Jeyaprakash Arulanandam, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, states: “These findings provide valuable insights into how cells help preserve the site essential for equal distribution of their DNA when they divide, and how the timing of this process is tied to the cell cycle.”

The research was funded by the Wellcome Trust and has been published in EMBO reports with the title ‘Molecular basis for Cdk1‐regulated timing of Mis18 complex assembly and CENP‐A deposition.

Journal Reference:

Frances Spiller, Bethan Medina‐Pritchard, Maria Alba Abad, Martin A Wear, Oscar Molina, William C Earnshaw, A Arockia Jeyaprakash. Molecular basis for Cdk1regulated timing of Mis18 complex assembly and CENPA depositionEMBO reports, 2017; 18 (6): 894 DOI: 10.15252/embr.201643564