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Scientists find new mechanism that controls cell division

By News   Desk

In a significant discovery, researchers at Umea University in Sweden have uncovered a mechanism that controls cell division, potentially paving the way for future studies on managing certain diseases.

The study, led by Professor Stefan Bjorklund from the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, reveals that the movement of a protein complex called the Mediator along DNA genes may impact the process of cell division.

"We have gained in-depth knowledge of how cell division is controlled, which is important for understanding the causes of various diseases that are due to errors in cell division, such as various tumor diseases," Bjorklund said.

The research team discovered that the Mediator, a protein complex in the cell nucleus, can bind to DNA and interact with another protein complex, Lsm1-7, to regulate the production of proteins that make up the ribosomes – the cellular machinery responsible for creating proteins using DNA as a template.

The study showed that when cells grow too densely, cell division slows down. In such cases, the Mediator moves to the end of the genes, where it interacts with Lsm1-7. This dual interaction slows down the reading of the genes and interferes with the maturation of mRNA, leading to reduced production of ribosomal proteins and slower cell division.

"A possible direction of future research may be to study whether it is possible to control the position of the Mediator, in order to inhibit rapid cell division, for example in tumors," Bjorklund said, adding that more studies are needed to explore this exciting opportunity.

The research, conducted on yeast cells, serves as a model for understanding basic mechanisms that work similarly in more complex systems like animal and plant cells.

The findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the intricate processes governing cell division, potentially opening new avenues for managing diseases related to abnormal cell division, such as certain types of cancer.