Experts discover a new molecular mechanism that gives cells more time to adapt to changes in their environment

17/06/20
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A study carried out at UIC Barcelona in collaboration with Pompeu Fabra University and the IRB Barcelona suggests that, thanks to this mechanism, cells can safely adapt to environmental changes and prevent defects to maximise survival

Experts discover a new molecular mechanism that gives cells more time to adapt to changes in their environment
Immunolocation of Cdc14, the nuclei and miotic spindle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast
A study published recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), written by a group of researchers including Dr Javier Jiménez, lecturer and member of the research group Atypical Cyclins, has uncovered a new molecular mechanism that delays the division process when cells encounter a stressful environmental situation. As such, cells have time to adapt to their new context and prepare to continue dividing safely without incurring defects.  
 
The study titled “Hog1 activation delays mitotic exit via phosphorylation of Net1” focuses on how the protein kinase Hog1 retains phosphatase Cdc14 in the cells’ nucleus in stressful situations, thus delaying cellular division.  “Thanks to this new mechanism, cells only continue to divide when they can do so correctly, avoiding genetic alterations and therefore cells that are susceptible to undesirable behaviour”, explained Javier Jiménez, one of the study’s principal investigators. 
 
“Although we know that cell cycles are regulated by external stimuli, the interest of our study lies in the novelty of the mechanism we describe, which affects the central system of cell cycle regulation”, expressed Dr Jiménez. This discovery is key to understanding how cells respond to medicine and toxic substances, among other stimuli, allowing researchers to better understand cancer biology and get one step closer to finding a cure.