Dysregulated cell division is a factor in some diseases, such as cancer. Modern genome sequencing methods used to measure the efficiency of
synthesis of individual protein during cell division has found that the
enzymes that make lipids and membranes were synthesized at much greater
efficiency when a cell is ready to split.
That is a conclusion of collaborative research published this month in the European Molecular Biology Organization Journal
, according to Dr. Michael Polymenis, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research biochemist in College Station and lead author.
‘The enzymes that make lipids and membranes were synthesized at much greater efficiency when a cell is ready to split.’
Microscopy images of dividing yeast cells accumulating lipid
droplets (shown as bright spots) because they have lost their ability to
regulate the synthesis of a key lipogenic enzyme.
Polymenis said the finding provides new targets for controlling cell
division in future studies.
"Understanding the role of protein synthesis during cell division
will shed light on when cells will initiate their division, how fast
they will complete it, the number of successive cell divisions, and the
coordination of cell proliferation with the available nutrients," said
Dr. Heidi Blank, Texas A&M University assistant scientist and the
The research profiled yeast cells from the time of cell birth to
identify messenger RNAs as they translated into proteins. That showed
the development of lipids late in the cell cycle and the connection to
The report, which included scientists from Texas A&M and The
Buck Institute for Research on Aging, noted that no studies previously
had "queried directly and comprehensively the efficiency with which each
individual protein is made during cell division in growing cells."
It turns out that not all proteins are made with the same efficiency, Polymenis said.
"If the dream of every cell is to become two cells as the Nobelist
François Jacob famously quipped in 1971, then it is protein synthesis
that makes cellular dreams come true," he said. "Protein synthesis
underpins much of cell growth and determines the rate at which cells
The research combined computational approaches to analyze the data
by Dr. Rodolfo Aramayo, Texas A&M biology professor in College
Station, and relied on state-of-the-art genome sequencing facilities at
Texas A&M, directed by Dr. Charlie Johnson. It was funded by
AgriLife Research, Texas A&M and the National Institutes of Health.