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Addressing a long unanswered question of how cell division is controlled during development and normal maintenance in multicellular organisms, Maria Cuitino, Ph.D., and colleagues used animal models and applied deep learning tools to measure protein levels and expose cellular mechanisms that previously could only be estimated by cell culture systems. The findings begin to identify the possible early events associated with uncontrolled cell division, a key step in the early progression to cancer.
Past research revealed which molecules direct cells to divide or not divide, but this left many scientific gaps. Since bodies are made up of many different types of cells that come together to form complex organs, studying the whole body at once can be very complicated, but also can be very exciting and revealing, says Gustavo Leone, Ph.D., Hollings Cancer Center director and corresponding author on the study.
Studies - Cells - Vitro - Cell - Culture
Previous studies that looked at individual cells in in vitro cell culture systems provided basic answers to the biology going on inside the cell but missed the interactions that occur when all of the cells are working together to form organs. Leone and his team's findings confirmed at least 80% of the previous knowledge derived from cell culture systems and addressed new important questions that needed to be answered.
"Not knowing when and where "on and off" switches for cell division are expressed is like having paint with no canvas. Now we have the canvas, and thus the cellular context, for how these proteins behave within cells in the body," Leone says.
Project - Family - Transcription - Factor - Proteins
The five-year project probed "when" and "where" a critical family of transcription factor proteins (E2F family) is expressed in mammalian cells. Mammals have at least nine different E2F transcription factors that have either activation (on) or repressive (off) functions. All units within cells must work properly to make a functioning organ....
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