In a paper ready to be published in the latest issue of the Journal of Cell Biology, a group of researchers from the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), at the University of Utah, have recognized a ‘trigger mechanism for a quality control checkpoint at the concluding part of a cell disintegration process’. This particular study is the first of its kind shedding a new ray of light on the formation of cancerous cells.
Addressing the vital issue of the origin of cancer, which is the central emphasis of major cancer researches, Katharine Ullman, Phd, Professor from the Department of Oncological Science, says, ‘..its usually when some normal process that’s vital for cell division is somehow not carried out properly’. The senior author on this paper further states that ‘Mistakes at this stage of quality control and this particular trigger could be one of the contributing factors to the initiation of cancer. It’s not going to be the only one, but it will help us ask additional important questions about how cancer forms’.
Ullman’s research mainly focuses on a particular cellular structure called NPC (nuclear pore complex) that is implanted within the membranes of the cell nucleus which plays a fundamental role in cell nuclear organisation. Examining a few cells reduced of NUP 153( a component of NpC), the researchers came to the conclusion that cell division process suffered from an erroneous nuclear reformation. Ullman opines, ‘We found that in its absence, a set of architectural elements at, and associated with, the nuclear pore weren’t being put back together correctly during nuclear reformation’ , and at the same time discovering another protein, Aurora B acting as a hindrance to cell formation process.
The team is further extending their research to trace out the details of molecular connection between the NUP 153 and Aurora B to explore the latent molecular pathway in between, which might be a revelation in the whole domain of cancer research.