Mitotic spindle during cell division is the core of molecular machines, recently at the University of California scientists, parsing the crystal structure of the machine as a key component.
“Kinesin 5 has a surprisingly structure, which treat a variety of cancers offers new opportunities for,” led the research assistant professor Jawdat Al-Bassam said. “Our study fills an important gap, the first to demonstrate the molecular basis of microtubule fibers are connected to each other and slide.”
In the process of cell division, the spindle microtubules responsible for capturing the chromosome, and the average assigned to the two daughter cells. Precise control of the process, for proper cell division is essential. If this process fails, it may cause birth defects and developmental disorders. For cancer cells can continue to divide, the above process is even more important.
Kinesin kinesin is responsible for transporting materials for a class of motor proteins in the cell, one of the article’s authors, Professor Jonathan Scholey said. Typically, such proteins having two end movement means able to move along microtubules, “walking”, and the other end is attached carrying cargo to be transported.
About twenty years ago, Scholey’s laboratory for the first time to the purified kinesin 5, when it is considered necessary protein fungal mitosis. It found that the protein is very unique, it has a sports unit at both ends, you can connect two microtubules and slide it to each other.
“Now we have come to realize kinesin 5 in almost all eukaryotic cells are necessary for mitosis protein,” Scholey said.
Researchers by electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, analytical core structure kinesin 5. They found that the core structure of the protein consists of four tied together long protein helices. “This structure than we thought it would be much more complicated,” Scholey said.
In addition, this study also reveals the kinesin 5 unique domains, these domains can be developed as a new target for anti-cancer drugs. The researchers pointed out, you can drive through the drug target protein 5, lost control of the cell division of cancer treatment, such as colorectal cancer. Before one such drug has entered Phase III clinical trials, but this drug has not been approved for use in the final, because it will affect other motor proteins. Structure shown in this study, can help people more accurately target drive unique domain protein 5, which will be a major step forward.
Drive structural protein 5 can also help people to further understand the mechanism of this protein, Al-Bassam said. “Previously, we have only one microtubule sliding theory fibers, and this study reveals a deeper level, at the atomic level to help understand the whole process,” Scholey said.