Researchers find a novel connection between cell metabolism and cell division

February 16, 2021

The processes in living beings follow a finely orchestrated choreography down to the molecular level. Rhythmic processes are found everywhere in biology, for example, the 24-hour circadian cycle, a kind of "internal clock", plays an important role in regulating many processes in living cells, including metabolism and cell division mechanisms.

Scientists from Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern have now taken a closer look at a similar cycle, the somewhat shorter ultradian cycle of baker's yeast. Under the leadership of Bruce Morgan, Professor of Biochemistry at Saarland University, the experts investigated what happens in the model organism baker's yeast when the metabolism of cells is changed in a targeted manner. It was previously known that the metabolic processes and the cell division cycles in healthy cells often run synchronously according to precisely such rhythms. So far it has not been answered whether rhythmic changes in metabolism are the cause or consequence of cell division.

With the aid of novel fluorescent sensors, the scientists were able to observe rhythmic changes in the level of hydrogen peroxide within yeast cells. For a long time, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was better known for stressing and damaging cells. "We also examined the protein peroxiredoxin and its reaction, as well as the effects on the cell division cycle of the cells," explains Bruce Morgan. This is because the protein peroxiredoxin is very sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and may help use changes in H2O2 levels to regulate cellular function. We therefore considered it particularly suitable for further understanding the complex mechanism of the cells' "internal clock".

The scientists were now able to address the causal relationships between cycles in cell metabolism and cell division: "We were able to determine that the link between metabolism and cell division is broken when we inactivate the peroxiredoxin in baker's yeast," explains Bruce Morgan. Cell division is then decoupled from the metabolism of the cells. In addition, they were able to precisely control when the cells enter and exit the cell division cycle by precisely controlling the metabolic cycles.

These fundamental findings could be important to better understand uncontrolled cell division in tumor cells. It is known that cell division in cancer cells is often decoupled from the circadian clock. It will be extremely interesting in the future to investigate whether a disrupted H2O2 regulation is involved.
-end-
Amponsah, P.S., Yahya, G., Zimmermann, J. et al. Peroxiredoxins couple metabolism and cell division in an ultradian cycle. Nat Chem Biol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-020-00728-9

Saarland University

Related Cell Division Articles from Brightsurf:

Cell division: Cleaning the nucleus without detergents
A team of researchers, spearheaded by the Gerlich lab at IMBA, has uncovered how cells remove unwanted components from the nucleus following mitosis.

Genetic signature boosts protein production during cell division
A research team has uncovered a genetic signature that enables cells to adapt their protein production according to their state.

Inner 'clockwork' sets the time for cell division in bacteria
Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have discovered a 'clockwork' mechanism that controls cell division in bacteria.

Scientists detail how chromosomes reorganize after cell division
Researchers have discovered key mechanisms and structural details of a fundamental biological process--how a cell nucleus and its chromosomal material reorganizes itself after cell division.

Targeting cell division in pancreatic cancer
Study provides new evidence of synergistic effects of drugs that inhibit cell division and support for further clinical trials.

Scientists gain new insights into the mechanisms of cell division
Mitosis is the process by which the genetic information encoded on chromosomes is equally distributed to two daughter cells, a fundamental feature of all life on earth.

Cell division at high speed
When two proteins work together, this worsens the prognosis for lung cancer patients: their chances of survival are particularly poor in this case.

Cell biology: The complexity of division by two
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have identified a novel protein that plays a crucial role in the formation of the mitotic spindle, which is essential for correct segregation of a full set of chromosomes to each daughter cell during cell division.

Better together: Mitochondrial fusion supports cell division
New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that when cells divide rapidly, their mitochondria are fused together.

Seeing is believing: Monitoring real time changes during cell division
Scientist have cast new light on the behaviour of tiny hair-like structures called cilia found on almost every cell in the body.

Read More: Cell Division News and Cell Division Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.