Centrosomes in cell division - Victoria Menendez-Benito
Asymmetric cell division is essential for the correct architecture and composition of tissues and organs. By contrast, defective asymmetric cell divisions contribute to miscarriages, birth defects (e.g. lissencephaly and microcephaly) and cancers (e.g. breast cancer, acute promyelocytic leukemia, colon cancer). Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling asymmetric cell division is important to increase our knowledge of these diseases.
The basic principle of asymmetric cell division is conserved through evolution. It consists on orienting the bipolar mitotic spindle (the machine that segregates the chromosomes) with the polarity axis of the cell, like a magnetized needle in a compass. Despite its importance, it is still not fully understood how the orientation of the spindle works at the molecular level. We aim to fill this gap by addressing two fundamental questions: (i) what makes the two poles (centrosomes) of the spindle unequal (‘magnetized’) and (ii) how the cell feels these differences.
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