Sumary of How cells measure themselves:
- In a study focusing on the growing tip of plants, researchers show that cells use their DNA content as an internal gauge to assess and adjust their size..
- Professor Robert Sablowski, a group leader at the John Innes Centre and corresponding author of the study said:.
- The key is to use the DNA as a template to accumulate the right amount of a protein, which then needs to be diluted before the cell divides..
- In this study, which appears in Science, John Innes Centre researchers carefully followed the growth and division of meristem cells over time..
- They then monitored a protein called KRP4, whose role is to delay the start of DNA replication, and found that, regardless of their initial size, cells were always born with the same amount of KRP4..
- To make sure that KRP4 accumulates in the mother cell in proportion to the DNA content, any excess KRP4 not bound to the DNA is destroyed before cell division by another protein called FBL17..
- Professor Robert Sablowski, explains this process, “One riddle we had to solve is how a cell can know how much it has grown when most of the components of a cell increase together in number and size so they cannot be used as a fixed ruler to measure size..
- Future experiments will seek to explain exactly how the regulatory protein KRP4 associates, then dissociates from chromosomes during cell division…