Prasanth Published in Science

Assistant Professor of CDB Supriya Prasanth coauthored a paper detailing the novel role of an important cell division protein.

Supriya Prasanth

Cell and developmental biology assistant professor Supriya Prasanth is the coauthor of a manuscript that reveals a new role for Orc1, a protein essential for DNA replication in animal cells. 

A cell must replicate its DNA to provide a copy of genetic material for future generations.  Orc1 is an important subunit of the Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), a group of proteins that work together to start DNA replication before a cell divides.

A complex known as the centrosome organizes cellular machinery responsible for segregating that replicated DNA during cell division. Poor DNA replication or segregation can lead to numerous problems, including cell death or cancer.

Professor Prasanth’s research has helped show that not only is Orc1 essential to DNA replication, its traditional role, but also regulates how many centrosomes are found in a cell.

Increased numbers of centrosomes have been associated with cancer, and Prasanth’s team noticed cells lacking the Orc1 protein contained more centrosomes than a normal cell.  This suggests Orc1 is responsible for controlling the number of centrosomes found in a cell, and therefore may play an important role in avoiding uncontrolled cell division such as cancer.

The team’s paper is published in the February 6th issue of Science.  A full electronic text is available.

Science

February 11, 2009 All News