When a cell divides normally, it makes a copy of every chromosome and then shares them equally between the two new cells. This process is carried out by a complex machine in the cell called themitotic spindle.
The two new cells will beaneuploid if something goes wrong at this stage, thus they will not have the correct number of chromosomes and will make mistakes when sharing genetic information.
Cancer cells areaneuploid, so understanding how and why this happens is extremely important in determining how the disease originates.
The Warwick Medical School research team, led by Professor Stephen Royles, has pinpointed exactly this topic.
A group of cells found that certain chromosomes can be trapped in a loop of membranes that exist in an area around the cellsspindle, preventing them from being shared properly and causing an abnormal cell division to develop cancer.
By doing a type of surgery on living cells, researchers fashioned a method to remove the structure in which chromosomes are trapped, and as a result the chromosomes were rescued by thespindle, thus aiding normal healthy cell division.
For the first time, chromosomes getting caught in these membranes have become a direct risk factor for the formation of cancerous cells. This can lead to effective cancer prevention.
Scientists working on cell division focus on spindle, how it works and why it makes mistakes in cancer. In this paper, we investigated membranes inside dividing cells.
"We discovered that chromosomes can be trapped in membranes, and this is a disaster for the dividing cell. It has the potential to transform a normal cell into a cancer cell. Prevent this process may be a way to treat disease."