Kellogg lab unveils complex mechanisms that control cell growth and division

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Researchers studying the molecular mechanisms that control cell growth and division are piecing together a surprising and complicated regulatory system that offers promising targets for anticancer drugs. A new study led by researchers in Doug Kellogg's laboratory has revealed the interactions between key regulatory proteins that determine when cells initiate the process of cell division.

The study, published in the journal Cell, represents an important step toward understanding the complex network of signals that controls the "cell cycle"--the orderly sequence of events that all cells pass through as they grow to a certain size, copy their chromosomes, and divide into two new cells.

The Cell paper describes the interactions of two proteins known as the Wee1 kinase and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1). Stacy Harvey, a graduate student in Kellogg's lab, is first author of the paper and carried out most of the experiments. The other coauthors are UCSC graduate student Alyson Charlet and Harvard Medical School researchers Wilhelm Haas and Steven Gygi.