Textbooks on cells should be rewritten: Center leader Ian Hickson publishes in Nature

Ground-breaking new Danish research has shown that the current scientific description of the human cell cycle needs to be revised. These findings could also lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches to target an Achilles’ heel in different types of cancers.

See abstract via Nature

Nature paper imageAll science students learn how human cell division takes place. The copying or replication of the genome, the cell’s DNA, has until now been believed only to take place during the so-called S-phase in the cell cycle. The new results show that this is not the case, because some regions of the genome are copied only after the cell enters the next crucial phase in the cell cycle called mitosis.

 

 

 

 

Ian D. Hickson, CCS”It has radically altered our views and requires that the textbook view of the human cell cycle be revised”, says Professor Ian Hickson, Director of the DNRF Centre for Chromosome Stability”.

See more via University of Copenhagen

 

Achilles’ heel of human cancers
The scientists already know of two proteins that are essential for this unusual pathway for DNA replication, but now aim to define the full ‘toolbox’ of factors that are required. They can then proceed with studies to identify chemical compounds that block the process. This would constitute the first stage in identifying potential new treatments for cancer.

“Although it has not yet been proven, it seems that the growth of many, or indeed most, cancers in humans is dependent on this process. Hence, the development of a reliable, therapeutic drugs strategy would likely have wide applicability in cancer therapy.”

“Our aim is to generate results that will lead to the development of new approaches to treatments of various types of cancer,” concludes Professor Hickson.

Contact:
Professor Ian D. Hickson

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