Image of the Day: Wrench in the Works
Image of the Day: Wrench in the Works

Image of the Day: Wrench in the Works

In cell division, a protein called spastin appears to help tear down a bridge between daughter cells.

Carolyn Wilke
Mar 26, 2019

ABOVE: Dividing HeLa cells are connected by an intercellular bridge that persists when the protein spastin is inhibited.

Some cellular processes, including cell division, move so quickly that researchers can hardly catch the molecular actors and what they’re doing. Now, researchers from the Rockefeller University have figured out how to gum up the works in order to study spastin, a protein at play in cell division.

The scientists developed a probe called spastazoline that selectively inhibits spastin during fast processes so they could watch how dividing human cells were affected, the researchers reported February 18 in Nature Chemical BiologyTo get at spastin’s roles in cell division, they compared cells in which spastazoline held back spastin with ones that were modified to be immune to spastazoline. In cells where spastin was obstructed, the daughter cells were...

T. Cupido et al., “Designing a chemical inhibitor for the AAA protein spastin using active site mutations,” Nature Chemical Biology, doi:10.1038/s41589-019-0225-6, 2019. 

Interested in reading more?

Image of the Day: Wrench in the Works

The Scientist ARCHIVES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?