Germ cell immortality mechanism discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the FORTH Research Center in Greece have discovered a molecular mechanism that protects the cell nucleus from damage and helps it work properly.

According to the results of a study this ensures the immortality of cells associated with reproduction.

Experiments conducted with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans showed that autophagy (absorption and processing) of the elements of its structure is an important factor in the proper functioning of the cell nucleus, while proteins anchored in the nuclear envelope membrane play a key role in this process.

These proteins, ANC-1 in nematodes and Nesprin-2 in mammals, prevent nucleolar growth by directly undergoing autophagy.

ANC-1 also ensures the immortality of the germline, that is, a continuous line of cells, the reproduction of which is important for the emergence of offspring.

Dysfunction of ANC-1 causes progressive infertility over several subsequent generations, and also leads to the appearance of tumor-like structures.

Similarly, genetic knockdown of Nesprin-2 in female mice causes ovarian cancer, indicating that the relevant molecular pathways are evolutionarily conserved in unrelated groups of animals.

This is supported by the fact that polymorphisms of the human Nesprin-2 homologue, Syne2, are associated with ovarian infertility in women.


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