Discovered the mechanism for the separation of cells during cell division

A scientific team from DCEXS-UPF determined the importance of the Piezo1 ion channel in separating the two daughter cells in the final steps of cytokinesis.

Increased intracellular calcium concentration in the intercellular bridge of two dividing cells. Credit: DCEXS-UPF.

A recent study by the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Pompeu Fabra University (DCEXS-UPF) has discovered the fundamental role of the mechanosensitive ion channel Piezo1 in the separation of the two daughter cells resulting from a cell division.

As the teams led by Miguel A. Valverde and Cristina Pujades suggests, this channel associated with touch in the nervous system, would be in charge of the precise modulation of the final steps of cell division. Thus, through a calcium signal, the channel would regulate the narrowing of the intercellular bridge during cell division until achieving the cell separation, a process called abscission.

“We reasoned that during the formation of the intercellular bridge between daughter cells there is tensioning of the plasma membrane that may activate mechanosensitive ion channels”
Julia Carrillo (DCEXS-UPF), first author of the study

Based on these results and given the presence of Piezo1 in different cells of our body, the door is opened to investigate whether the regulation of this channel could be a pharmacological target against cancer – a disease in which cells divide uncontrolled.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *