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Oklahoma City scientists' discovery gives more understanding to cell division

Two scientists at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have found that two genes, IPL1 and MPS1, acted as regulators to fix the mistakes that were being made during cell division.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: February 7, 2013

If head coaches Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy left during halftime of Oklahoma's Bedlam football game, mass confusion would likely commence.

This scenario is comparable to an event that's talked about significantly less among Oklahoma residents: cell division.

Two researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation have discovered that two genes, IPL1 or MPS1, serve as coaches during cell division, ensuring that a cell has the proper number of chromosomes before the cell divides to form more cells.

“It's a lot like a coach,” said scientist Dean Dawson, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation member.

“The coach doesn't actually play the game. He tells people what to do. And MPS1 is not the one actually moving the chromosomes. It's turning on and off the different parts of the machine that actually moves the chromosomes.”

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is a nonprofit biomedical research institute in Oklahoma City.

Foundation scientists work to develop effective treatments for human disease, focusing on heart disease, cancer, lupus and Alzheimer's disease, among other things, according to the foundation.

Dawson and Regis Meyer, a senior postdoctoral fellow, explained their findings in a paper published this past week in Science, a global peer-reviewed journal.

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things, according to National Library of Medicine.

During cell division, a cell duplicates all of its contents, including its chromosomes, and splits to form two identical daughter cells, according to the medicine library.

Because this process is so critical to a human's development, the steps are carefully controlled by a number of genes, according to the library.

The two genes at the focus of Meyer and Dawson's work — IPL1 or MPS1 — play an important role in that regulation during cell division.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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