Like bright berries on a holly bush, proteins (red) attach to chromosomes being pulled apart by microtubules (green). Click to the next slide, though, and our perfect holiday image blurs. That's because of mutations in an enzyme called BubR1. Researchers have found that BubR1, which helps move chromosomes into new daughter cells, undergoes distinct chemical changes that may turn its enzymatic activity on or off. Disrupting one of these changes can cause improper chromosome segregation. Because such mismatching is a hallmark of almost all cancers, the work may offer a new lead for cancer research. Courtesy of cell biologist Haomin Huang, Fox Chase Cancer Center.
NIH's National Cancer Institute also supported this work.