Nobel Prize in Medicine for cell division regulators

2001/10/08 Kortabarria Olabarria, Beñardo - Elhuyar Zientzia

American Leland Hartwell and British Paul Nurse and Timothy Hunt are this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine. The prize has been awarded for the findings made on cell cycle regulators.

Leland Hartwell works at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He discovered certain genes that control the cell cycle. One of these genes, Start, plays a very important role in the first steps of the cell cycle. Hartwell himself invented the concept "checkpoint", an indispensable tool to understand the cell cycle.

Paul Nurse is a researcher at the Imperial Cancer Research in London. Using genetic and molecular techniques, he has identified, cloned and characterized the CDK protein that regulates the cell cycle. Nurs has been able to demonstrate that during evolution the CDK protein has not changed and that it participates in the cell cycle causing chemical changes in other proteins.

Timothy Hunt also works at Imperial Cancer Research in London. Hunt has found cyclins that regulate the role of the CDK protein. The Briton has shown that in each cell division cyclines are degraded, which has great importance to control the cell cycle

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