Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFDL) has discovered that certain cell structures called ‘centrioles’ have the capacity to carry information throughout the cell generation. These barrel-shaped structure cell component are at the center of research, because the mutations in the protein that make them up is known to be responsible for causing such diseases as male sterility, respiratory conditions and cancer. According to details of the research by researchers at EPFDL, the centriole that comes from the father before it becomes part of the fertilized egg remains part of it after so many cell divisions, while it tries to develop into an embryo. The excitement in this discovery lies in the idea that these centrioles may be carriers of information, which can make them to be very useful in the treatment of certain diseases and ailments.
Centrioles originally are known for their importance and role during cell division.There major job in cell division is to ensure that chromosomes are properly transferred onto the daughter cells. Centrioles can also be found in Cilia – which is a component that allows cells to communicate with each other for the sake of motility. An example is the cells that are found in the respiratory tracts. During reproduction, both the male and female species contribute to the development of the embryo. While the female contribute much of the cell organelles e.g. mitochondria, the centrioles of the new embryo comes from the male sperm. This means that they also carry with them any type of malfunctions that are present in the first embryo cells into the new one.
Scientists at EPFDL’s institute for experimental cancer research, known as the Pierre Gönczy lab, believe that centrioles can carry information from the first embryo to developing embryos of several cell generations. The team at Gönczy made use of the worm known as C.elegans. They wanted to know how long the original centriole would last, as cell division activities occur to turn fertilized eggs into a properly formed embryo. This was done by tagging three different genetically modified C.elegans with fluorescent signals. The tagged male worms were mated with the untagged female worms, so as to be able to track what type of contributions in terms of centrioles were made by the male worm during the process of embryogenesis. The research team studied the signals during every cell division and found out that centriole proteins can exist for up to ten generations of cell divisions. For the first time, the data realized confirm that centrioles are very much persistent during the development of the embryo.
The whole excitement about this idea is simple. It shows that apart from genes, centrioles can also carry information in them, because of their persistent through the cell formation cycle. Once this is confirmed, it will definitely change the way we look at the biology of the cell organelles. However, the research is still very important for the medical world, because of the number of diseases that are associated with centrioles. The more we understand the centrioles, the better it is for us to use the knowledge in providing innovative medical treatment for many diseases.