A collaboration between the Rocha, Swedlow, Lamond and Blow groups in GRE has found a new and unexpected link between cell division and oxygen sensing. This is reported in an article published in Developmental Cell, where Moser et. al., identified that the protein Cep192 is a novel target for oxygen sensing enzymes. Cep192 is required for both cell division and for the formation of cilia, which are sensory antennae for the cell. Regulation of Cep192 was shown to involve the targeted hydroxylation of a specific proline residue. These new findings could help to explain the mechanism behind diseases such as polycystic kidney disease and can explain how metabolic diseases can lead to defects in cell division.

Sonia Rocha said: “This new discovery in the oxygen sensing field was made possible thanks to the culture of interaction and collaboration in the GRE centre, which allowed us to combine the expertise from four different groups. Discovering novel targets for the oxygen sensing apparatus that affect cell cycle opens a completely new field of future research with major implications for human pathologies.”

The work was funded by Cancer Research UK, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and MRC.

Moser et al Developmental Cell, 08 August 2013. Copyright © 2013 The Authors All rights reserved.10.1016/j.devcel.2013.06.014