Department of Genetics

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Abhijit Kale paper published

Kale et al (2018). Ribosomal protein S12e has a distinct function in cell competition. Dev Cell 44: 42-55. PMID29316439

Cell competition is a phenomenon that can be observed when tissues contain both normal and abnormal cells. If these cells compete either the normal or abnormal cells are eliminated, whereas by themselves they would normally survive. Cell competition may contribute to the early growth or elimination of tumors, to the accumulation of genetic errors during aging, and the potential of cell competition to contribute to stem cell and regenerative therapies. In this work Dr. Baker and colleagues look at the elimination of one common class of mutated cells, those with mutations in ribosomal proteins. Ribosomal proteins are core components of protein synthetic machinery, but they are also mutated in human diseases (ribosomopathies) and in cancer. The paper shows that, surprisingly, cell competition is not initiated by differences in translation or growth rate between cells, but by signaling through a particular protein, S12. This defines a new signaling pathway active in cell competition and will provide a means to study the contribution of cell competition to disease in animal models. The paper’s first author, Abhijit Kale, Ph.D., was a doctoral student in Dr. Baker’s lab and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the Buck Institute for Aging Research in Novato, California.

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