Settling an old debate: Researchers solve a lingering mystery of cancer cell biology

30 abril 2015

German biologist Theodor Boveri observed early in the last century that cancer cells often harbor multiple copies of a subcellular structure that he had previously named the centrosome. He was also the first to suggest that the extra centrosomes drive cancer. Biologists have since learned a great deal about the structure and many functions of Boveri’s “special organ of cell division.” But why cancer cells harbor multiple copies of this organelle—and whether they are “addicted” to having so many—has remained unanswered. So has the question of whether healthy human cells even require centrosomes to divide. Now, 101 years after Boveri aired his suspicions, a paper may have some answers.