Cell image of the month: NAT10, the multitasking protein

Staining of NAT10 (green) in the nucleoli, condensed chromosomes and midbody with microtubules (red) in MCF7 cells.

Soon it is time for the summer holiday! But before you can take that well-deserved vacation there are many things that have to be done. Speaking of the need of multitasking, that is what many proteins have to do every day to keep your body up and running.

One example of a multitasking protein is RNA cytidine acetyltransferase (NAT10). During interphase, when the cell does not divide, NAT10 is localized to the nucleolus, where it is involved in several molecular processes for ribosome assembly. As cell division comes closer, the nucleoli disappear. NAT10 is then re-distributed to the outer layer of the chromosomes, where it is regulating the chromosome de-condensation (Chi et al, 2007). In the end of the mitosis, during telophase, NAT10 moves to the midbody in order to stabilize the microtubules when the mother and daughter cells are separated (Shen et al, 2009).

If you look closely, you can see that all three localizations of NAT10 are captured in one single image. Beautiful, right?

Lovisa Ã…kesson