The nucleolus stores hijacked proteins that are key to the regulation of the cell cycle.
These are only released when it is necessary for them to carry out their function.
If everything goes according to plan, the genetic material, organelles and cell contents are correctly distributed among the daughter cells.
"These fundamental findings give us completely new insights into cell division: as a process in which the cell contents mix together and then separate again," says Lucas Pelkmans.
The experts at Cabimer are continuing to work to see how to stop cell proliferation in adverse conditions.
This will allow for the identification of new factors that are involved in the appearance of diseases like cancer.
Additionally, our results suggest that cells can use the degree of compaction of the nucleolus as a mechanism for stopping the progression of the cell cycle in adverse conditions, such as a lack of nutrients," explains the project director, Fernando Monje.
When the cells acquire an incorrect number of chromosomes, which is called aneuploidy, cellular tumours can appear.
When a cell divides, its constituents are usually evenly distributed among the daughter cells.
Researchers have now identified an enzyme that guarantees that cell constituents that are concentrated in organelles without a membrane are properly distributed.