HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
First molecule discovered that directs nerve cells to connect with each other

UCSF scientists have identified for the first time a molecule that directs neurons to form connections with each other during an animal's early development creating synapses essential to all behavior.

The molecule may be one of only a few "matchmaker" proteins that instruct one type of neuron to form a synapse with another type, essentially wiring up the body during embryological development, the researchers say. Such molecules have been sought for decades, but this is the first discovered in a living animal.

The matchmaker protein, known as SYG-1, was discovered in studies of egg-laying behavior in the roundworm C. elegans. It is a member of a large family of proteins known as the immunoglobulin superfamily, and is closely related to proteins in fruit flies, mice and humans. The related molecules are always found where two different types of cells form a close connection, and SYG-1 probably receives a signal to form a synapse from the animal's egg-laying tissue, the scientists report.

Discovery of matchmaker proteins in humans may help treat disorders such as chronic epilepsy and chronic pain in which synapse formation goes awry and neurons form the "wrong" connections, said Cornelia Bargmann, PhD, professor of anatomy and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at UCSF. Knowing which proteins direct synapse formation may also help in treatment of peripheral nerve damage, which requires nerves to reconnect with precisely the right partner from among many in their immediate environment.

Scientists think that each neuron in a developing animal is destined to a particular behavioral task, and the synaptic connection allows it to achieve its destiny, connecting with the right partner from among many dozens of kinds of neurons it encounters.

"Like people, neurons can make good or bad choices about who they associate with," Bargmann said. "Molecules like the protein we discovered are needed to make the best choice."


'"/>

Contact: Wallace Ravven
wravven@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
6-Mar-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. First glimpse of DNA binding to viral enzyme
2. First clinical study of new pediatric croup vaccine shows safety, tolerability in adults
3. 2nd media alert First Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia
4. First International Scientific Conference on Childhood Leukaemia
5. First ever standards linking climate change, biodiversity and poverty seek global peer review
6. First genetic comparison of purebred domestic dogs produces surprises
7. First time in the U.S.: Saint Louis University tests third-generation vaccine against smallpox
8. First target for childhood malaria vaccine
9. First study of resveratrol dietary supplement finds effect on breast and prostate cancers unlikely
10. First flavors form a lasting impression
11. STN International launches Derwent World Patents Index First View

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... Orange, NJ. April 16, 2014. Kessler Foundation has ... $1.8 million from the Department of Defense Spinal ... is principal investigator for the randomized, double-blinded, controlled, ... improve bone and muscle strength after spinal cord ... Performance & Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation. Two ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... N.M. A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at ... business makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. ... anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the ... in both humans and animals. The bacteria can survive ... B. anthracis may occur through skin contact, ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Kansas State University engineer has developed a patented ... improvised explosive devices. The same technique could help ... Steven M. and Kay L. Theede chair in ... engineering, and his research team have created a ... in car trunks. The distance detection method ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Kessler Foundation awarded Department of Defense grant for spinal cord injury research 2Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture 2Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture 3Patented research remotely detects nitrogen-rich explosives 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... IPSWICH, England , January 15, 2014 ... to win races on the Formula 1 track could help ... between McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), Stowhealth (a GP surgery based ... funded by healthcare provider Simplyhealth. Telemetry technology, which ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 2013 was a ... Brain State Technologies®. They saw continued independent research led ... who were awarded a $1 million grant from the ... “Brain and Behavior” a peer reviewed journal, Amy Grant ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Carahsoft and CDS Federal Services have ... at 2pm EST (11am PST), “Natural Language Processing: Converting ... how technology can turn raw, heterogeneous data into actionable ... The online webinar will last approximately one hour. , ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 2014 The largest international professional organization of ... therapeutic derivatives thereof has endorsed an educational program ... the challenges of adulterated herb and botanical products. ... The Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 2Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 4Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 2Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 3Webcast - Natural Language Processing: Converting Raw Data into Actionable Knowledge – Hosted by Carahsoft and CDS Federal Services 2World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 2World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 3World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 4World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 5World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 6World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 7World's Largest Group of Medicinal Plant Researchers Endorses ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program 8
Cached News: