HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Molecule awakens and maintains neural connections

Researchers have discovered a critical protein that regulates the growth and activation of neural connections in the brain. The protein functions in the developing brain, where it controls the sprouting of new connections and stimulates otherwise silent connections among immature neurons, and potentially in the mature brain as well, where it may play a role in memory formation.

The researchers published their discovery of the protein, called dendrite arborization and synapse maturation 1, or Dasm1, in two papers in the September 7, 2004, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They were led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators Yuh Nung Jan and Lily Yeh Jan. The first author on both papers was Song-Hai Shi in the Jans' laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dendritic spines are mushroom-shaped protuberances that extend from the surface of the cable-like axon of a neuron. Dendrites receive chemical signals that trigger nerve impulses in the form of neurotransmitters launched from neighboring neurons. Growth of new dendrites can therefore increase the connection between neurons. Changes in the strength of connections, known as long-term potentiation, allow the brain to create memories.

In exploring the growth and development of dendritic spines, Shi, the Jans, and their colleagues first identified a gene in the fruit fly Drosophila that appears to play a role in regulating dendrite growth, or "arborization." In comparing the fruit fly gene with databases of vertebrate genomes, they identified a similar homologue in mice, which they named Dasm1.

Their initial studies revealed that the gene was highly expressed in the brains of embryonic mice. "A major reason we became interested in this molecule is that when we used antibody markers to look at the distribution of the protein, we saw it primarily in the dendrites, with very little in the axons," said Yuh Nung Jan. "If you look
'"/>

Contact: Jennifer Michalowski
michalow@hhmi.org
301-215-8576
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
13-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Molecule that blocks key bacterial enzyme may lead to new antibiotics
2. Molecule found to be critical for kidney development
3. Molecule identified that contributes to essential cell functioning process
4. Molecules discovered that extend life in yeast, human cells
5. Molecule helps prevent inflammation and heart disease in fat-fed mice
6. Molecule offers insights into fertilization
7. Molecules designed to interfere with DNA upon signal
8. Molecule helps pupils respond to light
9. Molecule that restricts mouse cells potency could yield embryonic stem cells without the sacrifice of embryos
10. Molecule plays key role in cellular quality control machinery
11. Scientists Determine Atomic Structure Of Lego-Like Molecule That Self-Assembles Into Cells Cargo Capsule

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/31/2020)... ... July 30, 2020 , ... Justin Zamirowski ... with a near term focus on Type 2 diabetes and associated comorbidities. , ... multiple therapeutic areas and classes. As Chief Commercial Officer, Justin will lead ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 17, 2020 , ... Commercial launch readiness is a critical stage ... a COVID cure or vaccine, the global economic downturn will only increase price pressures ... going away and capturing full value from every product launch is critical. However, history ...
(Date:7/4/2020)... ... July 03, 2020 , ... ... outstanding recognition and multiple awards for not only the products and treatments developed, ... Skincare and Vivace® Microneedle RF. All the brands built by ABM have received ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/7/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 06, 2020 , ... R3 International ... program featuring up to 200 million stem cells. Depending on the patient's condition, treatment ... in the US will die having some form of Alzheimers dementia, and the incidence ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... ... growth of 40% in 2020, despite many obstacles created as a result of ... increase revenue for its partnered medical practices and medical manufacturers by expanding access ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 30, 2020 , ... ... insights, today announced that the launch of a new clinical diagnostics ... about the tumor microenvironment (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight is a service that ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... ... to develop a vaccine or drug treatment. In an effort to better understand ... publicly released the world’s largest imaging dataset portraying therapeutic compound effects from over ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: