HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Plants get the message, too

A lowly weed uses one of the same communications systems as does the human brain, scientists have found.

In the November 12 issue of the journal Nature, Dr. Gloria Coruzzi and co-workers at New York University report that they turned up the sequence for proteins called glutamate receptors in a gene hunt through the DNA of Arabidopsis, a plant that is frequently used in laboratory research.

In the human brain, the amino acid glutamate acts as a chemical messenger and carries out a host of important functions, playing a role in everything from acquiring and storing memories to possibly contributing to certain mental health ailments. Past research has detected signs of glutamate overload in the post-mortem brains of people with schizophrenia, and faulty glutamate signaling has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Glutamate and other neurotransmitters are squirted out by nerve cells and exert their effects through protein molecules called receptors that are nestled within the outer layers of adjacent nerve cells. These receptors serve as sentries that permit the passage of only certain molecules.

"This opens up a new connection between plants and animals," said Coruzzi, whose research on plant glutamate receptors was funded by NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Glutamate is not the only substance produced by plants that functions in the brain. Other plant-derived molecules that act in the brain include caffeine and cocaine. Until now, it was widely believed that the receptors for these molecules--which are essential for transmitting messages into the cell--were found only in animals. But Coruzzi's previous research with Arabidopsis led her to believe otherwise.

Several years ago, while studying the weed's metabolism, Coruzzi noted that the incorporation of nitrogen from the environment into glutamate and other related molecules was regulated by light. A
'"/>

Contact: Alison Davis
davisa@nigms.nih.gov
301-496-7301
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
12-Nov-1998


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Plants will not save us from greenhouse gases
2. Plants for the future: A European vision for plant biotechnology towards 2025
3. Plants circadian clocks tune into latitude to enhance fitness
4. Plants and people share a molecular signaling system, researchers discover
5. Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests
6. Plants, insects play cat and mouse game
7. Plants vs. disease: Trench warfare at the molecular level
8. Plants as plants: gene could convert crops to plastics factories
9. Plants, pathogens engage in trench warfare
10. Study: Microgravity May Enhance Gene Transfer In Plants
11. Invading Pests Harm People, Plants And Animals

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


(Date:9/3/2020)... ... September 03, 2020 , ... ... that an extensive third-party assessment of the company’s security practices has been completed. ... federal security regulations. The comprehensive evaluation reviewed Litmus’ processes and systems, assessing them ...
(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... Catalent, ... drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that ... Virtual Conference & Expo, taking place between Aug. 31 – September 4, 2020. ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... , ... August 18, 2020 , ... ... cell therapy, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ... lead asset, SBI-101, for the treatment of severe COVID-19. Approval of this IND ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/10/2020)... , ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... and products, announces a significant expansion of laboratory operations through its COVID-19 ... agencies implementing testing programs. , Bode-CARES provides a turnkey solution ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... 2020 , ... R3 International is now offering stem cell therapy for Alzheimers ... Depending on the patient's condition, treatment may be offered IV, intrathecal or with a ... of Alzheimers dementia, and the incidence continues to increase as individuals live longer. There ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 30, 2020 , ... ... the launch of a new clinical diagnostics immuno-oncology service, TissueInsight . ... (TME). , “Flagship’s TissueInsight is a service that aids pathologists, oncologists, and ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 26, 2020 , ... The Security Industry ... its strong opposition to the recently introduced bicameral Facial Recognition and Biometric ... most federal use of nearly all biometric and related image analytics technologies, incorrectly ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: