HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
UT Southwestern researchers pinpoint role cell surface protein group plays in brain function

DALLAS June 26, 2003 A specific group of brain proteins is essential to activate communication between neurons, and without this group of proteins all functions of the central nervous system are disrupted, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered.

The disruption of this specialized group of proteins, called alpha-Neurexins, causes severe interruption of synaptic transmission, which is essential for neurons to communicate in the central nervous system. Synapses are specialized junctions where neurons communicate with target cells.

The study findings, which were discovered in mice and published in today's issue of Nature, expand the knowledge of the process of synaptic transmission and gives scientists new insight into how the brain works. Gaining a fundamental understanding of brain function is critical in order to eventually counter the degenerative effects of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and schizophrenia, said Dr. Thomas Sdhof, director of both the Center for Basic Neuroscience and the C. Vincent Prothro Center for Research in Basic Neuroscience at UT Southwestern and the study's senior author.

"If you want to have any type of insight on how the brain works
you need to understand synaptic transmission," he said.

"The results from this study were a big surprise," Dr. Sdhof said. "When we originally described alpha-Neurexin almost 10 years ago, we hypothesized that the proteins would be involved in signaling the synapses. We thought of it more in terms of the formation of the synapses. The surprise is that it turns out not to be involved in the formation of synapses but what happens subsequently to activate synapses."

To identify the role of these proteins, the researchers used genetically engineered laboratory mice that lacked alpha-Neurexin. The absence of the proteins in the mice resulted in the inactivity of the presynaptic half of the synapses, wh
'"/>

Contact: Amy Shields
amy.shields@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
25-Jun-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. UT Southwestern receives $1.78 million grant for obesity research as part of NIH Roadmap initiative
2. UT Southwestern biochemist honored with NIH Directors Pioneer Award
3. RSV can increase the risk of asthma, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Searle Scholars program awards $240,000 to UT Southwestern researcher
5. Two molecules work together to aid transport of immune cells, UT Southwestern researchers find
6. Biochemist becomes 15th UT Southwestern faculty member serving on National Academy of Sciences
7. UT Southwestern researchers reveal mechanisms of smooth-muscle contraction
8. Fetal lungs provide a signal initiating labor, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. UT Southwestern researchers cite recent advances in underlying causes of rare body-fat disorders
10. UT Southwestern researchers discover link that could aid in treatment of kidney cyst diseases
11. UT Southwestern research halts narcolepsy symptoms

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


(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... -- Hunova, the first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense ... Genoa, Italy . The first 30 robots will be available ... USA . The technology was developed and patented at the IIT ... Movendo Technology thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio ... ...
(Date:5/16/2017)...   Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise ... EMR Systems , an electronic medical record solutions ... established a partnership to build an interface between ... Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity ... new integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... Palo Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... is set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, ... and policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... compared the implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro ... of progesterone and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August 31st, ... was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)...  BioTech Holdings announced today identification and patenting ... stem cell therapy prevents limb loss in animal ... that treatment with ProCell resulted in more than ... to standard bone marrow stem cell administration.  Interestingly, ... of therapeutic effect.  ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: