Worms point the way on nerve disease

Research on a tiny worm is yielding clues about dystonia, a disabling neurological disease of humans. University of California, Davis, researchers have found a gene in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans that matches a gene altered in one form of dystonia. By studying the worm gene, they hope to find out more about how the human dystonia gene works.

People with dystonia have sudden muscle contractions that force the body into abnormal and painful postures. It is the second most common neurological movement disorder, after Parkinson's Disease, affecting about half a million people in the U.S. and Canada. Scientists think that defects in parts of the brain that control movement cause the disease, but the exact causes are not known. Some milder types of dystonia can be treated with botulinum toxin injections, but there is no cure.

Lesilee Rose, an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Davis, discovered the gene, called OOC-5, while looking for genes that control cell division in Caenorhabditis embryos.

Rose and graduate student Stephen Basham found that in Caenorhabditis, the OOC-5 protein is required to establish polarity of the cell, so that different proteins can be sent to different ends before division. That allows a parent cell to divide into two new cells that are different from each other.

Establishing polarity is also important in many other kinds of cells in more complex animals. For example, human nerve cells secrete chemical messenger molecules only at the synapses at the far tip of the cell.

A database search showed that the protein produced by OOC-5 is related to a human protein called Torsin A found in human nerve cells and known to be mutated in people with early-onset dystonia.

With a new grant of $43,325 from the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Rose's lab will now study how OOC-5 interacts with other proteins in the worm. They hope that this will show how Torsin gene

Contact: Andy Fell
University of California - Davis

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Worms will never taste the same: a new study examines how insecticides influence birds
2. Enzyme Required To Prolong Life In Worms Identified By Researchers At Columbia; Key Enzyme Appears To Protect Animal Cells From Oxidative Damage
3. Survival Of The Yellowstone Grizzlies, Ferns As Forest Filters And The Role Of Worms In Climate Change: The April Edition Of Ecology Is Now Available
4. Fossil Evidence Of Worms Over One Billion Years Old Reported In Science
5. Hunt for a new plant hormone points to carotenoids
6. DNA tests point to extinction of 2 distinctive arctic bird populations
7. Scientists pinpoint molecules that generate synapses
8. University of Chicago scientists pinpoint cellular cause of SIDS
9. Gene alteration points to longevity, thinness
10. VA/UCLA researchers pinpoint role of histamines in waking
11. Gene maps of simpler life forms point the way to human disease gene

Post Your Comments:

(Date:2/26/2019)... ... February 26, 2019 , ... ... In her position as Account Manager, Ms. Baptiste demonstrated her ability to advocate ... experience. Ms. Baptiste was responsible for partnering with both the Strategic Development team ...
(Date:2/22/2019)... ... February 21, 2019 , ... Clean label food is ... when creating natural foods and beverages. It is quite common to spot consumers running ... meat products are not immune to this label scrutiny. , More than ever, ...
(Date:2/22/2019)... ... February 21, 2019 , ... The ... executed a research agreement establishing a collaborative program to work toward applications of ... develop new radiopharmaceutical lead candidates and will explore Fuzionaire Dx’s platform as a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/14/2019)... ... 14, 2019 , ... Open registration for the Case Management ... of Case Management,” continues as CMSA makes plans to host the annual event ... management industry conference serving the educational and networking needs of case and care ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... March 13, 2019 , ... ... its 2019 ISPE Europe Biotechnology Conference , taking place in Brussels, Belgium ... biotechnology best practices, technical and operational solutions, and innovative approaches. , “Biopharmaceuticals ...
(Date:3/12/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... March 12, 2019 , ... ... preparation and epigenetics research, has launched its third generation long-fragment DNA shearing innovation, ... generation instrument with a user-friendly interface, automated processing, and the ability to ...
(Date:3/9/2019)... ... March 07, 2019 , ... ACEA Biosciences ... development and commercialization of high performance, cutting-edge cell analysis platforms for life science ... GLP-certified expertise in cardiovascular pharmacology and electrophysiology, are announcing a partnership to provide ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: