HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Molecular mechanism of feather formation found

MADISON - Feathers are the essence of birds. Without them, birds could not fly or attract mates. But how exactly do feathers form molecularly? Experimentally testing one current hypothesis, developmental biologists at University of Wisconsin Medical School believe they now have the answer.

In a previous study, UW anatomy professor John F. Fallon and his team showed that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp2) must be expressed in order to produce barb ridges, which are among the first structures to form in the tufted branches of the simple downy chick feather. The two proteins, which tend to play off each other in organ development, also are involved in the embryonic development of limbs, lungs, teeth and the gut.

In the current study, appearing in the Aug. 16 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS Online, Aug. 8), Fallon's team and collaborators showed that during the development of barbs-filamentous structures that form the feather-the function of these two proteins interact. SHH up-regulates its own expression and that of Bmp2, and Bmp2 then signals the down-regulation of Shh expression. This dynamic signaling interaction fits a longstanding mathematical model known as an activator-inhibitor mechanism, says lead author Matthew P. Harris, Fallon's graduate student now doing a postdoctoral fellowship with Nobel Laureate Christiane Nusslein-Volhard at Max Plank Institute in Tubingen, Germany.

"In this model, the inhibitor down-regulates activator function, the activator up-regulates its own expression and the activator also increases the activity of the inhibitor," Harris says. "The model is a simple way of explaining how feather patterning is achieved."

Theoretical biologist Hans Meinhardt, also at the Max Plank Institute and a collaborator on the PNAS paper, posited the role of the activator-inhibitor model in developmental patterning in animals years ago. Through the combined efforts of Meinhar
'"/>

Contact: John Fallon
jffallon@facstaff.wisc.edu
608-262-3775
University of Wisconsin-Madison
10-Aug-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Molecular detectors may refine cancer treatment
2. Story ideas from Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
3. 2007 Image of the Year: Molecular imaging relates human brain chemistry to aggressive behavior
4. Molecular motors may speed nutrient processing
5. Molecular rendezvous caught on camera
6. Molecular tools make the cut
7. Genomatix and Molecular Connections form strategic partnership
8. Molecular motors and brakes work together in cells
9. Molecular link between inflammation and cancer discovered
10. Molecular on/off switch controls immune defenses against viruses
11. Molecular marker on stem cells aids research, perhaps therapies

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


(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 1, 2016 ... (Fingerprint, Voice), Future Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle ... - Global Forecast to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... Million in 2016, and is projected to grow ... CAGR of 14.06%.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, a ... point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion and ... company has successfully completed a meeting with the U.S. ... Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting company ... system as a precursor to commencement of a planned ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... 2016 Cercacor today introduced Ember TM ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, ... Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, ... access to key data about their bodies to help ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)...  Vyriad Inc. announced today the appointment of ... Directors. "We are delighted to welcome Al ... develop our oncolytic viruses as the next generation of ... , MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. "Al and his ... passion for making a difference for cancer patients—their philanthropy ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Texas , Dec. 7, 2016  Genprex, ... of revolutionary immunogene therapy treatments, today announced that ... practice within a leading strategic communications and advisory ... communications program. The program will combine investor relations, ... objective of raising the profile of Genprex and ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... BOULDER, Colo. , Dec. 7, 2016  Muse ... genome engineering technologies, today announced that Dr. Kevin ... member of the Board of Directors. ... , who becomes the company,s Chief Science Officer as ... and Executive Director of the BioDesign Center at the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ANN ARBOR, Mich. , Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... immune modulatory medicines, announced today the initiation of a ... candidate, LYC-30937- E nteric C oated, in patients ... that is estimated to affect as many as 7.5 million ... with approximately 1.5 - 3 million cases being diagnosed ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: