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:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the ... and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The ... of deep learning to create predictive models of cell ... growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer ... available resources created and shared by the Allen Institute ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit ... 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current ... several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, ... Research, London (ICR) and University of ... SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), ... nine . The University of Leeds ... funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the testing ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator ... osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time ... US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. ... US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: