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:
TAG: Molecular mechanism feather formation found

(Date:10/15/2014)... resistance to bacterial pneumonia in female mice to an ... Females are naturally more resistant to respiratory infections than ... that increased resistance to bacterial pneumonia in female mice ... (NOS3). They also show that this enzyme is ultimately ... estrogen. , The team, lead by Professor Lester Kobzik ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... Research shows SIRT6—a protein known to inhibit the ... of skin cancers by turning on an enzyme that ... , Previously considered protective, SIRT6 is part of a ... genomic stability and prevent some of the genetic flaws ... can lead to cancer. This study, in the journal,s ...
(Date:10/14/2014)... 14, 2014 – High doses of fish oil supplements, rich ... common type of irregular heartbeat in which the heart can ... of the AFFORD trial led by the Montreal Heart Institute ... of Cardiology on October 7th. , For the trial, ... were randomly assigned to 4 grams of fish oil a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Two-faced gene: SIRT6 prevents some cancers but promotes sun-induced skin cancer 2
(Date:10/20/2014)... VIENNA , October 20, 2014 ... of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and the delivery of care ... liver diseases and worrying inequalities in the provision of ... survey, which was commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), ... greater political and public awareness of the burden of ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... OncLive® is pleased to ... Thomas Jefferson University has joined its Strategic Alliance ... Partnership program, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at ... of the Center’s cutting-edge research programs, comprehensive approach ... other health care professionals from the Sidney Kimmel ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... The Latin American hardware encryption display ... America with analysis and forecast of revenue. This market ... expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018, at a ... through the TOC of the Latin American hardware encryption ... analysis provided. It also provides a glimpse of the ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... 2014 The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market ... Asia-Pacific with analysis and forecast of revenue. , ... Bromine Market report, to get an idea of ... glimpse of the segmentation in the Asia-Pacific bromine ... figures. , http://www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/asia-pacific-bromine-6741503144.html , Bromine ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 2Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 3Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 4Major Survey Reveals Changing Trends and Inequalities in Healthcare Provision for Gastrointestinal Disorders Across Europe 5Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Partners With OncLive 2Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Partners With OncLive 3The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Asia-Pacific Bromine Market is estimated to grow to $4,080.1 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3
Cached News: