HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New roles for growth factors: Enticing nerve cells to muscles

ne motor neuron whose cell body lies in the brain or spinal cord. Connections between muscle and nerve cells are established embryonically when newborn neurons extend axons to "wire" the appropriate muscle fiber.

The wiring process is highly orchestrated each motor neuron has already pledged allegiance to a particular muscle fiber before it reaches out to connect with its predetermined partner. But until now, scientists could only speculate how the invisible bond was formed.

"The question was how do these motor neurons know where to go," says Pfaff. "It would be a disaster if you wanted to move your arm and instead bent your back."

Earlier studies suggested that muscles lining the spine sent out chemical cues as a siren song for specific motor neurons known as MMCm cells. But when attempts to identify the enticing substance failed, many started to doubt its existence.

After screening numerous candidates, the Pfaff team found not only that FGF is expressed in target muscle, but that FGF "sensors," known as FGF receptors, are expressed in MMCm motor neurons. Furthermore, MMCm axons could not "hear" their muscle partner's call and failed to reach their destination in mouse mutants lacking the sensor molecule.

Finally, using mice engineered to express a fluorescent protein in MMCm neurons, the investigators demonstrated that only the glowing neurons extended axons in the direction of target cells expressing FGF.

"After a lot of hard work, we narrowed it down to FGFs and showed that they were indeed the long sought-after mysterious substance," says Pfaff. Neural stem cells can now be coaxed to develop into motor neurons in a test tube. In that artificial environment, explains Pfaff, "Most external cues that guide immature motor neurons during embryonic development will be missing." Hence the need to identify axon guidance factors. He continues, "It is not enough to make the right cell type, you need to connect the
'"/>

Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-4100 x1340
Salk Institute
15-Jun-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. ORNL researchers, supercomputer have large roles in DOE projects
2. Sunflower speciation highlights roles for transposable elements in evolution
3. Tumour development actors ERK1 and ERK2 found to play opposite roles
4. New research clarifies roles of calcium, vitamin D, and protein in bone health, fracture risk
5. Bedsores and bald hides: Novel roles revealed for a scaffolding protein
6. Proteins take on new roles in malaria parasite
7. Illinois researchers to play key roles in study of emergence of life
8. Environment and genetic influences play different roles in boys and girls gender-role behavior
9. Flies on speed offer insight into the roles of dopamine in sleep and arousal
10. Conserved amino acids play both structural and mechanistic roles in sandwich-like protein
11. Circadian clock controls plant growth hormone

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: New roles for growth factors Enticing nerve cells muscles

(Date:4/15/2014)... Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in ... hormone responsible for growth and resistance to drought. ... studies to determine how the hormone helps plants ... by the continuing increase in the atmosphere,s carbon ... achievement appears in the April 15 issue of ...
(Date:4/15/2014)... Looking at the question of how social behavior has ... universities in Mainz and Basel have gained new insights ... simply compete for food. Rather the siblings share what ... absent," explained Dr. Jol Meunier of the Evolutionary Biology ... University of Mainz (JGU). The team of biologists from ...
(Date:4/15/2014)... (April 15, 2014) The American Association of Anatomists ... All awards will be presented during the Closing ... Hotel on Tuesday, April 29th at 7:30 p.m. during ... , The 2014 award winners are: , ... PhD, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Biologists develop nanosensors to visualize movements and distribution of plant hormone 2Sibling cooperation in earwig families gives clues to early evolution of social behavior 2American Association of Anatomists 2014 award winners 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... January 15, 2014 This webinar ... on nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. ... guide a path for biosimilar drug development, however ... of biosimilarity with regards to quality, safety and ... of biosimilar drug development and registration, development strategies ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... NC (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 ... an enhancement to its Online Web Portal for Life ... now have the ability to specify the subject matter ... nearly 50 life science sub-domains. This will help reduce ... and scientific fields, and decrease the likelihood of error. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Doylestown, PA (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... – 11 p.m. , Location: Warrington Country Club, 1360 ... Hepatitis B Foundation, the only national nonprofit organization solely ... improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide, ... 11 at Warrington Country Club in Warrington, Pa. ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... York, NY (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 ... initiated coverage of Alliqua, Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua ... and marketing proprietary products to serve the wound ... , In late 2012, Alliqua was restructured ... launched the company’s new strategy to become a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3
Cached News: