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:


(Date:6/9/2016)... innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint ... sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening ... ... ... Photo ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... YORK , May 16, 2016   EyeLock ... solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT Center ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris ... an unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched ... authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: