Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Binding Proteins Shown To Play Key Role In Early Brain Development

Date:
December 4, 1998
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
The Internet depends on a firm foundation of wiring. When it's not done correctly, data gets lost in a maze of circuitry. The same is true in the brain. When it is developing, wiring is crucial, and, without integrin, the brain's networking will run amok, researchers have found.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Internet depends on a firm foundation of wiring. When it's not done correctly, data gets lost in a maze of circuitry. The same is true in the brain. When it is developing, wiring is crucial, and, without integrin, the brain's networking will run amok, researchers have found.

It has long been accepted that integrin is a must-have family of binding proteins for cell adhesion, migration and wound healing, and its presence in the brain and central nervous system is widely recognized. However, its necessity in the early stages of brain development had only been theorized and studied in test tubes -- with interesting but mixed results -- until now.

A University of Illinois study using embryos of live Drosophila, a fly with similar but less complex brain structures than those of vertebrates, indicates that without key integrin subunits, axons misfire and route randomly. The flies' guidance system is without an interpreter.

"When we put normal integrin proteins back into the brains of developing knockout flies [those genetically engineered without integrin], then the nervous system, almost like wildfire, was rescued and developed normally, despite the fact that other tissues down the line were still lacking integrin," said neuroscientist Akira Chiba, a professor of cell and structural biology and affiliate of the U. of I. Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

The findings were reported in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience by Chiba and Bao Hoang, a doctoral student in cell and structural biology. The research, which involved the use of immunocytochemistry -- the study of cells using immunologic methods such as fluorescent antibodies -- was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Chiba and Hoang focused on individual linking units, or neurons, and the genetic activity that tells the early developing neuron process known as the axon where to go. "Our lab is interested in the genetic programs for brain development, especially making the connection from what is encoded in DNA to the brain's emergence," Chiba said.

"The axon is capable of communicating with the outside world," Chiba said. "It can collect information about its microenvironment. But the axon also has to interpret its cue and correctly activate certain molecular interpreters that will lead to local molecular reorganization, especially the cytoskeletal system. Every movement of the axon requires reorganization of the cytoskeleton."

In essence, Chiba said, it appears that specific molecules of integrin are vital to the initial wiring of the brain. "The axon will continue to grow without integrin, but it fails to interpret the cues that tell it when to stop or turn in a certain direction. It grows without direction.

"A lot of scientists have identified specific guidance cues of cells, which act much like traffic signals," he said. "We propose that integrin is one of the most, if not the most, key molecules that neurons use for interpreting traffic signals that guide them in their initial development."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Binding Proteins Shown To Play Key Role In Early Brain Development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074810.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1998, December 4). Binding Proteins Shown To Play Key Role In Early Brain Development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074810.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Binding Proteins Shown To Play Key Role In Early Brain Development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074810.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins