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 17, 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 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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