Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Identify Novel Component Of Cell-Fate Pathway

Date:
September 28, 1999
Source:
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas
Summary:
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified a new component of a key pathway essential for the proper development of all animals -- from worms to humans. The discovery should lead to a better understanding of the molecular and biochemical details that control cell fate and growth and may permit scientists to influence developmental processes, like those that lead to cancer.

DALLAS - September 23, 1999 - Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have identified a new component of a key pathway essential for the proper development of all animals -- from worms to humans. The discovery should lead to a better understanding of the molecular and biochemical details that control cell fate and growth and may permit scientists to influence developmental processes, like those that lead to cancer.

Related Articles


The new component, casein kinase I (CKI), adds another step to the preliminary outline of how the Wnt signaling cascade functions. Dr. Jon Graff, assistant professor in the Center for Developmental Biology, and colleagues describe CKI's integral role in the pathway in the lead article in the Sept. 23 issue of Nature.

"We know that the Wnt pathway is critical for normal development and that there are many types of human cancers that have mutated Wnt components," Graff said. "If we thoroughly understand how this pathway functions, we should be able to design new genetic and pharmacological approaches to develop preventive measures or cures for those cancers."

The Wnt signaling pathway regulates development by altering gene expression through a series of interactions. Wnt signals bind with receptors on the cell surface and pass into the cell. There they prevent another protein from shutting down the Wnt pathway. This protein then joins with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-regulatory co-factors and enters the cell's nucleus where it binds to the DNA of Wnt-target genes to influence gene expression.

Graff and colleagues identified CKI as a Wnt cascade component through experiments in frogs and worms. The component is a member of a family of enzymes that transfers phosphate groups from a donor to an acceptor protein, often leading to an increase in the latter's activity. Although CKI's function was previously known, its biological role was not. The scientists found that CKI helps to transmit Wnt signals after the signals enter the cell and before the protein that negatively controls the Wnt pathway is turned off.

Graff and co-workers graphically demonstrated CKI's role in frogs, where Wnt signaling is known to control the dorsal axis. If additional CKI is injected into frog embryos, a second dorsal axis develops and the resulting embryos have a duplicated dorsal body plan just like conjoined twins. When the researchers destroyed dorsal structures in frog embryos with ultraviolet irradiation, they could "rescue" them by injecting CKI. In the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, Graff and collaborators showed that blocking CKI disrupted Wnt signaling by producing the same type of abnormal worm that results from blocking previously known Wnt signals.

Other UT Southwestern scientists participating in this research were graduate student John Peters, and postdoctoral fellows Dr. Renee McKay and Dr. James McKay, all of the Center for Developmental Biology.

The National Institutes of Health funded their research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Scientists Identify Novel Component Of Cell-Fate Pathway." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928074935.htm>.
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. (1999, September 28). Scientists Identify Novel Component Of Cell-Fate Pathway. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928074935.htm
University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center At Dallas. "Scientists Identify Novel Component Of Cell-Fate Pathway." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990928074935.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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