Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Worms Point The Way On Nerve Disease

Date:
May 27, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Davis
Summary:
Research on a tiny worm is yielding clues about dystonia, a disabling neurological disease of humans. University of California, Davis, researchers have found a gene in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans that matches a gene altered in one form of dystonia. By studying the worm gene, they hope to find out more about how the human dystonia gene works.

Research on a tiny worm is yielding clues about dystonia, a disabling neurological disease of humans. University of California, Davis, researchers have found a gene in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans that matches a gene altered in one form of dystonia. By studying the worm gene, they hope to find out more about how the human dystonia gene works.

People with dystonia have sudden muscle contractions that force the body into abnormal and painful postures. It is the second most common neurological movement disorder, after Parkinson's Disease, affecting about half a million people in the U.S. and Canada. Scientists think that defects in parts of the brain that control movement cause the disease, but the exact causes are not known. Some milder types of dystonia can be treated with botulinum toxin injections, but there is no cure.

Lesilee Rose, an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology at UC Davis, discovered the gene, called OOC-5, while looking for genes that control cell division in Caenorhabditis embryos.

Rose and graduate student Stephen Basham found that in Caenorhabditis, the OOC-5 protein is required to establish polarity of the cell, so that different proteins can be sent to different ends before division. That allows a parent cell to divide into two new cells that are different from each other.

Establishing polarity is also important in many other kinds of cells in more complex animals. For example, human nerve cells secrete chemical messenger molecules only at the synapses at the far tip of the cell.

A database search showed that the protein produced by OOC-5 is related to a human protein called Torsin A found in human nerve cells and known to be mutated in people with early-onset dystonia.

With a new grant of $43,325 from the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Rose's lab will now study how OOC-5 interacts with other proteins in the worm. They hope that this will show how Torsin genes work in humans and how mutations in these genes can lead to dystonia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Davis. "Worms Point The Way On Nerve Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020527081955.htm>.
University Of California - Davis. (2002, May 27). Worms Point The Way On Nerve Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020527081955.htm
University Of California - Davis. "Worms Point The Way On Nerve Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020527081955.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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