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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. 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:

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