Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stabilizing Force For Good Communication Between Neurons And Muscle Cells Found

Date:
October 18, 2008
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
A neuron sends a message, or neurotransmitter, to a muscle cell to tell it what to do. To get the message, the receiving cell must have a receptor. Oddly, the unstable protein rapsyn is responsible for anchoring the receptor so it's properly positioned to catch the message. Now have found what keeps rapsyn in proper conformation.

Dr. Lin Mei and Dr. Shiwen Luo, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mei's lab, have found what keeps an important heat shock protein in proper conformation.

You can't raise a finger without your brain directing muscle cells, and scientists have figured out another reason that usually works so well.

A neuron sends a message, or neurotransmitter, to the muscle cell to tell it what to do. To get the message, the receiving cell must have a receptor. Oddly, the unstable protein rapsyn is responsible for anchoring the receptor so it's properly positioned to catch the message.

Medical College of Georgia scientists have found what keeps rapsyn in proper conformation.

It is a heat shock protein, one of a large family of molecular chaperones that make sure proteins get where they are needed and do what they should, says Dr. Lin Mei, chief of developmental neurobiology at MCG and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Neuroscience.

Hsp90β helps stabilize rapysn so receptors can get and stay where needed, according to research published in the Oct. 9 issue of Neuron. Dr. Mei suspects that other hsp siblings have a similar caretaker role in neuron-to-neuron communication in the brain.

Scientists knew rapsyn's role in getting neuromuscular receptors to aggregate and stay where needed, but they didn't know what stabilized it. "It makes you wonder how to control this naughty boy which is very important," says Dr. Mei, the study's corresponding author.

They found hsp90β wherever rapsyn clustered in muscle cells. When they disrupted its activity or expression, they realized hsp90β's stabilizing role in forming and maintaining receptor clusters, says Dr. Shiwen Luo, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Mei's lab and the study's first author. Rapsyn and the receptor apparently interact, then hsp90β comes along to help stabilize the relationship.

Rapsyn mutations have been implicated in muscular dystrophies including congenital myasthenia gravis. MCG researchers are looking now to see if a mutated rapsyn still interacts with hsp90β.

They used a type of acetylcholine nicotinic receptor at the neuromuscular junction as a model for their studies of brain development and communication. The junction is 1,000 times larger than connections, or synapses, between two neurons but structurally similar. Fundamentals include presynaptic terminals that release neurotransmitters picked up by receptors on the postsynaptic side. Terminals and receptors must be lined up well, whether it's a muscle cell or neuron getting the message. "In central nervous system synapses and at the neuromuscular junction, receptors have to be concentrated at the right spot to receive the neurotransmitter released," says Dr. Mei. If receptors are in the wrong place, the message can be weak or even lost.

At the neuromuscular juncture, communication is usually straightforward, with primarily one neurotransmitter and one principal receptor. "Whenever you tell a muscle to move, it moves. If you want your muscles to think, you wouldn't be able to pick up a pin," says Dr. Mei. In the brain, where neurons have thousands of synapses, it's more of a negotiation. "Signals have to be integrated in the neuron for it to decide what to do."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Stabilizing Force For Good Communication Between Neurons And Muscle Cells Found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081009111026.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2008, October 18). Stabilizing Force For Good Communication Between Neurons And Muscle Cells Found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081009111026.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Stabilizing Force For Good Communication Between Neurons And Muscle Cells Found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081009111026.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. 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