Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turning Down Gene Expression Promotes Nerve Cell Maintenance

Date:
February 8, 2009
Source:
The Company of Biologists/Disease Models & Mechanisms
Summary:
A new study of myelin, a protein key to efficient neuronal transmission, reveals that a microRNA signal fine-tunes myelination.

Anyone with a sweet tooth knows that too much of a good thing can lead to negative consequences. The same can be said about the signals that help maintain nerve cells, as demonstrated in a new study of myelin, a protein key to efficient neuronal transmission.

Normal nerve cells have a myelin sheath, which, much like the insulation on a cable, allows for rapid and efficient signal conduction. However, in several diseases – the most well-known being multiple sclerosis – demyelination processes cause the breakdown of this "insulation", and lead to deficits in perception, movement, cognition, etc. Thus, in order to help patients of demyelinating disease, researchers are studying the pathways that control myelin formation and maintenance.

A new study by University of California scientists examines the role of a structural protein, called lamin, in maintaining myelin. They found that, while lamin is necessary in the initial stages of myelin formation, too much lamin promotes myelin breakdown. Further investigation led the researchers to the discovery of a signal that fine-tunes lamin expression. This signal, a microRNA called miR-23, can turn down lamin gene expression, and thereby prevent demyelination due to lamin overexpression.

This new work reported in Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), adds another piece to the puzzle that is understanding myelin formation and maintenance. Additionally, the identification of miR-23 as a myelin regulator introduces a new potential drug target in developing treatments for demyelinating illness.

The report was written Shu-Ting Lin and Ying-Hui Fu at the Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco. The report is published in the March/April issue of Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), a research journal published by The Company of Biologists, a non-profit based in Cambridge, UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Company of Biologists/Disease Models & Mechanisms. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Company of Biologists/Disease Models & Mechanisms. "Turning Down Gene Expression Promotes Nerve Cell Maintenance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202074844.htm>.
The Company of Biologists/Disease Models & Mechanisms. (2009, February 8). Turning Down Gene Expression Promotes Nerve Cell Maintenance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202074844.htm
The Company of Biologists/Disease Models & Mechanisms. "Turning Down Gene Expression Promotes Nerve Cell Maintenance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090202074844.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

Rare Whale Fossil Pulled from Calif. Backyard

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) A rare whale fossil has been pulled from a Southern California backyard. The 16- to 17-million-year-old baleen whale fossil is one of about 20 baleen whale fossils known to exist. (Aug. 1) 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