Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Signals -- From Within And Out Of Cell -- Specify Motor Neuron Differentiation

Date:
June 15, 2009
Source:
Baylor College of Medicine
Summary:
Two signals -- an external one from retinoic acid and an internal one from the transcription factor Neurogenin2 -- cooperate to activate chromatin (the basic material of chromosomes), and help determine that certain nerve progenitor cells become motor neurons, according to new research.

Two signals – an external one from retinoic acid and an internal one from the transcription factor Neurogenin2 – cooperate to activate chromatin (the basic material of chromosomes) and help determine that certain nerve progenitor cells become motor neurons, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

"This finding is important for many reasons. For example, as we understand more about what happens, the more likely we will be able to generate motor neurons from different types of stem cells," said Dr. Soo-Kyung Lee, assistant professor of molecular and human genetics and molecular and cellular biology at BCM. (A motor neuron conducts impulses from the spinal cord to a muscle fiber, controlling movement and other activities.) "It will also be useful as a tool for drug screening, allowing us to determine whether a drug is killing or enhancing the activity of motor neurons."

In a delicate series of experiments, she and her colleagues showed that a complex consisting of Neurogenin2 and the retinoic acid receptor, when bound to retinoic acid, recruit a particular enzyme (histone acetyltransferase CBP) to their complex. This causes a chemical reaction called acetylation of the histones (the spools around which DNA winds in the chromatin), stimulating the transcription of the gene into the protein for which it holds the genetic code.

"These changes lead to strong expression of the motor neuron genes in nerve progenitor cells, converting them to motor neurons," said Lee. "What is striking is that the retinoic acid receptor uses the Neurogenin2 site to bind to the DNA."

In mice that lack CBP, she said, there is marked reduction in motor neurons. The finding could play a role in unraveling the secrets of diseases such as the muscular dystrophies.

This work was spearheaded by Dr. Seunghee Lee. Others who also took part in this study are Drs. Bora Lee and Jae W. Lee, all of BCM.

Funding for this work came from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the PEW Trust, the March of Dimes Foundation and the Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Seunghee Lee, Bora Lee, Jae W. Lee, Soo-Kyung Lee. Retinoid Signaling and Neurogenin2 Function Are Coupled for the Specification of Spinal Motor Neurons through a Chromatin Modifier CBP. Neuron, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.04.025

Cite This Page:

Baylor College of Medicine. "Two Signals -- From Within And Out Of Cell -- Specify Motor Neuron Differentiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124411.htm>.
Baylor College of Medicine. (2009, June 15). Two Signals -- From Within And Out Of Cell -- Specify Motor Neuron Differentiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124411.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. "Two Signals -- From Within And Out Of Cell -- Specify Motor Neuron Differentiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124411.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
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