Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers discover Sonic Hedgehog protein’s mechanism of action

Date:
June 14, 2011
Source:
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new requirement for the proper functioning of the Sonic Hedgehog protein. Sonic Hedgehog belongs to a family of proteins that gives cells the information needed for the embryo to develop properly. It plays a critical role in the development of many of the body's organs, such as the central nervous system. Malfunctions of these proteins are associated with many diseases including cancer.

A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) has been published in Developmental Cell, a scientific journal of the Cell Press group. Led by Dr. Frédéric Charron, the team of scientists discovered a new requirement for the proper functioning of the Sonic Hedgehog protein.

Related Articles


Sonic Hedgehog belongs to a family of proteins that gives cells the information needed for the embryo to develop properly. It plays a critical role in the development of many of the body's organs, such as the central nervous system. Malfunctions of these proteins are associated with many diseases including cancer.

"On one hand, certain molecules travel through our organs (in this case, Sonic Hedgehog) and transmit signals to cells with information on how they should function," explains Luisa Izzi, postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Charron's laboratory and co-first author of the article. "On the other hand, our cells have receptors to receive these signals. The receptors then instruct the cell's DNA as to which genes to turn on or off in order to perform its function."

The team studied the interactions between the Sonic Hedgehog molecule and the recently-identified receptors Boc, Cdon and Gas1, all found on the surface of cells. "Our research showed, unexpectedly, that these receptors are essential for the transmission of the hedgehog molecule's signal," adds Martin Lévesque, an alumnus from Dr. Charron's research unit and co-first author of the article.

"Disrupting the transmission of the Sonic Hedgehog signal can lead to diseases," says Dr. Charron, Director of the IRCM's Molecular Biology of Neural Development research unit. "A better knowledge of the receptors Boc, Cdon and Gas1 might in turn help our understanding of pathologies associated with defective Sonic Hedgehog signalling. Our results could also lead to new avenues for the treatment of certain diseases such as cancer."

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 251,900 new cases of cancer and 75,000 deaths caused by the disease will occur in Canada in 2011. In 2007, cancer surpassed cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in Canada.

Research carried out in Dr. Charron's laboratory was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, the Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

In addition to directing this research project, Dr. Charron and his team participated in a second study led by Dr. Benjamin L. Allen from the University of Michigan Medical School. This second study, also to be published in the June 14th issue of Developmental Cell, examined the role of the same receptors (Boc, Cdon and Gas1) in a different system and confirmed the results found at the IRCM. Including these two studies, Dr. Charron's team have published three new discoveries in the past two weeks in Developmental Cell and Neuron.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Luisa Izzi, Martin Lévesque, Steves Morin, Dominique Laniel, Brian C. Wilkes, Frédéric Mille, Robert S. Krauss, Andrew P. McMahon, Benjamin L. Allen, Frédéric Charron. Boc and Gas1 Each Form Distinct Shh Receptor Complexes with Ptch1 and Are Required for Shh-Mediated Cell Proliferation. Developmental Cell, 2011; 20 (6): 788-801 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.017
  2. Benjamin L. Allen, Jane Y. Song, Luisa Izzi, Irene W. Althaus, Jong-Sun Kang, Frédéric Charron, Robert S. Krauss, Andrew P. McMahon. Overlapping Roles and Collective Requirement for the Coreceptors GAS1, CDO, and BOC in SHH Pathway Function. Developmental Cell, 2011; 20 (6): 775-787 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.04.018

Cite This Page:

Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. "Researchers discover Sonic Hedgehog protein’s mechanism of action." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613162238.htm>.
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. (2011, June 14). Researchers discover Sonic Hedgehog protein’s mechanism of action. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613162238.htm
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal. "Researchers discover Sonic Hedgehog protein’s mechanism of action." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613162238.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) — Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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