Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene with a key role in neuronal survival identified

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers have identified the fundamental role played by the Nurr1 gene in neuron survival associated with synaptic activity. The discovery allows scientists to study a new target that could help to understand the relationship between alterations in neural connections, which are known to cause early cognitive deficit, and the neurodegeneration characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Neurons studied by INc's researchers. Green neurons with the Nurr1 gene activity silenced.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona

Researchers at the Institute of Neurosciences at Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona (INc-UAB) identified the fundamental role played by the Nurr1 gene in neuron survival associated with synaptic activity. The discovery, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, allows scientists to study a new target that could help to understand the relationship between alterations in neural connections, which are known to cause early cognitive deficit, and the neurodegeneration characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Related Articles


During the development of the brain, hundreds of thousands of neurons die if they do not establish the necessary connections - synapses - with their cell targets. The process of regulating neuron survival and death is fundamental in the organization of brain connections forming the adult brain.

The effect of synaptic activity on the survival of these neurons however is not limited to the developing brain; it is also fundamental in the adult brain. The loss of synaptic activity, which results into the characteristic cognitive impairment seen in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, precedes and contributes to the neuronal death observed in these pathologies. Despite the importance of this process, there is no exact knowledge of the molecular mechanisms implied in neuron survival generated by this activity.

In the study directed by José Rodríguez Álvarez, researcher of the UAB Institute of Neurosciences, scientists determined the relation of a gene and the neuron survival regulated by synaptic activity. Through a massive analysis of gene activity, researchers identified several dozens of genes whose functions are regulated by this activity. Of all the genes, the research demonstrates the key role played by the Nurr1 gene in the survival of neurons. Among the discoveries made, researchers observed that when the activity of this gene is silenced, the neuron dies. The research concludes that this identification provides a better understanding into the relationship between early synaptic deficits and the posterior neurodegeneration observed in Alzheimer's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Barneda-Zahonero, J.-M. Servitja, N. Badiola, A. J. Minano-Molina, R. Fado, C. A. Saura, J. Rodriguez-Alvarez. Nurr1 Protein Is Required for N-Methyl-D-aspartic Acid (NMDA) Receptor-mediated Neuronal Survival. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2012; 287 (14): 11351 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.272427

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona. "Gene with a key role in neuronal survival identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416100445.htm>.
Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona. (2012, April 16). Gene with a key role in neuronal survival identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416100445.htm
Universitat Autňnoma de Barcelona. "Gene with a key role in neuronal survival identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416100445.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 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:

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