Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies

Date:
April 11, 2014
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Fresh insights into the processes that control brain cell production could pave the way for treatments for brain cancer and other brain-related disorders. Researchers have focused on a RNA molecule, known as miR-9, which is linked to the development of brain cells, known as neurons and glial cells. They have shown that a protein called Lin28a regulates the production of miR-9, which in turn controls the genes involved in brain cell development and function.

Fresh insights into the processes that control brain cell production could pave the way for treatments for brain cancer and other brain-related disorders.

Scientists have gained new understanding of the role played by a key molecule that controls how and when nerve and brain cells are formed -- a process that allows the brain to develop and keeps it healthy. Their findings could help explain what happens when cell production goes out of control, which is a fundamental characteristic of many diseases including cancer.

Researchers have focused on a RNA molecule, known as miR-9, which is linked to the development of brain cells, known as neurons and glial cells. They have shown that a protein called Lin28a regulates the production of miR-9, which in turn controls the genes involved in brain cell development and function.

Scientists carried out lab studies of embryonic cells, which can develop into neurons, to determine how Lin28a controls the amount of miR-9 that is produced.

They found that in embryonic cells, Lin28a prevents production of miR-9 by triggering the degradation of its precursor molecule. In developed brain cells, Lin28a is no longer produced, which enables miR-9 to accumulate and function. In cancer cells, Lin28a production is re-established, and as a result this natural process is disrupted.

Researchers used a series of lab tests to unravel the complex processes that are directed by the Lin28a protein. They say further studies could help explain fully the role of Lin28a and miR-9 in brain development, and pave the way to the development of novel therapies.

Dr Gracjan Michlewski of the School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: "Understanding more of the complex science behind the fundamental processes of cell development will helps us learn more about what happens when this goes wrong -- and what might be done to prevent it."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jakub S. Nowak, Nila Roy Choudhury, Flavia de Lima Alves, Juri Rappsilber, Gracjan Michlewski. Lin28a regulates neuronal differentiation and controls miR-9 production. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4687

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411103136.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2014, April 11). Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411103136.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Brain cell discovery could open doors to targeted cancer therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140411103136.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
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