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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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:
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