'Stoned' gene key to maintaining normal brain function
Dr Stephen Royle: “This research is another step towards fully understanding the complexities of the human brain.”
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a protein produced by a gene identified in fruitflies, is responsible for communication between nerve cells in the brain.
The stoned gene was discovered in fruitflies by scientists in the 1970s. When this gene was mutated, the flies had problems walking and flying, giving rise to the term stoned gene. The same gene was found in mammals some years later, but until now scientists have not known precisely what this gene is responsible for and why it causes problems with physical functions when it mutates.
Packets of chemicals
Scientists at Liverpool have found that the protein the gene expresses in mammals, called stonin2, is responsible for retrieving packets of chemicals that nerve cells in the brain release in order to communicate with each other. The inability of the gene to express this protein in the fruitfly study, suggests why the insect appeared not to be able to walk or fly normally.
The team used advanced techniques to inactivate stonin2 for short and long periods of time in animal cells grown in the laboratory. The cells used where from an area of the brain associated with learning and memory. They showed that without stonin2 the nerve cells could not retrieve the packets needed to transport the chemicals required for communications between nerve cells.
Dr Stephen Royle, from the Universitys Institute of Translational Medicine, explains: Nerve cells in the brain communicate by releasing packets of chemicals. These packets must be retrieved and refilled with chemicals so that they can be used once again. This recycling programme is very important for nerve cells to keep communicating with each other.
We have shown that a protein called stonin 2 is needed for the packets to be retrieved. There is currently no evidence to suggest that the gene which expresses this protein is mutated in human disease, but any failure in its function would be disastrous. The research is another step towards fully understanding the complexities of the human brain.
The research is published in the journal, Current Biology.
More information: www.cell.com/curre… 2(12)00635-5
Journal reference: Current Biology
Provided by University of Liverpool
- Gene 'switch' is another possible cause for depression Mar 06, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists expose important new weak spot in cancer cells Dec 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Gene gives cells a 'safety belt' against genetic damage Mar 22, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Prostate cancer early warning protein detected May 31, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain cells created from patients' skin cells Feb 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
21 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.
Medical research 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Aortic arch pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is a strong independent predictor of disease of the vessels that supply blood to the brain, according to a new study published in the June issue the journal ...
Medical research 9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Since the discovery of Prontosil in 1932, sulfonamide antibiotics have been used to combat a wide spectrum of bacterial infections, from acne to chlamydia and pneumonia. However, their side effects can include serious neurological ...
Medical research 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Medical research 11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Spanish researchers have discovered that the daily clearance of neutrophils from the body stimulates the release of hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, according to a report published today ...
Medical research 13 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
8 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (5) | 0 |
13 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (9) | 0 |
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
High blood glucose is associated with poor outcomes in hospitalized patients, and use of intensive insulin therapy (IIT) to control hyperglycemia is a common practice in hospitals. But the recent evidence does not show a ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |