One step closer to finding a cure for brain diseases

One step closer to finding a cure for brain diseases
Fig 1. Molecular model of PTPσ signaling pathways in heterologous synapse formation.A) PTPσ triggers excitatory heterologous synapse formation through a combination of extracellular and intracellular signaling components. The PTPσ D2 domain binds intracellular adaptor proteins (e.g., liprin-α) and substrates (e.g., p250RhoGAP and N-cadherin) to recruit the vesicular machinery for excitatory synapse development. This signal transduction model differs from that of neurexin.B) Neurexins serve as anchor proteins that transduce postsynaptic signals from various ligands (e.g., neuroligins and leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins) and transfer them to adjacent, but as yet unidentified, coreceptor protein(s) to mediate the signal transduction cascades necessary for full heterologous synapse formation activity. Credit: Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST)

A research team led by Professor Jaewon Ko and Ji Won Um from Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences identified a new principle of formation of brain synapses through synaptic binding protein complexes.

Many nerve cells that make up the brain control the function of the brain through . Although recent studies show that synaptic binding proteins play a certain role in the formation of synapses, detailed factors or processes for collectively controlling the synapses remain unknown.

The research team has been focusing on discovering related binding proteins and finding detailed mechanisms to identify the principles of formation of among synapses.

In this study, the research team found that the interaction between the PTPσ proteins and certain bone proteins among plays a critical role in . In particular, they have identified that the 'normal tyrosine signaling mechanism' resulting from the reaction of certain elements of the PTPσ proteins is an essential component of synapse formation.

Given the potential correlation between proteins and mental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression that recent large-scale human genetics studies have shown, the research team's experiment is expected to provide important clues to help analyze the causes of brain disorders and enable treatment through further studies of related proteins.

Professor Ko expressed his determination by saying, "As our recent study has reported, PTPσ proteins, along with neurexin, are considered key proteins responsible for the development of neural circuits. Our world-leading research team will conduct further studies to continue research on the development of synapses and neural circuits."

This research outcome was published on Friday June 22, 2018 in the online edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.


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Key synapse formation regulator identified

More information: Kyung Ah Han et al, PTPσ drives excitatory presynaptic assembly via various extracellular and intracellular mechanisms, The Journal of Neuroscience (2018). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0672-18.2018
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Provided by DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)
Citation: One step closer to finding a cure for brain diseases (2018, July 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-07-closer-brain-diseases.html
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