University of Bath scientists identify 2 regions of mouse brains where C9orf72 is expressed
For the first time novel expression sites in the brain have been identified for a gene which is associated with Motor Neuron Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia.
Many people who develop Motor Neuron Disease, also called Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and/or Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) have abnormal repeats of nucleotides within a gene called C9orf72 which causes neurons to die.
A team from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Bath discovered for the first time that the C9orf72 gene is strongly expressed in the hippocampus of the mouse brain- a region where adult stem cells reside and which is known to be important for memory.
C9orf72 is also expressed at the olfactory bulb, involved in the sense of smell. Loss of smell is sometimes a symptom in FTD.
They also found that the C9orf72 protein changes from being concentrated in the cytoplasm of cells to both the cytoplasm and nucleus as the brain cortex develops, and during the development of neurons.
Dr Vasanta Subramanian, who led the study, said: "By uncovering novel sites of expression in the brain our findings provide an important resource for researchers studying animal models of C9orf72 mediated ALS and FTD.
"It is essential to know in which cell types in the nervous system the C9orf72 gene is expressed and where within the cell the C9orf72 protein is present.
"Our hope is that by researching accurate animal models of these diseases scientists can eventually develop new treatments and eventually cures for these devastating degenerative diseases."
The researchers, Ross Ferguson, Eleni Serafeimidou- Pouliou and Vasanta Subramanian, were working to map expression of C9orf72 in developing and adult mouse brains to help characterise reliable animal models to study the gene and its effects in both kinds of neurodegenerative diseases, for which there are currently no cures.
Dr Brian Dickie, Director of Research Development at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: "It is unclear why people who carry an abnormality in genes like c9orf72 don't usually develop symptoms of these diseases until several decades after birth, but it is possible that the activity of the gene early in life somehow 'primes' certain types of neuron to degenerate later in life.
"This detailed study provides a platform for future research to understand the role of this important gene in health and disease."
The exact function of C9orf72 in humans and animals remains unknown, but in the mutated version in patients there are large stretches of abnormal repeated sequences.
The study is published in the Journal of Anatomy.
The findings also confirmed previous research showing C9orf72 is strongly expressed in the cerebellum and motor cortex of the brain.
Chris Melvin | EurekAlert!
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences