In a finding that may one day help researchers better understand age-related memory and hearing loss, scientists have shown that two key nervous system proteins interact in a manner that helps regulate the transmission of signals in the nervous system.
Researchers report online in Nature Neuroscience that theyve connected neuregulin-1 (Nrg-1), a protein linked to schizophrenia, and postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95), a protein associated with Alzheimers disease. The print version appears during the first week of November.
Nrg-1 originally caught scientists attention because of its links to processes that encode memory in nerve cells. Scientists later found mutations in the Nrg-1 gene increased risk of schizophrenia in Scottish and Icelandic populations. Nrg-1 is positioned in the outer membrane of nerve cells, with a portion hanging outside the nerve cell and another part jutting inside it. The exterior portion, known as Nrg-ECD, contributes to the formation of synapses, areas where two nerve cells communicate across a small physical gap, and to other aspects of nervous system development and communication.
Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
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