A new paper in the January 15th issue of G&D provides the structural basis by which FGF8 splice isoforms (FGF8a and FGF8b) differ in their ability to pattern embryonic brain. FGF8b differs from FGF8a solely by the presence of 11 additional amino acids at its N-terminus.
However, only FGF8b can transform midbrain to cerebellum whereas FGF8a causes an overgrowth of midbrain. Dr. Moosa Mohammadis research team has solved the crystal structure of FGF8b in complex with the FGFR2c receptor, and shows that additional contacts between a single amino acid from the alternatively spliced region of FGF8b with the FGFR2c receptor account for the unique ability of FGF8b to transform midbrain to hindbrain during embryogenesis.
The structural and biochemical data not only provide novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain development, but also serves as a framework for examining the role of individual FGF8 isoforms in patterning and development of limb, eye, ear and lung. Moreover, this study is the first to demonstrate that differences in the strength of interaction of closely related growth factors with a common receptor can serve as a regulatory mechanism in cellular signaling.
Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy