Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Motor protein proves to be breathing protein

23.11.2006
A tiny protein, VGLUT2, which is key to the transmission of signals in the nervous system, has previously been thought to be necessary for us to move normally.

But this is now refuted by new findings by Uppsala University researchers who show that the protein is absolutely crucial to our respiration. The study is being published in the latest issue of the highly prestigious Journal of Neuroscience.

“These were entirely unexpected and extremely exciting findings. They clearly show that the protein we suspected was so important to mobility patterns in fact were not,” says Klas Kullander, a researcher in genetic developmental biology at Uppsala University and lead author of the study.

His research deals with the use of genetically modified mice to identify nerve circuits that govern various bodily functions. Above all, he has focused on motor movement, which is relatively simple, since it all starts in the spinal cord.

... more about:
»Breathing »Nerve »Protein

“It constitutes a sort of ‘mini-brain’ that produces rhythms and coordinates movements without any input from the brain,” Klas Kullander explains.

The protein VGLUT2 exists in two commonly occurring variants and is used in the communication between nerve cells. This protein is necessary for glutamate, which exists in tiny swellings in the ends of the nerve cells (synapses), to be released to relay signals from one nerve cell to the next. One variant, VGLUT1, has been shown by other scientists to be of no significance in motor patterns. Mice without this gene can move but evince certain other neurological defects. Using this fact as a point of departure, the Uppsala team examined the other variant instead, which moreover is much more prevalent in the spinal cord. It proved to be not at all important in movement patterns, but rather for breathing. As early as the fetal period, the musculature of the lungs is exercised by “water breathing.” But in mouse embryos without VGLUT2 the lungs were never used and therefore were unable to breathe air when the mice were born.

“This possibility of knocking out certain specific genes in mice, which are genetically very similar to humans, provides us with new and important genetic knowledge about the functions of the nervous system that may lead to tremendous medical advances,” says Klas Kullander.

Anneli Waara | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jneurosci.org/

Further reports about: Breathing Nerve Protein

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>