Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SUMO wrestling in the brain

08.05.2007
Increasing the amount of SUMO, a small protein in the brain, could be a way of treating diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, reveal scientists at the University of Bristol, UK. Their findings are published online today in Nature.

The brain contains about 100 million nerve cells, each having 10,000 connections to other nerves cells. These connections, called synapses, chemically transmit the information that controls all brain function via proteins called receptors. These processes are believed to be the basis of learning and memory.

A major feature of a healthy brain is that the synapses can modify how efficiently they work, by increasing or decreasing the amount of information transmitted. In disorders such as epilepsy the synapses transmit too much information, resulting in over-excitation in the cells.

The research team, led by Professor Jeremy Henley at Bristol University, has discovered that when one type of receptor – the kainate receptor – receives a chemical signal, a small protein called SUMO becomes attached to it. SUMO pulls the kainate receptor out of the synapse, preventing it from receiving information from other cells, thus making the cell less excitable.

... more about:
»Brain »SUMO »Synapse

Professor Henley said: “This work is important because it gives a new perspective and a deeper understanding of how the flow of information between cells in the brain is regulated. It is possible that increasing the amount of SUMO attached to kainate receptors – which would reduce communication between the cells – could be a way to treat epilepsy by preventing over-excitation.”

The discovery that SUMO proteins can regulate the way brain cells communicate may provide insight into the causes of, and treatments for, brain diseases that are characterised by too much synaptic activity. This discovery also provides new potential targets for drug development that could one day be used to treat a range of such disorders.

This research was funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the European Union.

Cherry Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05736
http://www.bris.ac.uk/fluff/u/inclel/ehD3Zu36f7FIcUMuADwa6gpy/

Further reports about: Brain SUMO Synapse

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>