An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on neuronal survival of a small non-coding RNA molecule, so-called miRNA, at the highest resolution to date. This deciphering of gene regulation primes applications for strengthening neurons in order to protect them from neurodegenerative diseases. The extensive systems biology methods used here could become a new standard for the way miRNAs are researched.
miRNAs were first discovered 25 years ago, but understanding their impact on gene regulation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) is still incomplete. While computer-based studies predict the maximum range of miRNA interactions, some of which can bind thousands of mRNAs, experimental studies usually provide only one or very few.
Neurite outgrowth assay of neurons expressing GFP. The first and last time point (0 min, 50 min) are pseudocolored in magenta and cyan, respectively.
Busskamp Lab CRTD
The research team discovered that, contrary to previous assumptions, brain-enriched miRNA (miR-124) is unnecessary during neuronal differentiation from adult human stem cells, but has a huge effect on neuronal survival.
The team combined both experimental and computational approaches and performed an in-depth system level analysis of miR-124. They found 98 miR-124 targeted genes that are simultaneously regulated.
Many of these controlled genes had direct physiological functions, in particular protecting neurons from dying. The research group used a novel computational approach to also investigate indirect effects, namely the miR-124 targeted genes that themselves are regulators of gene expression.
“Our deep mechanistic insights may lead to biomedical applications enabling the protection of neurons against degeneration. In addition, previously uncharacterised genes in the regulatory networks could be investigated and new functions assigned to them”, says Volker Busskamp. The interdisciplinary approach of experimental manipulation and sophisticated bioinformatic analysis sets new standards in the miRNA gene regulation research.
Professor Katja Nowick (FU Berlin, Germany), Professor Johan Jakobsson (University of Lund, Sweden), Professor Peter F. Stadler (University of Leipzig, Germany) and Dr. Volker Busskamp (TU Dresden, Germany) and corresponding laboratory members contributed to this international and interdisciplinary project.
“Combined experimental and system-level analyses reveal the complex regulatory network of miR-124 during human neurogenesis”, Cell Systems
Friederike Braun | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Stanford researchers create a wireless, battery-free, biodegradable blood flow sensor
09.01.2019 | Stanford University
Description of rotating molecules made easy
21.12.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...
A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.
"Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster," said Jigang Wang, Ames Laboratory physicist and...
Some patients with breast cancer receive chemotherapy before the tumor is removed with surgery. This approach, called 'neoadjuvant' therapy, helps to reduce the size of the tumor to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, and can even eradicate the tumor, leaving few or no cancerous cells for the surgeon to remove. In those cases, the patients are very likely to remain cancer-free for life after surgery.
But not all tumors shrink under chemotherapy. If the tumor resists neoadjuvant therapy, there can be a higher risk of developing metastatic disease, meaning...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
11.01.2019 | Life Sciences
11.01.2019 | Life Sciences
11.01.2019 | Life Sciences