Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Autophagy: Scientists discover novel role for self-recycling process in the brain

30.03.2020

Proteins classically associated with autophagy regulate the speed of intracellular transport / Publication in ‚Nature Communications’

Scientists from the laboratory of Dr. Natalia Kononenko at the CECAD Center of Excellence in Aging Research at the University of Cologne have found out that autophagy – the process of cellular self-recycling, or waste clearance – is dispensable for the survival of the neurons in mice.


The new findings suggest that autophagy in fact also fulfils a different important function: The proteins classically associated with waste clearance in cells regulate the speed of intracellular transport.

This transport is achieved by microscopic hollow tubes, so-called microtubules. The article ‘Autophagy lipidation machinery regulates axonal microtubule dynamics but is dispensable for survival of mammalian neurons’ appeared in the current issue of Nature Communications.

Autophagy cleans the cells by breaking down and removing the damaged proteins and organelles, cell areas with a specific function.

It is hardly surprising that this process is particularly important for long-lived cells such as neurons, since neurons are no longer capable of cell division (‘post-mitotic’) and are therefore particularly vulnerable to accumulating unfavorable proteins and damaged organelles. In their new study, the scientists show that neurons in the mouse brain do not need autophagy to survive.

Instead, these specialized cells use autophagy proteins to regulate the microtubule-dependent transport of molecules crucial for learning and memory.

The fact that autophagy is crucial for the well-being of the brain is supported by scientific discoveries made over the last decade. Many studies have identified defective autophagy as one of the pathological causes of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s (AD), Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.

In this context, the novel function of autophagy the scientists discovered suggests that the therapeutic modulations of autophagy activity in patients might not only promote the waste clearance in the brain, but also alter the cognitive abilities by changing the efficiency of the intracellular transportation system.


Media Contact:
Dr. Natalia Kononenko
CECAD Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research
+49 221 478-84302
n.kononeko@uni-koeln.de


Press and Communications Team:
Jan Voelkel
+49 221 470-2356
j.voelkel@verw.uni-koeln.de


Publication:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15287-9

Gabriele Meseg-Rutzen | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-koeln.de/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species
03.07.2020 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Moss protein corrects genetic defects of other plants
03.07.2020 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

Im Focus: AI monitoring of laser welding processes - X-ray vision and eavesdropping ensure quality

With an X-ray experiment at the European Synchrotron ESRF in Grenoble (France), Empa researchers were able to demonstrate how well their real-time acoustic monitoring of laser weld seams works. With almost 90 percent reliability, they detected the formation of unwanted pores that impair the quality of weld seams. Thanks to a special evaluation method based on artificial intelligence (AI), the detection process is completed in just 70 milliseconds.

Laser welding is a process suitable for joining metals and thermoplastics. It has become particularly well established in highly automated production, for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rising water temperatures could endanger the mating of many fish species

03.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus

03.07.2020 | Studies and Analyses

Efficient, Economical and Aesthetic: Researchers Build Electrodes from Leaves

03.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>