Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pourquié lab links beta-catenin gradient to process of somite formation

03.01.2008
The Stowers Institute’s Pourquié Lab has demonstrated the importance of Beta-catenin, a key component of the Wnt-signaling pathway in the process of somite formation. The work has been published on the Web site of Nature Cell Biology and will appear in a future print issued. It was conducted using a novel real-time imaging technology.

The team analyzed the somite segmentation process that results in the formation of the vertebral column. This process is thought to be controlled by two components: a molecular oscillator (the segmentation clock), and the graded activity of several major signaling pathways (the gradient) in the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). The PSM is the middle layer of the three cell layers that form an early embryo. Wnt-signaling has been implicated in both these mechanisms, but precisely how was unclear until now.

In this work, the Pourquié team tested the importance of Beta-catenin, a protein that functions as the principal mediator of the Wnt-signaling pathway, in the process of somite formation. They showed that a newly identified Beta-catenin protein gradient in the PSM is critical in regulating mesoderm maturation. Real-time imaging experiments also demonstrated that, conversely, the segmentation clock is not caused by graded levels of Beta-catenin protein.

“We were able to demonstrate that increasing Beta-catenin protein levels dramatically alters PSM maturation,” said Alexander Aulehla, M.D., Senior Research Associate and first author on the paper. “But, by using the real-time imaging technique in mouse embryos, we could show that increasing Beta-catenin also corresponded with ongoing, even ectopic, oscillations of the segmentation clock, which controls the rate of somite development.”

“This work offers novel insights into how the mechanisms of maturation and oscillation in the PSM are controlled and how they are interconnected,” said Olivier Pourquié, Ph.D., Investigator and senior author on the paper. “Additionally, this project has allowed us to achieve the longstanding goal of visualizing the segmentation clock in real-time using fluorescence-based imaging, which is sure to impact other important projects in our lab”

Since joining the Stowers Institute in 2002, the Pourquié Lab has made a number of significant discoveries related to somite development. Somites eventually give rise to the vertebral column, which is malformed in people born with congenital scoliosis. It is believed that some cases of congenital scoliosis are caused by mutations related to the segmentation clock.

Marie Jennings | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stowers-institute.org
http://www.stowers-institute.org/labs/PourquieLab.asp

Further reports about: Beta-Catenin Gradient PSM Pourquié segmentation somite

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>