Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mouse, frog and bird put Snail and Slug to different uses

28.06.2006
With names like Snail and Slug, you might expect genes belonging to the category known as the Snail family to be associated with some steady, slow-moving biological progression. Instead, these genes help direct the dynamic, fast-paced race of early embryonic development, when cells are dividing, migrating around the body and differentiating into the millions, even trillions, of specialized cells that constitute a mature organism.

Snail family genes are present in vertebrates and have counterparts in invertebrates such as the fruit fly Drosophila. To biologists, this means that these genes are "well conserved across species"--in other words, diverse species retained them as they evolved. So it's reasonable to expect that their function would be the same among all vertebrates: mice as well as frogs and birds, for instance.

In a paper just released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, two Jackson Laboratory scientists have demonstrated both a confirmation of the consistent role of Snail genes in vertebrates, and a surprising exception.

Dr. Thomas Gridley and Dr. Steven Murray showed that Snail family genes operate consistently in mice and birds in controlling the acquisition of differences between the two sides of the body. While the body plan of all vertebrates is overtly symmetric on both body sides, most internal organs exhibit an asymmetric distribution. For example, in mammals the heart is located on the left side of the body while the liver is on the right. Gridley and Murray found that, similarly to what has been described for birds, the Snail gene controls acquisition of these asymmetric body differences in mice.

On the other hand, Gridley and Murray found that Snail family gene function relating to neural crest cells is different in mice. Neural crest cells are developmental cells that form at the border of the embryonic neural plate (a structure that later develops into the spinal cord and brain) during early embryo formation. In normal vertebrate development, these cells "delaminate," or separate, from the neural plate, migrate throughout the embryo, and differentiate at their final destinations into a wide variety of cell types.

In frog and bird embryos, Snail family genes are required for neural crest cell formation and delamination. Gridley and Murray discovered that mouse embryos lacking both Snail and Slug had severe defects, yet still formed neural crest cells that were able to delaminate and migrate.

"This work demonstrates that species-specific differences in the regulation of neural crest formation and migration are more profound than previously appreciated," said Gridley. "These results shed surprising new light on the roles of Snail family genes during early development in mammals, and the different roles these genes can play during evolution of individual vertebrate species."

Mark Wanner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jax.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>