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MDC researchers discover molecule responsible for axonal branching
Date:9/21/2009

ement earlier discoveries of the research group of Professor Rathjen according to which a cGMP-signaling cascade is responsible for the bifurcation of sensory axons. When CNP binds to its receptor Npr2 (natriuretic peptide receptor 2) on the surface of the axons, this signaling cascade is set in motion, which in turn induces the formation of the secondary messenger molecule cGMP. This messenger molecule then activates the protein kinase cGKI (cGMP-dependent protein kinase I), which can switch on and off a whole series of target proteins. The cytoskeleton of the neurons is thus altered in such a way that their growth cone splits into two daughter axons.

Next, the researchers want to identify these target proteins. Further analyses should clarify whether the cGMP signaling cascade likewise regulates the branching of other axon systems and whether this impacts the sensation of pain.


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Contact: Barbara Bachtler
bachtler@mdc-berlin.de
49-309-406-3896
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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