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Master regulator found for regenerating nerve fibers in live animals
Date:10/25/2009

inosine, brain-derived neurotropic factor, nerve growth factor act through Mst3b," says Benowitz. "In fact, activating Mst3b by itself is enough to cause growth even if there are no growth factors around. In terms of basic understanding of nerve cells, this is a very exciting finding."

Further studies examining how Mst3b exerts this growth-promoting effect may open up new avenues for treating brain and spinal cord injuries, Benowitz says. While this study explains why growth factors work because they stimulate Mst3b it's not yet known whether Mst3b is the best stimulator of axon growth from a practical drug-development standpoint, he adds.

Irwin is now working on possible gene therapy approaches involving Mst3b. Activating Mst3b may help overcome some natural "brakes" in the cell-signaling system that prevent nerve regeneration under normal conditions.


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Contact: James Newton
james.newton@childrens.edu
617-919-3110
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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