Navigation Links
Discovery of 'creator' gene for cerebral cortex points to potential stem cell treatments
Date:1/17/2008

Irvine, Calif. University of California, Irvine researchers have identified a gene that is specifically responsible for generating the cerebral cortex, a finding that could lead to stem cell therapies to treat brain injuries and diseases such as stroke and Alzheimers.

Dr. Edwin Monuki, doctoral student Karla Hirokawa and their colleagues in the departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Developmental & Cell Biology found that a gene called Lhx2 serves as the long-sought cortical creator gene that instructs stem cells in the developing brain to form the cerebral cortex. This portion of the brain is responsible for higher sensory and cognitive functions, such as language, decision-making and vision. Without this gene, cortical cells will not form.

This new understanding of Lhx2s role in cortical development can potentially be used in stem cell research efforts to grow new cortical neurons that can replace damaged ones in the brain, said Monuki, an assistant professor of pathology. This finding has implications for continuing efforts to help people recover from a stroke or slow the progress of neurodegenerative diseases.

Study results appear in the Jan. 18 issue of Science.

Lhx2 is among a group of genes called selector genes that act during key moments of embryonic and fetal development, directing stem cells to grow into specific parts of the body such as brain, blood and bone.

In tests on rodents, the researchers found that Lhx2s cortical selector activity is critical only during the stage when the developing cortex is made up of stem cells, not before or after. In addition, they found that cortical stem cells that dont express the Lhx2 gene turn into a different cell type called a hem cell that induces neighboring cells to become the hippocampus, the oldest part of the cortex in evolutionary terms and a major memory center of the brain.

Lhx2s role in cerebral cortex development has far-reaching implications in the nascent field of stem cell research. The Monuki lab is currently studying how to activate Lhx2 genes in neural stem cells and initiate the process in which new cortical cells can grow. If successful, the concept of using Lhx2 to instill stem cells with cortical properties could be a basis of clinical studies that could one day help treat patients, he said.

Researchers in Monukis lab are deeply involved with stem cell research. Last month, they published a study identifying a new way to sort stem cells that should be quicker, easier and more cost-effective than current methods. The technique could in the future expedite therapies for people with conditions ranging from brain and spinal cord damage to Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. ARCA Discovery, Inc. to Present at 26th Annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference on January 8, 2008
2. DuPont Joint Venture with Chinese Biotech Firm Strengthens Gene Discovery Research Efforts
3. Vaccinex, Inc. Announces Award of Key Patent in Europe for its Antibody Discovery Technology (ActivMab(R))
4. Discovery Institute Bioethicist Lauds Breakthrough in Stem Cells Research that Eliminates Need for Human Cloning
5. Discovery of a new way to manipulate light a million times more efficiently
6. Senomyx Announces Conclusion of Discovery and Development Collaboration With Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
7. WHO Introduces the Helminth Drug Initiative With Special Supplement in the Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery
8. EpiCept to Present Pre-clinical Advances of Myc Oncogene Directed Drug Discovery at Assays and Cellular Targets Conference
9. Senex Biotechnology Announces Presentation of Alzheimers Disease Drug Discovery Effort
10. Agendia Acquires Rights to the Discovery of a Major Drug Resistance Mechanism in Breast Cancer Potentially Leading to a Herceptin(R) Sensitivity Test
11. New method of selecting DNA for resequencing accelerates discovery of subtle DNA variations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSXV: BRM) ("Biorem" or ... finalists for clean technology companies in the TSX Venture 50 ... companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, in each of ... clean technology & life sciences, diversified industries and technology ... to return on investment, market cap growth, trading volume and ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... -- --> --> ... company developing next generation cancer therapeutics that are ... chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Limited, Mr Ratan ... part of the first close of Invictus,s Series ... and Aarin Capital. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150923/766442 ) , ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Md. , Feb. 8, 2016  BioElectronics ... consumer medical devices, announced today that it is ... administrative proceedings from the Securities and Exchange Commission ... Richard Staelin , Chairman of the Board of ... Professor of Business Administration at The Fuqua School ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... of Semantic Graph Database technology, today announced the availability of AllegroGraph 6, the ... through the Cloudera Certified Technology Program (CCPT). AllegroGraph is the first ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/1/2016)... Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the ... Joey Fatone . Las Vegas , where ... --> Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at ... The new video ad was filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) ... Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. --> ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Rite Track, Inc. a leading semiconductor ... West Chester, Ohio announced today the acquisition ... based in Austin, Texas , will ... provide modifications, installations and technical support offerings for TEL ... PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided world class service including ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Software, the world-leading supplier of image data management solutions ... data management solution OMERO Plus for the newly established ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160125/325328LOGO ... analysis measures the characteristics and behavior of cells, tissues ... as health and disease, the presence or absence of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):