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:6/27/2016)...   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism ... today awarded as one of the World Economic ... most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology ... world in the nutrition, health and consumer goods ... customers including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the ... brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing ... to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SPRING, Md. , June 23, 2016 A ... collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The ... genome sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/7/2016)... 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit ... includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution ... will result in greater convenience for SACU members ... maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... NEW YORK , May 16, 2016   ... authentication solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded ... provides an unprecedented level of convenience and security with ... to authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):