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Key factor in brain development revealed, offers insight into disorder
Date:3/26/2008

or known as dynein to the surface of both sides of the cell membrane. There, dynein takes a fixed position and, like a molecular hook, pulls the microtubules that emanate from the middle of the cell toward it.

Just like a pulley, dynein draws the microtubules through it and that, in turn, rotates the spindle, suggests Wynshaw-Boris.

Loss of Lis1, results in reduced and weakened microtubules and an inability of the mitotic spindle to rotate the microtubules properly in the apical-basal axis.

Of note, while loss of Lis1 is catastrophic in neuroepithelial stem cells, it is not so in radial glial progenitor cells. The reason is not entirely clear, says Wynshaw-Boris, but the scientists hypothesize that neuroepithelial stem cells require a greater tightness of control of the plane of cell division. In support of this notion, while neuroepithelial stem cells appear to always divide symmetrically, radial glial progenitor cells often divide asymmetrically to produce one daughter cell (radial glial progenitor cell) and one newborn nerve cell.

The study sheds some light on the differences in the regulation of symmetric and asymmetric divisions in neuroepithelial stem cells and radial glial progenitor cells, says Wynshaw-Boris.

More broadly, he says, the findings suggest that neural migration birth defects, such as lissencephaly, may be caused by defects in other processes, as well, including proliferation, division and, in this case stem cell division. It gives insight, he says, into these rare diseases and whats important for normal brain development.


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Contact: Jennifer O'Brien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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