Navigation Links
NMNAT Protein Protects Against Nerve Cell Degeneration

A new study has found out that a protein called NMNAT can delay the neuronal degeneration process if it is present at a high level. The researchers from Baylor College of// Medicine in a report in the Public Library of Science Biology that appears online today said that NMNAT protects against nerve cell degeneration in fruit flies and mice.

The finding begs the question if a drug might be developed that could stimulate extra protein production and thus neuronal protection – both in injured cells and in those degenerating because of disease, said Dr.Hugo Bellen, the paper's senior author, director of the BCM Program in Developmental Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. While more work needs to be done to determine whether that would be desirable, Bellen said the finding is an important one because it identifies NMNAT as essential in the life of the body's neurons.

Its first author, Dr. R. Grace Zhai, a postdoctoral fellow in Bellen’s laboratory, did much of the work described in the paper.

The story began two decades ago when researchers in the U.K. discovered a mouse whose injured nerve cells were slow to die. Even when the nerve was cut, it had some function two weeks later while in a normal mouse injured nerves are non-functional within two days, said Bellen.

Five years ago, researchers discovered that the mice had three copies of a gene for a protein that was a fusion of NMNAT and another protein. Bellen and his colleagues sought to determine whether NMNAT was actually protective by studying mutant forms of it in fruit flies or Drosophila melanogaster, a commonly used model organism. NMNAT exists in a single state in the fruit fly, and there is only one form of it.

When Zhai, Bellen and colleagues bred flies that lack the protein in their visual system, they found that the neurons degenerated very rapidly. However, keeping the flies in the dark and preventing their visual neurons from activa ting could slow the degeneration.

"In the absence of the NMNAT protein, the photoreceptors in the eye develop normally. They send out axons (tendril extension of the nerve that grow into the brain) and make synapses (the functional connection between a nerve axon and the target cell)," said Bellen.

However, late in the development of the eye, the insects in the pupal stage begin to sense light. As the neurons become active, they degenerate rapidly. Within two weeks after birth, there are almost no neurons left.

"Here is a case where the protein is required for the maintenance of the neuron," said Bellen. When flies were raised in the dark, the neurons died, but at very slow pace when compared to those exposed to light. "Activity clearly causes a massive degeneration," he said.

When they exposed flies that made large quantities of NMNAT in the eye to bright sunlight for 30 days, they found that only 20 percent of the neurons died – not the 80 percent that would have been expected.

"This protein can delay the neuronal degeneration process if it is present at a high level," said Bellen.

They also found that NMNAT alone and not the enzyme partner found in mice and other vertebrates were sufficient to protect the neurons.

Bellen said more work needs to be done to identify the mechanisms at work in the neuronal protection and to determine how to prompt cells to increase productions of the protein.

Source-Eurekalert
SI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs
2. Evidence Links Protein Damage to Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers
3. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of ‘Huntingtons’ Disase
4. Unravelling the secrets of ‘Huntingtin’ Protein - towards the treatment of Huntingtins’ Disese
5. Protein in urine foresees heart disease
6. Levels Of Blood Proteins May Help Heart Disease Care
7. Protein signals need for heart surgery
8. Protein and fat improve memory
9. Clotting Protein plays a role in nerve repair
10. High Levels of Protein Linked to Brain Shrinkage
11. Protein can change worn muscle fibres
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... According to research by ... require dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient ... “What’s In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists and patients about the possible ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 , ... ... in recognition of National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is the ... stroke in women. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 ... ... & Neck and Facial Plastics, has added Kybella® to his medical and surgical ... is a newly approved FDA injectable medication used as a non-surgical alternative for ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to ... This event brings together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the ... Iani, Bay Area Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin ... of a new DRTV campaign with Belly Bands. , Having a dog is great—except ... to puppy pads and find nothing works, get Belly Bands, the easiest way ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... part of a major growth and expansion initiative, Dune Medical ... Chmura as President of Dune Inc., its U.S. division. ... experience in the medical device space will play a large ... --> --> In her new ... and operational functions in the U.S. She is tasked with ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Mich. , Feb. 8, 2016  The University ... announced today that, as part of the ... one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to ... Karin Muraszko , M.D., U-M,s chair of neurosurgery. ... of neurosurgery. --> The BrightMatter technology ...
(Date:2/8/2016)...  Aoxing Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. (NYSE MKT: AXN) today announced ... December 31, 2015, the Company achieved revenue of $8,195,839, a ... quarter in fiscal 2015. --> ... year 2016 was $2,068,635, or $.03 per share, up 265% ... in the Q2 of fiscal year 2015. Gross margin for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: