Critical Gene for Brain Development, Mental Retardation Identified

WASHINGTON – Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have discovered that a brain protein, called srGAP2, plays a vital role in brain development and could even lead to mental retardation.

Any flaw while establishing the neural circuitry of the developing brain could result in neurodevelopmental disorders such as mental retardation, dyslexia or autism.

Researchers have now discovered that establishing the neural wiring necessary to function normally depends on the ability of neurons to make finger-like projections of their membrane called filopodia.

And the finding indicates that the current notion regarding how cells change shape, migrate or differentiate needs to be revisited.

Senior study investigator Dr. Franck Polleux said that scientists have thought that the only way for a cell to morph and move is through the action of the cytoskeleton or the scaffold inside the cell, pushing membrane forward or sucking it in.

But his study has shown that the brain protein srGAP2 can also impose cell shape by directly bending membranes, forming filopodia as a mean to control the migration and branching of neurons during brain development.

Interestingly, srGAP2 is one of a family of proteins that have been implicated in a severe mental retardation syndrome called the 3p- syndrome.

Therefore this research could also yield important insights into the underlying causes of this and other forms of mental retardation.

Polleux and his colleagues began looking at srGAP2 because the gene was almost exclusively “turned on” or expressed during brain development.

The researchers focussed on the F-BAR domain, one of the handful of similarly termed “BAR domains” in the brain protein.

These unique domains are small functional chunks of protein sequence that may be common to other proteins as well.

The researchers were among the first to master a laboratory technique that enabled them to manipulate which genes are turned on or off in neurons, a notoriously difficult cell type.

Working with slices of mouse brain, they used electrical current to introduce pieces of genetic material that would either ramp up or, conversely, knock down the action of the protein’s F-BAR domain.

They then cultured brain slices in petri dishes allowing researchers to watch how the neurons behaved ‘in the wild’ in their native environment.

After ramping up the activity of the domain, they saw that the neurons formed the finger-like filopodia which blocked migration by inducing too many branches.

“The textbook notion is that F-BAR proteins fold inward, but here we show it can do the opposite. This is a completely novel mechanism for producing filopodia,” said Polleux.

The researchers then found that when they reduced the expression of this protein, the neurons migrated at a faster rate and branched less.

49 thoughts on “Critical Gene for Brain Development, Mental Retardation Identified

  1. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel can find any information in article and discus forum

  2. Your web page offers a great deal of unique insights and information. I haven’t truly imagined about it like that.

  3. Thanks for writing this blog and sharing it with the world. I would like to know how to go for reading your rss blog. Please let me know if possible.

  4. If you have a physical ailment or mental disorder, did you realize you can apply for the Social Security Incapacity program? This program is designed by the federal government to give monetary assistance to those who cannot work, who need monthly help, and who cannot afford medical coverage on their own.

  5. Heeya, I was reading one more issue about this on another blog a couple of minutes ago only. Fascinating viewpoint you’ve in contrast to the other one I read earlier but hey, it is your opinion in any case. – And I’m leaning far more in the direction of yours, lolz. 🙂

  6. Your website offers a whole lot of special insights and info. I haven’t genuinely thought about it like that.

  7. This is really nice idea dude.iam really proud of you . Do u have twitter?? i want to follow you .thx

  8. This writing was so on time and on point for me… you really have no idea. Thanks alot for making it. Such powerful and wonderful content.

  9. A situation that I have always been involved in tremendous to know an individual’s view. I had been thinking about any Tkd practitioners on here if so monitor this place out comprehensive extraordinary facts and techniques. My partner and i now have been heading back to it repeatedly. Simply just like this site

  10. Right after browsing this a couple of questions came about. I’ll think it over before placing them right here as I do not want to bother you with something I could possibly have simply search for in Bing and google.

  11. I know lots of blog authors also have written an ebook. If you have you are able to monetize your e-book by using http://www.ebooked.org which is a web site that allows ebook authors to share their work for free of charge with individuals following somebody completes a survey. When they complete the survey the author can make some money.

  12. This is really wonderful notion dude.iam genuinely proud of you .
    Do u have twitter?? i need to abide by you .thx

  13. Thanks for this great website. I am trying to read some more posts but I cant get your website to display properly in my Opera Browser. Thanks again.

  14. huh? “what did you just said?”LOL is this one more fobism….. i know i know its old.

  15. Pingback: Is Your Brain Autistic? | Anxiety disorder Blog

  16. Pingback: Which vegan foods hold the most nutritional value (details inside)? | Healthy Vegan Foods

  17. Pingback: Uncover The Link Between DHA And Brain Development

  18. Pingback: Early Diagnosis Increases Lung Cancer Survival Rates-cancer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.