A single protein can reverse the developmental hurdles on adult brain cells

A single protein can reverse the developmental hurdles on adult brain cells ...

According to aPNAS research, a single protein may reverse the development curve on adult brain cells called astrocytes, morphing them into stem-like cells that produce neurons and other cell types. However, the findings might someday lead to a breakthrough to regenerate brain tissue after suffering illness or injury.

We are demonstrating that reprograming the fate of this subset of brain cells might be beneficial to them in the resurgence of the damaged brain, according to the study leader and co-authorChun-Li Zhang, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology and an Investigator at thePeter ODonnell Jr. Brain Institute.

Mammalian stem cells rapidly proliferate to produce neurons throughout the brain, and glia are created to help maintain optimal brain function by doing essential tasks like cleaning up waste and insulating nerve fibers. However, the mature brain largely loses stem cell capacity, leaving it with very limited capacity to heal itself following injury or illness.

glia may be prompted to produce neurons in certain brain injuries or after genetic manipulation, according to Dr. Zhang. Although these findings are promising, healthy brain tissue will require the production of multiple cell types rather than neurons.

Despite the fact that a single transcription factor known as DLX2 appeared to reprogram astrocytes into neural stem-like cells capable of producing neurons and various subtypes of glial cells, Dr. Zhang and his colleagues investigated a genetic engineering technique in adult mouse brains.

Both the researchers obtained a lineage tracing technique, which demonstrates the progeny of altered astrocytes as they multiplie, as well as a marker analysis that reveals the possibility of neurons or glia. Working with the team of co-authorGary Hon, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and the Department of Bioinformatics, the researchers found that astrocytes capable of producing DLX2 appeared to reprogram them into stem-like cells with features of both immature

DLX2 might someday be used as a treatment for traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and degenerative illnesses, according to Dr. Zhang and his colleagues. Researchers in theZhang have argued that this approach will be used in animal models.

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