Navigation Links
First 'atlas' of key brain genes could speed research on cancer, neurological diseases

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have compiled the first atlas showing the locations of crucial gene regulators, or switches that determine how different parts of the brain develop ?and, in some cases, develop abnormally or malfunction. The scientists say the map will accelerate research on brain tumors and neurological diseases that result from mutations in these switch genes ?called “transcription factors.?When these genes are altered, the genes they control can go awry, causing abnormalities in the development or function of nerves and related structures. Although the gene regulators were pinpointed using mouse brains, the map applies to the human brain as well.

“This is the first systematic mapping of all of the major brain areas that shows what regulatory genes are expressed in those specific locations,?said Quifu Ma, PhD, of Dana-Farber’s Cancer Biology Department. He is senior author of a paper appearing in today’s online issue of the journal Science, along with Charles D. Stiles, PhD, also of Dana-Farber. Transcription factors are genes that control the expression, or activity, of “target?genes. These factors play a pivotal role in brain development by direction the formation of neurons and supporting cells called glia from uncommitted progenitor cells. Until now, brain transcription factors had not been systematically isolated and their locations within different parts of the brain pinned down. The map should tell scientists studying different parts of the brain, which transcription factor (TF) genes regulate the development of that brain region, and which of them to investigate as possible causes of brain tumors and other diseases. The Dana-Farber researchers already have homed in on specific TF genes regulating nerves involved in pain sensation, certain brain tumors, and speech problems caused by abnormally developing motor neurons that control muscles of the tongue. The map, known as the Mahoney Transcription Factor Atlas, has been pla ced online where it is freely accessible to researchers studying brain development and disorders. To compile the atlas, the investigators first sifted through databases of information from the Human Genome Project, singling out all genes in the mouse that appeared to be transcription factors: they turned up 1,445 of them. Next, they determined that more than 1,000 of these TF’s were expressed in the brains of developing mice. Using genetic probes to investigate thin sections of mouse brains, the scientists found that only 349 of the TF genes were expressed in specific regions, and not throughout the brain, as the majority were. They inferred that these 349 genes, therefore, controlled the development of the particular areas or structures in which they were uniquely expressed. Stiles is pursuing TF’s that direct the formation of astrocytes, which are affected in tumors called gliomas. David Rowitch, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber and an author on the paper, studies transcription factors in the brain’s cerebellum, where tumors called medulloblastomas occur, and Ma has identified TF’s that regulate the nerves involved in the sensation of specific types of pain. Ma’s laboratory is focused on the stubborn problem of cancer pain: He and his students are screening the atlas for transcription factors that regulate development of the neurons that generate the severe pain that is a common symptom of metastatic tumors. The research was funded by the Charles Dana Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and individual fellowships. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.
'"/>

Source:Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Related biology news :

1. Timing is everything: First step in protein building revealed
2. Emory Eye Center Implants Its First Retinal Chips In Patients With Retinitis Pigmentosa
3. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
4. NYCs First Rapid HIV Drug-resistant AIDS Case Prompts Call to Step Up HIV Prevention
5. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
6. Breast-Cancer Risk Linked to Exposure to Traffic Emissions at Menarche, First Birth
7. Mayo Clinic Researchers Create Obedient Virus; First Step To Use Measles Virus Against Cancer
8. First frozen egg baby born in Canada
9. Human Cells Filmed Instantly Messaging for First Time
10. First North American Encapsulated Islet Transplant without Long-term Immune Suppression into a Patient with Type 1 Diabetes
11. First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)... April 15, 2016  A new partnership announced ... accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the ... priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine ... readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in expanding ... detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016 MedDay, a biotechnology company ... the appointment of Catherine Moukheibir as Chairman of its Board ... Jean Jacques Garaud , who contributed to the rapid ... immediately. Catherine started her career in strategy consulting ... London .  She held C-Suite level roles ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... The European Patent Office ... as one of three finalists for the European Inventor Award 2016 in the category ... will be announced at a ceremony in Lisbon on June 9th. , The human ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... BioFactura, Inc ., ... A round of financing. Healthy investor interest drove significant oversubscription of the original ... biologics, known as biosimilars, to the advanced preclinical stages. , Chief Executive Officer and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: