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publicado em 13/09/2011 às 18h54:00
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Evolution of gene brings explanations of mental retardation and metastases

Scientists have decoded a new mechanism that regulates cell polarity in epithelial tissues or in brain neurons

 
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During an examination of the tumor suppressor gene of Drosophila - gene Dlg - scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany, were able to decode a new mechanism that regulates cell polarity in epithelial tissues or in brain neurons. The results, presented in the latest issue of Developmental Cell, will help improve understanding of how metastasis occurs, mental retardation and will create long prazode therapeutic approaches for developing treatments.

Mutations of the tumor suppressor gene Dlg enable the development of cancer and metastasis in fruit flies and mental retardation in mammals. A team of scientists led by Professor Heiko Lickert of the Institute for Stem Cell Research Helmholtz Center Munich worked in cooperation with colleagues from the Department of Protein Analysis and the Institute of Toxicology and found that the Dlg family genes gained other functions evolutionary.

Fruit flies have a copy of Dlg gene, which plays a role in regulating cell proliferation and epithelial basolateral polarity. Mammals possess four copies of the gene Dlg that develop in different ways. As a result of these changes, the Dlg3 assumed a new role. The gene is responsible for aligning apical cells and acts as a structural protein to stabilize junçõesTight (or fair). This new function is due to small changes in amino acid sequence of the protein produced by the gene Dlg3. These promote interaction with other proteins and as a result, make it possible to determine and maintain the alignment of the apical side of the cell.

In the case of a mutation, this new gene function in mammals Dlg3 could alter the tissue structure of the Spemann organizer / Mangold, which plays a key role in neural induction and development of the brain. Previous studies have shown that mutations in the gene in humans Dlg3 go hand in hand with mental retardation. Scientists could, therefore, have discovered the cause of this disorder, which also plays a decisive role in humans and that they could use as a target for new therapies and substances. Follow-up studies will help explain the mechanism in more detail because "the more we know about the mechanisms that lead to loss of cell polarity and formation of metastases, the more able we are to develop new therapeutic approaches and substances." Lickert said the teacher.

* Dlg gene: a tumor suppressor that controls cell proliferation and cell polarity. If it is mutated, causes neoplastic tumors, or proliferate in an unregulated basis, lose their polarity, and metastasis occurs as a result. Fruit flies have only one copy of the gene Dlg. In mammals, the Dlg gene family comprises four genes.

* The cell proliferation: an increase of cells through cell growth and cell division.

Cell Polarity * Apical / basal / lateral: local alignment of a cell of the epithelium. Apical refers to the outer layers, basal to the inner layers and side to side layers. This is important because different functions are performed on different sides of a cell.

* Dlg3: tumor suppressor found in mammals. If the gene mutates, mental retardation may occur. Makes a synapse associated protein 102. It is located on chromosome X.

* Tight Junctions (or fair): intersections composed of membrane proteins that maintain the neighboring cells and thus also stabilize the cell walls. These junctions close the gaps between the cells and form a diffusion barrier. Intercellular exchanges are possible between the proteins.

* Organizing Spemann / Mangold: a structure in the embryo during gastrulation organizes the development of all other cells, including neural structures.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Gene    Tumor suppressor    Drosophila    Research    Helmholtz Zentrum München   
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