Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nano-motors facilitate communication between brain cells

Dr Kittler's research is published in the 14 January issue of Neuron journal
Dr Kittler's research is published in the 14 January issue of Neuron journal

Abstract:
MRC-funded scientists led by Dr Josef Kittler (UCL Neuroscience) have identified how nano-sized motors in nerve cells help to regulate the balance of communication in the brain.

Nano-motors facilitate communication between brain cells

UK | Posted on January 22nd, 2010

The findings may also help to explain why communication between nerve cells is disrupted in Huntington's disease, leading to altered electrical behaviour of nerve cells in this disease.

Nerve cells send signals to each other by releasing chemicals at specialized junctions between the cells called synapses. One key neurotransmitter, called GABA, acts on special proteins (GABA receptors) to generate inhibition, which stops the brain from becoming too excitable. In a paper published this week in the journal Neuron, Dr Kittler reveals how a protein named HAP1, working together with molecular motor proteins, helps to guide the GABA receptors to the synapses.

Alison Twelvetrees (UCL Neuroscience) first author on the study, said: "This work advances our understanding of how the GABA receptor proteins are delivered to synapses to control the level of inhibition in the brain. We show that the receptors are transported to synapses by small nanometer-sized motors, on intracellular protein tracks called microtubules".

In the inherited neurological disorder Huntington's disease, a mutation in the gene for the protein huntingtin leads to the production of a mutant huntingtin protein. This can disrupt several aspects of normal nerve cell function, including the function of the synapses. This altered function of synapses is likely to be an important contributor to the progression of the disorder.

Lead author Dr Josef Kittler said: "Our work shows how the transport of the GABA receptors to synapses is disrupted by the protein that is mutated in Huntington's disease, and adds another piece to the complex puzzle of how synaptic communication in the brain gets disrupted in this disorder".

The research is a good example of how understanding the way that tiny, but crucial, cell components such as synapses function contributes to understanding problems that affect whole body systems.

For more information about Dr Kittler's research, please visit his webpage:

www.ucl.ac.uk/npp/jk.html

####

About University College London
UCL was founded in 1826 as a radically different university, opening up English higher education for the first time to people of all beliefs and social backgrounds. That radical tradition remains alive today. Our research strategy commits us to addressing UCL's 'Grand Challenges', by working together right across the university in order to tackle the problems that face us today - in global health, sustainable cities, intercultural understanding, and human wellbeing. We believe in undertaking fundamental research and in applying it.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © University College London

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads: Diamond nanothreads are likely to have extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers September 22nd, 2014

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale: Discovery is another step toward faster and more energy-efficient optical devices for computation and communication September 22nd, 2014

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research September 22nd, 2014

Twisted graphene chills out: When two sheets of graphene are stacked in a special way, it is possible to cool down the graphene with a laser instead of heating it up, University of Manchester researchers have shown September 22nd, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Engineered proteins stick like glue — even in water: New adhesives based on mussel proteins could be useful for naval or medical applications September 22nd, 2014

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads: Diamond nanothreads are likely to have extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers September 22nd, 2014

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale: Discovery is another step toward faster and more energy-efficient optical devices for computation and communication September 22nd, 2014

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research September 22nd, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Molecular Machines

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Engineered proteins stick like glue — even in water: New adhesives based on mussel proteins could be useful for naval or medical applications September 22nd, 2014

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research September 22nd, 2014

Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014

The Pocket Project will develop a low-cost and accurate point-of-care test to diagnose Tuberculosis: ICN2 holds a follow-up meeting of the Project on September 18th - 19th September 18th, 2014

Announcements

Engineers show light can play seesaw at the nanoscale: Discovery is another step toward faster and more energy-efficient optical devices for computation and communication September 22nd, 2014

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research September 22nd, 2014

Twisted graphene chills out: When two sheets of graphene are stacked in a special way, it is possible to cool down the graphene with a laser instead of heating it up, University of Manchester researchers have shown September 22nd, 2014

New star-shaped molecule breakthrough: Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created September 22nd, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

New star-shaped molecule breakthrough: Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created September 22nd, 2014

Arrowhead to Present at BioCentury's NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference September 19th, 2014

CiQUS researchers design an artificial nose to detect DNA differentiation with single nucleotide resolution September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE