Branching Out: A MicroRNA Controls Dendrite Regeneration
Overview of the press release
Dendrites, the antennae of neurons in the brain and nervous system, process incoming signals through the synaptic terminals that speckle their tree-like arbors. While dendritic structure is largely hard-wired in the adult to maintain the stability of neuronal networks, under certain conditions during development and after disease or injury, neurons have the ability to grow new dendritic branches. The discovery of a molecular program triggering dendrite regrowth would be interesting to medical science as a potential means to stimulate neurons to build new dendrites to replace those lost to injury or illness. In a study recently published in the journal PLOS Genetics, a research team led by Professor Kazuo Emoto at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN) and the Graduate School of Science at the University of Tokyo report the discovery of a molecular switch for dendrite regrowth in development and after injury involving a microRNA, miR-87, and a protein, Tramtrack69.
Figure: Removing one copy of the Tramtrack69 (ttk69) gene rescues dendrite regeneration defects in miR87 knockout neurons, indicating that miR87 requires ttk69 for its effects.
To read the full press release, please visit the International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN) website.
Journal PLoS Genetics Title
Drosophila miR-87 promotes dendrite regeneration by targeting the transcriptional repressor Tramtrack69.
Authors Yasuko Kitatani, Akane Tezuka, Eri Hasegawa, Satoyishi Yagagi, Kazuya Togashi, Masato Tsuji, Shu Kondo, Jay Z Parrish & Kazuo Emoto* DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1008942
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