Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Sequentially Expressed Genes in Neural Progenitors Create Neural Diversity

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, June 24, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists found that a series of genes sequentially expressed in brain stem cells control the generation of neural diversity in visual system of fruit flies.

In order for the brain to properly develop and function, a vast array of different types of neurons and glia must be generated from a small number of progenitor cells. By better understanding the details of this process, scientists can develop ways to recognize and remedy a range of neural afflictions such as microcephaly or neurodegeneration.

The research, conducted in the laboratory of NYU Biology Professor Claude Desplan, examined this process by studying the neurons in the visual centers of the fruit fly Drosophila. Drosophila is a powerful model for studying neural diversity because of its relative simplicity, although the studied brain structure, termed the medulla, contains approximately 40,000 neurons, belonging to more than 70 cell types.

Specifically, they examined the genes expressed in neuroblasts—dividing neural stem cells that generate neurons—in the medulla and how and when they are expressed. Their findings revealed that five genes encoding five different transcription factors—proteins that bind to specific DNA sequences—are expressed in a specified order in each of the medulla neuroblasts as they age. The five genes form a temporal cascade: one gene can activate the next gene and repress the previous gene, thus ensuring the progression of the temporal sequence.

It is this process, the researchers found, that controls the sequential generation of different neural types in the Drosophila medulla. These results, together with other studies in the field, suggest that a similar mechanism is utilized to generate neural diversity in the brains of humans and other mammals.

The study’s lead authors were Xin Li and Ted Erclik, post-doctoral fellows in the Desplan lab.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Shedding Light on the Origin of the Date Palm
Researchers also find ‘genetic mutation’ that is responsible for dates’ color.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Researchers Find “Decoder Ring” Powers in microRNA
MicroRNA can serve as a "decoder ring" for understanding complex biological processes, a team of New York Univ. chemists has found.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Differences in Tanning Treatments for Materials Discovered
NYU scientists have shown that different tanning treatments of skins can be identified.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Crystal Mysteries Spiral Deeper
Chemists have discovered crystal growth complexities, which at first glance appeared to confound 50 years of theory.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Chemists Find New Way to Put the Brakes on Cancer
US scientists are looking for the new targets and next generation of therapeutics to stop cancer nationwide.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Researchers Use Sugar to Halt Esophageal Cancer in Its Track
The findings, reported in the journal Nature Medicine, have important implications for patients and may help to monitor their condition and prevent the development of cancer.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Potential Treatment for Life-Threatening Viral Infections Revealed
The findings point to new therapies for Dengue, West Nile and Ebola.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos