A key protein identified for the longevity of the brain cell

Summary: INSR, a protein necessary for insulin function, plays an important role in the longevity of the stem cell. In addition, activation of INSR in stem cells of glioblastoma brain cancer inhibits the growth of primitive tumor-causing cells.

A source: Rutgers

According to Rutgers, the receptors, first identified as necessary for the effects of insulin on neurons located deep in the brains of mice, are essential for the longevity of brain stem cells. Future treatments for brain health and brain diseases.

The study appeared in the journal Stem Cell ReportsIt clearly identifies a specific protein called insulin receptor (INSR), which is abundant in nerve stem cells living in the subventricular zone of the brain.

During development, nerve stem cells form the entire nervous system and are stored until they reach adulthood. Throughout their lives, these neurons create new neurons and non-neuronal cells that provide the brain’s infrastructure and function.

Separately, in their study of brain tumors, the researchers concluded that INSR plays a key role in supporting and maintaining a population of specialized brain cancer cells called glioblastoma (GBM) stem cells. When they did not activate the INSR in GBM stem cells, they inhibited the growth of primary tumor-forming cells.

“Under normal and abnormal growth, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that are important for the growth and stability of brain stem cells,” said Stephen Levison, professor and director of neurology at the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neurology. Rutgers is a Fellow of the Regenerative Neurobiology Laboratory at New Jersey Medical School.

“Understanding the signals that regulate these primitive cells could one day lead to new therapies for brain diseases.”

Many neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, are associated with brain cell damage, says co-author Theresa Wood, a respected professor and chair of Rena Warshow’s Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Sclerosis. Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Neurology.

“If we can influence the functioning of brain stem cells, we can use this knowledge to replace diseased or dead brain cells with living cells. This will advance the treatment of neurological diseases and brain injuries,” Wood said. Cancer Institute in New Jersey.

Cell receptors, such as INSR, are protein molecules located on the surface of cells. Natural or man-made substances that unlock the receptor can cause the cell to divide, differentiate, or die.

By determining which receptors perform these functions in certain cell types and by understanding their structures and functions, scientists can design substances that serve as keys to receptors, such as “on” or “off.”

Previous research by this research group has shown that a specific “key”, a signaling protein called insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II), is needed to hold neurons in two parts of the adult brain. it contains primitive cells.

The idea that adult neurogenesis — the formation of new cells in the brains of adults — has become an advanced field of research since the late 1990s, when researchers confirmed the theory of human, primate, and bird brains only in laboratory studies. Image in public domain

In the current experiment, scientists tried to determine the receptor. To do this, they used genetic tools that allowed them to destroy the INSR and introduce a fluorescent protein, so they could detect neuronal stem cells and the cells they formed.

They found that the number of neuronal stem cells in the subventricular zone in the brains of mice without INSR was destroyed.

The idea that adult neurogenesis — the formation of new cells in the brains of adults — has become an advanced field of research since the late 1990s, when researchers confirmed the theory of human, primate, and bird brains only in laboratory studies. Adult neurons are the nucleus cells that can regenerate on their own to produce new neurons and the brain’s supporting cells, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes.

“Given the interest in stem cells, as well as whether or not adult stem cell modification contributes to cancer, the results of our study should be interesting,” Levison said.

Genetic research news about this

Author: Press service
A source: Rutgers
The connection: Press Service – Rutgers
Photo: Image in public domain

Original study: Open access.
“The subventricular zone requires insulin receptors for self-renewal in large mouse nerve cells,” Shravanthi Chidambaram et al. Stem Cell Reports


See also

This indicates the head erased with a pencil eraser

Advanced subventricular mouse nerve cells need insulin receptors for self-renewal


  • Insulin receptor (INSR) is important for the self-renewal of adult SVZ neurons
  • Destruction of INSR causes hyposmia with increased neurogenesis of the olfactory bulb
  • Hippocampal cells (and related behaviors) do not require INSR
  • Glioblastomas overexpress the INSR pathway components necessary for tumor growth

A result

Insulin receptor (INSR) is an evolutionarily preserved signaling protein that regulates development and metabolism in the cell. INSR signaling promotes neurogenesis Drosophila; however, the specific role of INSR in adult neuronal stem cells (NSCs) in mammals has not been studied.

We show conditional destruction insr Adult mouse NSCs reduce subventricular zone NSCs by ~ 70% accompanied by an appropriate increase in gene progenitors.

insr Destruction also causes hyposmia caused by the neurogenesis of the aberrant olfactory bulb. Interestingly, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal dependent behaviors are not disturbed.

In highly aggressive proneural and mesenchymal glioblastomas, INSR / insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathway gene expression was high, while isolated glioma stem cells had an aberrant high ratio of INSR: IGF type 1 receptors.

apart from this, INSR The collapse inhibited the growth of GBM tumors. Overall, these data suggest that INSR is important for part of normal NSC, as well as for self-renewal of brain tumor stem cells.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.