NYSCF Innovator Shows Nerve Cells Resist Transforming Into Other Cell Types
NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Investigator Alumnus and NYSCF – Robertson Stem Cell Prize recipient Dr. Marius Wernig of Stanford University published exciting results showing that nerve cells actively repress transforming into alternate cell states. The research, published in Nature, describes how nerve cells use a powerful repressor protein – Myt1l – to actively maintain their identity, suppressing the expression of genes associated with non-neuronal cell types, including skin, heart, lung, cartilage and liver.
This research is critically important for scientists trying to understand the minutia of the life cycle and function of nerves and neurons. Understanding these cells throughout their entire developmental cycle may lead to new treatments or cures for diseases caused by neuron death or dysfunction, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease among many others.