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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The extracellular matrix glycoprotein Tenascin-C is expressed by oligodendrocyte precursor cells and required for the regulation of maturation rate, survival and responsiveness to platelet-derived growth factor.

Analysis of Tenascin-C (TN-C) knockout mice revealed novel roles for this extracellular matrix ( ECM) protein in regulation of the developmental programme of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), their maturation into myelinating oligodendrocytes and sensitivity to growth factors. A major component of the ECM of developing nervous tissue, TN-C was expressed in zones of proliferation, migration and morphogenesis. Examination of TN-C knockout mice showed roles for TN-C in control of OPC proliferation and migration towards zones of myelination [E. Garcion et al. (2001) Development, 128, 2485-2496]. Extending our studies of TN-C effects on OPC development we found that OPCs can endogenously express TN-C protein. This expression covered the whole range of possible TN-C isoforms and could be strongly up-regulated by leukaemia inhibitory factor and ciliary neurotrophic factor, cytokines known to modulate OPC proliferation and survival. Comparative analysis of TN-C knockout OPCs with wild-type OPCs reveals an accelerated rate of maturation in the absence of TN-C, with earlier morphological differentiation and precocious expression of myelin basic protein. TN-C knockout OPCs plated on poly-lysine displayed higher levels of apoptosis than wild-type OPCs and there was also an earlier loss of responsiveness to the protective effects of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), indicating that TN-C has anti-apoptotic effects that may be associated with PDGF signalling. The existence of mechanisms to compensate for the absence of TN-C in the knockout is indicated by the development of oligodendrocytes derived from TN-C knockout neurospheres. These were present in equivalent proportions to those found in wild-type neurospheres but displayed enhanced myelin membrane formation.[1]


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