Whether stem cells also occur in the human brain has long been controversial. Today, it is considered certain that the brain can form new neurons throughout life. The stem cells that have been found to be behind this process are restricted to specialized regions in the brain, so-called niches, which provide key signals that regulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. With increasing age, however, the stem cells become increasingly inactive and divide less frequently. They transition into a "quiescent" or dormant state.
So far, it was unclear why stem cells in the adult and aged brain fall into a state of rest. A research team led by Prof. Verdon Taylor from the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel has now discovered which factors block entry of stem cells into cell division. They were investigating the so-called Notch signaling pathway in more detail, a pathway central for regulating stem cell activity in the brain.
Study - Notch2 - Pathway - Expression - Transcription
The study shows that the Notch2 signaling pathway controls the expression of a specific transcription regulator called Id4. Once expressed, Id4 inhibits the division of stem cells and blocks the production...
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