Scientists have made a new discovery with a protein that is supposed to help brain cells direct traffic from within the brain. This protein is called MEC-17. Working for an online traffic school I call the MEC-17 your brains traffic cop. Scientists are hoping that this protein will play a part in their much research of various diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington. Scientists are already aware of the fact that degeneration inside the brain takes place due to the changes to microtubules which are tiny tubes situated inside brain cells. The role microtubules play is the ensuring of nutrients, proteins and waste being transported to its rightful destinations. These tiny tubes also help with cell growth and in signaling that arises between brain cells.
If a drug can have an impact on microtubules along its transport, this can lead to degenerative research of diseases. Scientists have now found that MEC-17 displays certain marks on microtubules. Marks created on these tiny tubes direct it where it should transport proteins and so on to which part of the brain and in what direction. Depending on whether it is a sending signal or receiving signal, microtubules showed more marks in some cases.
MEC-17 was first discovered during the study of human cancer cells and other organism’s nerve cells in zebrafish and C. elegans, a nematode worm. For instance, in research done on zebrafish, neuromuscular defects were noticed with the depletion of MEC-17 and in nematode worm, its sensation touch was affected. Now that scientists understand the use of MEC-17 a little better, it is hoped that research can lead to a drug being developed to block or to enhance it. I wonder if scientist will be able to develop a traffic school for our cells? LOL!