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How do neurons develop?

Memphis, Tennessee, October 28, 2020

Three researchers wearing masks and standing outside while looking at camera.

From left: Taren Ong, PhD; David Solecki, PhD; and Niraj Trivedi, PhD, all of St. Jude Developmental Neurobiology, contributed to research that studies a how a particular protein affects how neurons develop.

St. Jude scientists have found a protein that governs how neurons develop. This protein is called Siah2.

The study reveals how brain cells mature and form a functioning network. This study also identifies a path to treat medulloblastoma. That cancer is the most common malignant brain tumor in children.

“Medulloblastoma arises from abnormal growth of immature neurons in the brain,” said David Solecki, PhD, of Developmental Neurobiology. “A subtype of the cancer, SHH-medulloblastoma, has abnormally high activity of Siah2. In mice, inhibiting Siah2 restored normal neuronal development.”

Other scientists are developing drugs to inhibit Siah.

Nature Communications published a report on this work. 


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