The group of Dr. Teresa Iglesias from the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Sols-Morreale (IIBM) and Dr. Eva Porlan from the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBMSO) have discovered that the Kidins220 protein is key to the survival of neural stem cells and to neurogenesis in the adult brain.
This study, published in the journal Cell Death & Disease, shows that Kidins220 is a key molecule in the survival of neural stem cells (NSCs) and in the generation of new neurons or neurogenesis in the adult brain. Adult neurogenesis is the generation and integration of new neurons after embryonic brain development is complete. This phenomenon is driven by the proliferation, survival and differentiation of a population of NSCs that remain in the adult brain and reside in specific microenvironments (the neurogenic niches).
"Deciphering the molecular basis of the regulated activation that NSCs must undergo to proliferate, survive and generate new cellular progeny in adult brains is of great relevance. This helps us to understand why the regenerative capacity of the brain is limited and what we can do to increase it in aging or neurodegenerative diseases," says Eva Porlan, one of the lead and corresponding authors of the study.
"In this study we have identified that mice with low levels of Kidins220 showed severe neurogenic deficits and impaired spatial memory, adds Teresa Iglesias, CSIC research professor and head of the CIBERNED group. KIDINS220 (Kinase D interacting substrate of 220 kDa) is a protein whose expression is altered in several neurodegenerative diseases in humans, such as Huntingon's disease, Alzheimer's disease and chronic adult hydrocephalus, SINO syndrome in children, neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, as well as cancer. "Our results have unveiled new functions for Kidins220 both in NSCs and in adult neurogenesis which is very significant, since Kidins220 is a gene that could play an essential role in slowing cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases and aging" concludes Teresa Iglesias.
This work, published in the journal Cell Death & Disease, has been co-led by researchers from the IIBM and the CBMSO (both Institutes are joint centers of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). Research personnel from other institutions in Spain and abroad have also participated. Two CIBER have participated in this study, from the Neurodegenerative (CIBERNED) and Cardiovascular (CIBERCV) areas.
Shown in the photo are: Coral López Fonseca (on the right) and Ana Simón García (on the left), two of the first signatories of the study. Celia López Menéndez (second from left), and the study leaders Teresa Iglesias, from the IIBM (CSIC-UAM) and head of the CIBERNED group, and Eva Porlan, from the CBMSO (CSIC-UAM).