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Stock K.,Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine | Kumar J.,Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine | Synowitz M.,Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine | Synowitz M.,University Medicine Berlin | And 23 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2012

Primary astrocytomas of grade 3 or 4 according to the classification system of the World Health Organization (high-grade astrocytomas or HGAs) are preponderant among adults and are almost invariably fatal despite the use of multimodal therapy. Here we show that the juvenile brain has an endogenous defense mechanism against HGAs. Neural precursor cells (NPCs) migrate to HGAs, reduce glioma expansion and prolong survival time by releasing endovanilloids that activate the vanilloid receptor (transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member-1 or TRPV1) on HGA cells. TRPV1 is highly expressed in tumor and weakly expressed in tumor-free brain. TRPV1 stimulation triggers tumor cell death through the branch of the endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway that is controlled by activating transcription factor-3 (ATF3). The antitumorigenic response of NPCs is lost with aging. NPC-mediated tumor suppression can be mimicked in the adult brain by systemic administration of the synthetic vanilloid arvanil, suggesting that TRPV1 agonists have potential as new HGA therapeutics. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hu J.,Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation | Hu J.,Center for Integrative Neuroscience | Chiang L.-Y.,Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation | Koch M.,University of Cologne | Lewin G.R.,Molecular Physiology of Somatic Sensation
EMBO Journal | Year: 2010

The gating of ion channels by mechanical force underlies the sense of touch and pain. The mode of gating of mechanosensitive ion channels in vertebrate touch receptors is unknown. Here we show that the presence of a protein link is necessary for the gating of mechanosensitive currents in all low-threshold mechanoreceptors and some nociceptors of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Using TEM, we demonstrate that a protein filament with of length 100 nm is synthesized by sensory neurons and may link mechanosensitive ion channels in sensory neurons to the extracellular matrix. Brief treatment of sensory neurons with non-specific and site-specific endopeptidases destroys the protein tether and abolishes mechanosensitive currents in sensory neurons without affecting electrical excitability. Protease-sensitive tethers are also required for touch-receptor function in vivo. Thus, unlike the majority of nociceptors, cutaneous mechanoreceptors require a distinct protein tether to transduce mechanical stimuli. © 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization.

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