A new map of mouse neuronal proteins constructed by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine may help investigators discover how neurites in the brain develop and function (Pertz OC et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.10.1073/pnas.0706545105 [published online ahead of print February 1, 2008]).
Neurons regenerate by sending out long, thin neurites that differentiate into axons or dendrites. The researchers developed a microporous filter technology that can isolate and purify these long membrane extensions,
which bud from neuronal bodies, or somata. They then used quantitative mass spectrometry, computational software, and bioinformatics to match neurite proteins to their cellular functions and to construct a blueprint of how the proteins work together to facilitate neurite formation.
They mapped 4855 proteins in neurites and somata, revealing distinct types of signaling proteins in each.
Hampton T. Neuronal Map. JAMA. 2008;299(9):1008. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.1008-b