A team from Yale University School of Medicine has identified a mechanism for blocking an inhibitory protein that prevents the regrowth of damaged nerves, generating hopes that their research could lead to successful treatments for brain damage and spinal cord injuries (Nature 2001, 409:341–346).

The nerve cell growth inhibitor Nogo is a component of the central nervous system myelin that prevents the regrowth of axons once they have been destroyed. In a study published in 18 January Nature Stephen Strittmatter and colleagues have identified the receptor that binds to the 66-amino acid extracellular domain of Nogo. The group reports that because this receptor is outside the nerve cell it could represent a "real target" for a molecule or drug to block Nogo from binding.

The authors hope the research could open the door to new opportunities for treating paralysis, multiple sclerosis, stroke and brain injuries. Strittmatter's team is...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?