News at Medicine - August 2013 - New publication from Vanderluit lab

New publication from Vanderluit lab
August 8, 2013
Mahmud Hasan, a research technician supervised by Dr. Jacqueline Vanderluit, is the author of the paper titled Mcl1 regulates the terminal mitosis of neural precursor cells in the mammalian brain through p27Kip1, published in the August 1, 2013 issue of the journal Development. 
This work is based on his M.Sc. thesis in neuroscience at the Faculty of Medicine. Mr. Hasan’s research focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate the survival and differentiation of neural precursor cells. The embryonic neural precursor cells are a heterogeneous population composed of neural stem cells and progenitor cells. Thus, understanding the cellular mechanism by which these cells survive and then differentiate into nerve cells provides great insight about stem cell biology and will be beneficial for designing stem cell-based therapy.

Mr. Hasan contributed to some previous work done in Dr. Vanderluit’s lab providing evidence that Mcl1 is a critical survival factor for both embryonic and adult neural precursor cells. In this publication, he discovered a previously unknown role of Mcl1 – promoting differentiation of neural precursor cells. He found that Mcl1 regulates the activity of p27Kip1, a key protein required for the differentiation of neural precursor cells. Therefore, upregulation of p27Kip1 by Mcl1 promotes a neural precursor cell to become a nerve cell in the developing brain.

“This is exciting because we found one particular protein, which promotes not only survival of neural precursor cells, but also promotes their differentiation”, said Mr. Hasan. “I hope that this knowledge will be helpful in the future for designing stem cell based-therapies in clinically relevant brain injury models.”