Posted August. 23, 2005 03:28,
A Korean research team has revealed for the first time a genetic mechanism which will be able to revive dying neural stem cells. This discovery is expected to highly benefit the development of cures for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers.
Veterinary professor Kang Kyung-sun (42) of Seoul National University said on August 22, After two years of research, we found the gene NPC-1, which is responsible for perishing neural stem cells and causing intractable and degenerative diseases, and identified the deactivating mechanism. This discovery was featured in the latest internet express edition of Stem Cells, the prestigious journal of stem cells. Related technology has already been applied for international and domestic patents, and a move to commercialize this with a domestic bio-venture company, RNL BIO, has been made.
The research on self-renewal ability and differentiation of stem cells is the core research in the field.
Prof. Kangs team was researching mice with the Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC-1) disease when they found out that the NPC-1 gene had an essential role in the renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells.
Prof. Kang said, If this gene does not exist, the renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells do not activate well, which will eventually cause degenerative diseases to occur. This medical breakthrough can be applied in developing cures for Alzheimers and other degenerative diseases.