Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Helping Neuronal Repair

Science's STKE  11 Oct 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 305, pp. tw358
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3052005tw358

Regeneration of axons in the central nervous system after injury is limited, in part because of inhibitory signals derived from myelin and glia. Koprivica et al. (see the news story by Miller) screened a bank of small molecules to identify molecules that might alleviate the inhibition. The results implicate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the endogenous signaling that allows myelin to block neurite outgrowth. Of about 400 small molecules screened, tyrphostin variants seemed particularly effective. Because EGFR inhibitors are already in clinical use for cancer patients, it is possible that these findings could be exploited rapidly in the treatment of neuronal injury.

V. Koprivica, K.-S. Cho, J. B. Park, G. Yiu, J. Atwal, B. Gore, J. A. Kim, E. Lin, M. Tessier-Lavigne, D. F. Chen, Z. He, EGFR activation mediates inhibition of axon regeneration by myelin and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Science 310, 106-110 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

G. Miller, Cancer drugs may help injured nerve cells regrow their axons. Science 310, 31 (2005). [Summary] [Full Text]

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