Stem Cells (50160258728)
NIH scientists showed how ancient retroviral genes, or “junk DNA”, may play a role in helping stem cells decide to become neurons.
The image is a picture of stem cells in a petri dish. The blue dots represent cell nuclei. Green dots represent HERV-K, HML-2 viral envelope proteins encoded by “junk DNA” while red dots represent the immune cell protein CD98HC. Interactions between the two proteins produced a yellow color. The study suggests that these interactions restrain stem cells from becoming neurons and that turning off HERV-K, HML-2 activity frees them.
Learn more: <a href="https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/turning-junk-dna-may-free-stem-cells-become-neurons" rel="noreferrer nofollow">www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/turning-junk-dna-ma...</a>
Credit: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH