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Neurons or Glia? Can SHP2 Know It All?

Normal development of the nervous system relies on the spatially and temporally well-controlled differentiation of neurons and glia. Here, we discuss the intra- and extracellular molecular mechanisms that underlie the sequential genesis of neurons and glia, emphasizing recent studies describing the role of a signaling molecule, the tyrosine phosphatase SHP2, in normal brain development. Activation of SHP2 simultaneously enhances downstream activation of the MEK-ERK pathway, which subsequently promotes neurogenesis, while inhibiting the JAK-STAT pathway, which is critical for astroglial differentiation. Mutations in SHP2 that increase its tyrosine phosphatase activity cause a mental retardation–related disorder, Noonan syndrome. An imbalance in neurogenesis versus gliogenesis due to SHP2 mutations may contribute to Noonan syndrome.

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Resource Type: Bibliography, Diagram, Illustration, Journal article/Issue, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program)

Author and Copyright

Authors and Editors: Volkan Coskun of David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Jing Zhao of David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Yi E. Sun of David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Format: application/pdf, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: Yes


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