Brain training

April 2, 2012

The Column

Volume 8, Issue 6
Page Number: 9

The majority of the human brain is not yet fully understood and we still have a lot to learn about its workings. A group of scientists have performed a comprehensive first characterization of the human occipital lobe (primary visual cortex) and cerebellum proteomes from 12 post-mortem samples.

The majority of the human brain is not yet fully understood and we still have a lot to learn about its workings. A group of scientists have performed a comprehensive first characterization of the human occipital lobe (primary visual cortex) and cerebellum proteomes from 12 post-mortem samples.1 Proteins were identified using gel electrophoresis combined with data-independent nanoflow liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nLC–MSE). The resulting data sets comprised 391 and 330 unique proteins in occipital lobe and cerebellum, respectively, present in at least 75% of the analysed samples with 297 proteins found in common. The majority of these proteins have been identified with cellular and neuronal functions and subsequently with conditions, such as neurological disorder, progressive motor neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.

Of most note was the discovery of growth hormone and several examples of Ca2+ dependent calmodulin kinase and serine/threonine protein phosphatase in the occipital lobe. This raises the possibility that growth hormone could potentially play a part in visual processing. More research needs to be performed to identify whether these brain proteomes could help in the clarification of neurological processes and pinpoint potential targets for therapeutic strategies.

1. S. Bahn et al., Proteomics, 12(3), 500–504 (2012).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.