Colorful bundles gather in a triangular shape. It looks like broccoli of different colors are planted thickly. The international journal Nature published a cover image this week depicting a mass of nerve cells (neurons) in a mammalian brain.
Neurons, units of the nervous system, carry information between the sensory organs and the brain. At this time, he was very interested in how the power to carry information works.
Eleftherios Cosmidis, a research team at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, published a study on the nature of vacuolar ATPase (V-ATpase), which plays an important role in the process of ‘transporting’ information in neurons, on the 23rd (local). time) in Nature.
V-ATpase is one of the enzymes in our body. This enzyme has the ability to cross many types of cell membranes and activate protons. Protons activated in this way become a type of fuel necessary for information to pass back and forth between the sensory organs and the brain.
The research team carried out animal experiments on mammals to confirm how V-ATpase works. It was confirmed by analyzing electrical signals how many protons are activated when information is transmitted.
Analysis showed that the enzyme was not constantly activating protons. This enzyme has been observed to switch back and forth between three states: an ‘active state’, an ‘inactive state’ and a ‘proton-leaking state’.
The research team explained that the speed at which V-ATpase switches can affect the process used by neurons to transmit information. In addition, it should be noted that this enzyme can change to different states on its own in order not to overload. The research team explained, “In this study, we have identified an important property of V-ATpase to switch to ‘power-saving mode’ like a machine.”