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Cell Death Discov. 2019 Apr 25;5:90. doi: 10.1038/s41420-019-0172-8. eCollection 2019.

STIL: a multi-function protein required for dopaminergic neural proliferation, protection, and regeneration.

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1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA.
2Center for Reproductive Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, 250001 China.


Degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the brain is the major cause for Parkinson's disease (PD). While genetic loci and cellular pathways involved in DA neuron proliferation have been well documented, the genetic and molecular and cellular basis of DA cell survival remains to be elucidated. Recently, studies aimed to uncover the mechanisms of DA neural protection and regeneration have been reported. One of the most recent discoveries, i.e., multi-function of human oncogene SCL/TAL interrupting locus (Stil) in DA cell proliferation, neural protection, and regeneration, created a new field for studying DA cells and possible treatment of PD. In DA neurons, Stil functions through the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway by releasing the inhibition of SUFU to GLI1, and thereby enhances Shh-target gene transcription required for neural proliferation, protection, and regeneration. In this review article, we will highlight some of the new findings from researches relate to Stil in DA cells using zebrafish models and cultured mammalian PC12 cells. The findings may provide the proof-of-concept for the development of Stil as a tool for diagnosis and/or treatment of human diseases, particularly those caused by DA neural degeneration.


Cell death in the nervous system; Mechanisms of disease

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