According to USC News, researchers at the Keck School of Medicine have discovered a mechanism that regulates neuronal stem cells, a protein receptor: Ryk.

“Neural stem cells can potentially be used for cell-replacement therapy for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as spinal cord injury,” states Wange Lu, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and the principal investigator of the study. “Knowledge gained from this study will potentially help to generate neurons for such therapy. This knowledge can also be used to inhibit the growth of brain cancer stem cells.”

This study was published in Developmental Cell (Nov. 11).