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Molecular basis of brain dysfunction and embryo malformation associated with thalidomide


Scientists have identified the molecule involved in thalidomide-related dysfunctions associated with in utero brain and organ development. Their in vivo results using a zebrafish model of mammalian development showed that thalidomide binds to a protein named cereblon, a subunit of an enzyme complex responsible for the creation of neurons, thereby inhibiting normal brain development. Their results suggest this protein as a possible therapeutic target for regulating abnormal brain development.