Neurotrophic roles of the beta-thymosins in the development and regeneration of the nervous system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Citations (Scopus)


Beta-thymosins (Tβs) are polypeptides abundant in the cytosol, nucleus, and extracellular space of many cell types. In the nervous system, the expression of Tβs is regulated during the development of the central nervous system and following neuronal insults in cell-type and brain-region dependent manners, which may be related to the function of Tβs in the growth and regeneration of the nervous system. Supporting such a proposition, overexpression of Tβs in neurons has been shown to modify the axonal branches in vivo and neurite branches in vitro. These neurite-modifying functions have been suggested to be due to the activity of Tβs to bind actin. In addition, we recently observed that Tβs suppressed the apoptotic neuronal death in chick embryos, and these functions might be mediated by the extracellularly secreted form(s) of Tβs. These results suggest that Tβs play neurotrophic roles in the neuroprotection and neuronal growth/regeneration via their cytosolic actin-remodeling activity and extracellular antiapoptotic activity. Even though further verification is required, we also observed that Tβ15 was translocated into the injured neuronal nuclei, and this event appeared to be an eliminatory process of the injured cells. Therefore, treatment with Tβs or their related peptides appear to be beneficial for neuronal diseases by preventing neuronal death or promoting neuronal regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1573317012, 9781573317016
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Beta-thymosins
  • Dendrite development
  • Extracellular secretion
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nuclear translocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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