Study discovers gene that helps us know when it’s time to urinate

Study discovers gene that helps us know when it’s time to urinate

The PIEZO2 gene contains instructions for making proteins that are activated when cells are stretched or squeezed. It may help certain bladder cells gauge expansion while also sparking neurons to relay tension signals to the rest of the nervous system. In 2010, Dr. Patapoutian’s team discovered the PIEZO2 gene along with a similar gene called PIEZO1 in a line of mouse brain tumors. They also found that the PIEZO2 gene was turned on in some “umbrella” cells which are found among the cells that line the inside of a bladder. “Our results show how the PIEZO2 gene tightly coordinates urination,” said Dr. Chesler.

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