Navigation Links
Caltech scientists engineer supersensitive receptor, gain better understanding of dopamine system
Date:10/14/2008

PASADENA, Calif.--Genetically modifying a receptor found on the neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine has given California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers a unique glimpse into the workings of the brain's dopamine system--as well as a new target for treating diseases that result from either too much or too little of this critical neurotransmitter.

Caltech scientists Henry Lester, Bren Professor of Biology, and Ryan Drenan, senior postdoctoral scholar in biology, worked with colleagues from Caltech, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Rockefeller University, the University of Utah, and the pharmaceutical company Targacept. They genetically modified a type of brain receptor known as an "α6-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor" to make it more sensitive to both nicotine and acetylcholine. (Acetylcholine is another of the brain's neurotransmitters.)

The receptor in question is found primarily on neurons that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. When the receptor is kicked into action by the presence of either nicotine or acetylcholine--two of the keys that fit its biochemical lock--the receptor prompts the neurons on which it sits to begin pumping out dopamine.

While previous studies of this same receptor had shown what happens when you block its function--when you put the brakes on dopamine production--this was the first time anyone was able to look at what happens when you make the receptor more sensitive and thus put the dopamine system into overdrive. "We were able to not only isolate this receptor's function, but also to amplify it," says Drenan, "and that allowed us to see exactly what it and it alone is capable of doing in the brain."

As it turns out, it's capable of doing a lot. Revved up by even low doses of nicotine, these receptors prompt the neurons on which they are clustered to let loose with a flood of dopamine. This flooding was obvious from the behavior of mice carr
'/>"/>

Contact: Lori Oliwenstein
lorio@caltech.edu
626-395-3631
California Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Caltech biologists spy on the secret inner life of a cell
2. Caltech scientists create DNA tubes with programmable sizes for nanoscale manufacturing
3. Caltech researchers awarded $10M for molecular programming project
4. Caltech engineers build mini drug-producing biofactories in yeast
5. Caltech neurobiologists discover individuals who hear movement
6. Caltech scientists awarded $20 million to Power the Planet
7. Caltech researchers find dual-use sexual attraction and population-control chemicals in nematodes
8. UNC, Caltech research finds further evidence for genetic contribution to autism
9. Extreme nature helps scientists design nano materials
10. Forsyth scientists trigger cancer-like response from embryonic stem cells
11. Scientists trace molecular origin of proportional development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/11/2014)... Researchers from Salk Institute for Biological Studies, BGI, ... the safety and reliability of the existing targeted ... method, TALEN-HDAdV, which could significantly increased gene-correction efficiency ... study published online in Cell Stell Cell ... cell-based gene therapy. , The combination of stem ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... July 11, 2014 Researchers have pioneered a ... The new technology, called Virtual Finger, allows scientists ... like neurons and synapses using the flat surface ... makes 3D imaging studies orders of magnitude more ... unprecedented level across many areas of experimental biology. ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... is evidence that under the normal circumstances, ... development, maintain neuronal environment, and exhibit therapeutic ... neurodegenerative disease. Previous studies have found that ... after chemical induction have reduced viability, which ... Prof. Xiaodong Yuan, Kailuan General Hospital, Hebei ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):A new genome editing method brings the possibility of gene therapies closer to reality 2Virtual finger enables scientists to navigate and analyze complex 3D images 2
... varieties with higher yields and enhanced nutritional content, researchers ... with scientists at nine other institutions in an attempt ... endeavor, led by researchers at the U.K.-based Biotechnology and ... in the journal Nature . "This work ...
... release is available in Spanish . WASHINGTON, ... as part of an international team have completed a "shotgun sequencing" ... Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase ... wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value. "By unlocking the ...
... code of one of the world,s most important crops. The ... genome, published today in Nature , is a major ... better able to cope with disease, drought and other stresses ... wheat genes, and insights into the links between them, lays ...
Cached Biology News:UC Davis researchers aid effort to sequence the complex wheat genome 2USDA scientists and cooperators sequence the wheat genome in breakthrough for global food security 2USDA scientists and cooperators sequence the wheat genome in breakthrough for global food security 3Major breakthrough in deciphering bread wheat's genetic code 2Major breakthrough in deciphering bread wheat's genetic code 3Major breakthrough in deciphering bread wheat's genetic code 4
(Date:7/11/2014)... 2014 /CNW/ - Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Sunovion) today ... acetate) for use as a once-daily adjunctive therapy for ... who are not satisfactorily controlled with conventional therapy.  APTIOM ... under 18 years of age. Epilepsy ... according to Epilepsy Canada, it affects 0.6% of the ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... 2014 Product and process impurities ... abundance and are often “lost in the noise,” ... Join presenters Dr. Rowel Tobias, Senior Scientist, Protein ... Head of Quality at Nanotherapeutics, Inc., to lear ... speed detection and quantitation while achieving the required ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... 2014 Unraveling life’s mysteries can intrigue, ... Archer Family purchased a DNA test to ... up with a lifetime of memories, sharing, and closeness. ... members’ DNA genuinely brought the family closer together. ... into genetic history and prior to taking the ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... (PRWEB) July 10, 2014 Senior supply ... and professional associations, addressed the challenges of “Reducing Cost, ... Device Industries” through strategic sourcing. Describing the partnership of ... the Supply Chain Management Institute ( SCMI) of ... on June 24 at the Kroc Institute of Peace ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Announces Health Canada Approval of APTIOM(TM) (eslicarbazepine acetate) as a Once-Daily Adjunctive Treatment for Partial-Onset Seizures in Patients with Epilepsy 2Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Announces Health Canada Approval of APTIOM(TM) (eslicarbazepine acetate) as a Once-Daily Adjunctive Treatment for Partial-Onset Seizures in Patients with Epilepsy 3Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Announces Health Canada Approval of APTIOM(TM) (eslicarbazepine acetate) as a Once-Daily Adjunctive Treatment for Partial-Onset Seizures in Patients with Epilepsy 4Novel Ms Techniques Speed Detection of Biopharmaceutical Product and Process Impurities, New Webinar Hosted by Xtalks 2Ancestry DNA Test Reveals a Controversial and Undiscovered Family History 2Ancestry DNA Test Reveals a Controversial and Undiscovered Family History 3Ancestry DNA Test Reveals a Controversial and Undiscovered Family History 4Ancestry DNA Test Reveals a Controversial and Undiscovered Family History 5Biotech & Biopharm Supply Chain Management Executives Launch BSMA in San Diego 2Biotech & Biopharm Supply Chain Management Executives Launch BSMA in San Diego 3Biotech & Biopharm Supply Chain Management Executives Launch BSMA in San Diego 4
... sunlight at a modest cost is a challenge with ... paper in a special energy issue of Optics ... a relatively new approach to solar cells: lacing them ... the article, this approach has the potential to greatly ...
... GREENBELT, Md. - Engineers at the University of Idaho ... in upcoming NASA missions that will study the Earth ... of a grant technical officer Pen-Shu Yeh, a senior ... the engineering team at the University of ...
... Md. - Engineers at the University of Idaho have ... upcoming NASA missions that will study the Earth and ... a grant technical officer Pen-Shu Yeh, a senior engineer ... engineering team at the University of Idaho,s ...
Cached Biology Technology:Enhancing solar cells with nanoparticles 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on 2 NASA missions 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on 2 NASA missions 3New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on two NASA missions 2New one-of-a-kind technology will fly on two NASA missions 3
... The VSOS-4 Orbital Shaker is designed to ... provide a uniform motion that is both mixing ... VSOS-4 Orbital Shaker provides a smooth, quiet, reproducible ... a wide range of laboratory applications such as ...
... Titer Kit is designed for determination of baculovirus ... days as in other methods. Classical determination of ... plaques, but the FastPlax Kit takes advantage of ... glycoprotein on the cell surface as early as ...
... state-of-the-art software for all your biopharmaceutical applications ... a single, scalable software package. The graphical ... the control of all Freedom instruments from ... 100 with one liquid handling arm up ...
... Kit is an advanced system for isolating DNA from ... be used directly for any downstream application. ... to use in 56 minutes Low melting point ... and TBE gels No specialised equipment required ...
Biology Products: