Dr. Potashkin, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, is an expert in gene expression. She commented, "Addiction is a brain disorder that manifests itself by repetitive behaviors despite negative consequences.
Currently, there is an abundance of information known about the cellular and behavioral changes that occur during addiction, but little is understood concerning the changes that occur at the molecular level with regards to gene expression. Understanding the changes that occur between transcription and protein synthesis is key to revealing the mechanism that leads to addiction."
Dr. Potashkin's studies focus on how the primary RNA transcript is processed by splicing to produce a mature transcript. The fidelity of splicing must be maintained since errors may lead to the development of disease. One immediate and prominent alteration that occurs with administration of amphetamine or cocaine is the accumulation in one region of the brain of very stable truncated isoform of the transcription factor FosB termed DFosB that is produced by alternative splicing of the transcript.
DFosB mediates some of the neural and behavioral modifications that occur with drug addiction. The results from the study identified a splicing factor, polypyrimidine tract binding protein, as a key factor in regulating the switch in splicing that result in the truncated form of FosB being produc ed instead of the less stable full-length protein. The study also provided clues about the signaling pathway that is activated that leads to splicing regulation. This information provides several potential therapeutic targets for drug addiction.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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