Researchers find possible link between autism and nuclear receptor protein LXRβ

Research by University of Houston scientists discovered a possible link between nuclear receptor protein LXRβ (Liver X receptor Beta) and autism spectrum disorder. They found that nuclear receptor LXRβ deletion causes poor development of dentate gyrus, a part of brain’s hippocampus. The dentate gyrus, or DG, is responsible for emotion and memory and is known… Continue reading Researchers find possible link between autism and nuclear receptor protein LXRβ

Research shows key role of FoxO proteins in osteoarthritis development

Research from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute explains why the risk of osteoarthritis increases as we age and offers a potential avenue for developing new treatments. The study’s findings suggest that FOXO proteins are responsible for the maintenance of healthy cells in the cartilage of our joints. The results are published in journal Science… Continue reading Research shows key role of FoxO proteins in osteoarthritis development

Large synthetic nanoparticles mimic biomolecules

Chemists at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated that synthetic nanoparticles can achieve the same level of structural complexity, hierarchy and accuracy as their natural counterparts biomolecules. The study, published in Science, also reveals the atomic-level mechanisms behind nanoparticle self-assembly. The structure of the largest gold nanoparticle to-date, Au246(SR)80, was resolved using x-ray crystallography. Credit: Rongchao… Continue reading Large synthetic nanoparticles mimic biomolecules

Protein Wnt5a is important in sustaining adult neuron structure in mice hippocampus

Humans and other vertebrates depend on a portion of the brain called the hippocampus for learning, memory and their sense of location. Nerve cell structures in the adult hippocampus are sustained by factors whose identities have remained largely mysterious so far. Now, research led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist Dr. Kuruvilla sheds light on… Continue reading Protein Wnt5a is important in sustaining adult neuron structure in mice hippocampus

Research in mice shows molecular mechanism underlying Oxycodone addiction

RGS9-2, a key signaling protein in the brain known to play a critical role in the development of addiction-related behaviors, acts as a positive modulator of oxycodone reward in both pain-free and chronic pain states, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.… Continue reading Research in mice shows molecular mechanism underlying Oxycodone addiction

Role of retroviruses in evolution of human brain

Over millions of years, retroviruses have been incorporated into our human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 percent of the total genome. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has now discovered a mechanism through which these retroviruses may have an impact on gene expression. This means that they may have played… Continue reading Role of retroviruses in evolution of human brain

Research unveils structure of crucial bacterial cell wall protein

Duke University researchers have provided the first close-up glimpse of a protein, called MurJ, which is crucial for building the bacterial cell wall and protecting it from outside attack. The research is published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. Researchers at Duke University solved the structure of an enzyme that is crucial for helping bacteria… Continue reading Research unveils structure of crucial bacterial cell wall protein

Computer models to analyze Huntington disease pathology

Rice University scientists have uncovered new details about how a repeating nucleotide sequence in the gene for a mutant protein may trigger Huntington’s and other neurological diseases. Researchers used computer models to analyze proteins suspected of misfolding and forming plaques in the brains of patients with neurological diseases. Their simulations confirmed experimental results by other… Continue reading Computer models to analyze Huntington disease pathology

Role of nerve growth factor in glucose metabolism

Research led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist demonstrates the workings of a biochemical pathway that helps control glucose in the bloodstream, a development that could potentially lead to treatments for diabetes. In a paper published in the current issue of Developmental Cell, Jessica Houtz, a graduate student working with Rejji Kuruvilla in the Department… Continue reading Role of nerve growth factor in glucose metabolism

Researchers discover how selenium is incorporated into proteins

Humans need eight essential trace elements for good health, and one of them is selenium – a powerful antioxidant that is important for thyroid and brain function as well as metabolism. But trace elements can’t be used by the body until they are integrated into a protein molecule. Selenium is unique because it is folded… Continue reading Researchers discover how selenium is incorporated into proteins