Alaine C. Keebaugh

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Hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT1) is a key enzyme in the purine salvage pathway, and mutations in HPRT1 cause Lesch-Nyhan disease. The studies described here utilized targeted comparative mapping and sequencing, in conjunction with database searches, to assemble a collection of 53 HPRT1 homologs from 28 vertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis of(More)
Oxytocin receptors (OXTR) in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) promote alloparental behavior and partner preference formation in female prairie voles. Within the NAcc there is significant individual variation in OXTR binding and virgin juvenile and adult females with a high density of OXTR in the NAcc display an elevated propensity to engage in alloparental(More)
Lesch-Nyhan disease (LND) is a severe X-linked neurological disorder caused by a deficiency of hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT). In contrast, HPRT-deficiency in the mouse does not result in the profound phenotypes such as self-injurious behavior observed in humans, and the genetic basis for this phenotypic disparity between HPRT-deficient(More)
Polymorphisms in noncoding regions of the vasopressin 1a receptor gene (Avpr1a) are associated with a variety of socioemotional characteristics in humans, chimpanzees, and voles, and may impact behavior through a site-specific variation in gene expression. The socially monogamous prairie vole offers a unique opportunity to study such neurobiological control(More)
One of the major contributions of recent personality psychology is the finding that traits are related to each other in an organized hierarchy. To date, however, researchers have yet to investigate this hierarchy in nonhuman primates. Such investigations are critical in confirming the cross-species nature of trait personality helping to illuminate(More)
Despite their genetic similarity to humans, our understanding of the role of genes on cognitive traits in chimpanzees remains virtually unexplored. Here, we examined the relationship between genetic variation in the arginine vasopressin V1a receptor gene (AVPR1A) and social cognition in chimpanzees. Studies have shown that chimpanzees are polymorphic for a(More)
Oxytocin (OT) is a deeply conserved nonapeptide that acts both peripherally and centrally to modulate reproductive physiology and sociosexual behavior across divergent taxa, including humans. In vertebrates, the distribution of the oxytocin receptor (OTR) in the brain is variable within and across species, and OTR signaling is critical for a variety of(More)
Gene loss has been proposed to play a major role in adaptive evolution, and recent studies are beginning to reveal its importance in human evolution. However, the potential consequence of a single gene-loss event upon the fates of functionally interrelated genes is poorly understood. Here, we use the purine metabolic pathway as a model system in which to(More)
Oxytocin modulates many aspects of social cognition and behaviors, including maternal nurturing, social recognition and bonding. Natural variation in oxytocin receptor (OXTR) density in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) is associated with variation in alloparental behavior, and artificially enhancing OXTR expression in the NAcc enhances alloparental behavior and(More)
The end product of purine catabolism varies amongst vertebrates and is a consequence of independent gene inactivation events that have truncated the purine catabolic pathway. Mammals have traditionally been grouped into two classes based on their end product of purine catabolism: most mammals, whose end product is allantoin due to an ancient loss of(More)