Brian E. Molles

Learn More
Worldwide, 100 million people are expected to die this century from the consequences of nicotine addiction, but nicotine is also known to enhance cognitive performance. Identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in nicotine reinforcement and cognition is a priority and requires the development of new in vivo experimental paradigms. The ventral tegmental(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors play important roles in numerous cognitive processes as well as in several debilitating central nervous system (CNS) disorders. In order to fully elucidate the diverse roles of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in CNS function and dysfunction, a detailed knowledge of their cellular and subcellular localizations is(More)
The recent characterization of an acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) from the fresh water snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, shows it to be a structural homolog of the extracellular domain of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR). To ascertain whether the AChBP exhibits the recognition properties and functional states of the nAChR, we have expressed the(More)
Waglerin-1 (Wtx-1) is a 22-amino acid peptide that competitively antagonizes muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Previous work demonstrated that Wtx-1 binds to mouse nAChRs with higher affinity than receptors from rats or humans, and distinguished residues in alpha and epsilon subunits that govern the species selectivity. These studies also(More)
Waglerin-1 (Wtx-1) is a 22-amino acid peptide that is a competitive antagonist of the muscle nicotinic receptor (nAChR). We find that Wtx-1 binds 2100-fold more tightly to the alpha-epsilon than to the alpha-delta binding site interface of the mouse nAChR. Moreover, Wtx-1 binds 100-fold more tightly to the alpha-epsilon interface from mouse nAChR than that(More)
Methods that do not require animal sacrifice to detect botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are critical for BoNT antagonist discovery and the advancement of quantitative assays for biodefense and pharmaceutical applications. Here we describe the development and optimization of fluorogenic reporters that detect the proteolytic activity of BoNT/A, B, D, E, F, and G(More)
The pentametric assembly of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor with two of the five subunit interfaces serving as a ligand binding sites offers an opportunity to distinguish features on the surfaces of the subunits, and their ligand specificity characteristics. The receptor from mammalian muscle, with its circular order of homologous subunits (αγαδβ),(More)
alpha-Neurotoxins bind with high affinity to alpha-gamma and alpha-delta subunit interfaces of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Since this high affinity complex likely involves a van der Waals surface area of approximately 1200 A(2) and 25-35 residues on the receptor surface, analysis of side chains should delineate major interactions and the(More)
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the brain exhibit diverse functional properties and ubiquitous distribution. Yet, except for providing a receptor for the exogenously applied nicotine of tobacco products, their role in the normal functioning of the brain has remained elusive. We have used a lentiviral expression vector to re-express the beta2(More)
The two binding sites in the pentameric nicotinic acetylcholine receptor of subunit composition alpha2 beta gamma delta are formed by nonequivalent alpha-gamma and alpha-delta subunit interfaces, which produce site selectivity in the binding of agonists and antagonists. We show by sedimentation analysis that 125I-alpha-conotoxin M1 binds with high affinity(More)