Melvin I. Simon

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In vertebrates, peripheral chemosensory neurons express large families of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), reflecting the diversity and specificity of stimuli they detect. However, somatosensory neurons, which respond to chemical, thermal, or mechanical stimuli, are more broadly tuned. Here we describe a family of approximately 50 GPCRs related to Mas1,(More)
Integral feedback control is a basic engineering strategy for ensuring that the output of a system robustly tracks its desired value independent of noise or variations in system parameters. In biological systems, it is common for the response to an extracellular stimulus to return to its prestimulus value even in the continued presence of the signal-a(More)
The hyperthermophile Nanoarchaeum equitans is an obligate symbiont growing in coculture with the crenarchaeon Ignicoccus. Ribosomal protein and rRNA-based phylogenies place its branching point early in the archaeal lineage, representing the new archaeal kingdom Nanoarchaeota. The N. equitans genome (490,885 base pairs) encodes the machinery for information(More)
The mechanisms that generate itch are poorly understood at both the molecular and cellular levels despite its clinical importance. To explore the peripheral neuronal mechanisms underlying itch, we assessed the behavioral responses (scratching) produced by s.c. injection of various pruritogens in PLCbeta3- or TRPV1-deficient mice. We provide evidence that at(More)
Histidine kinases allow bacteria, plants, and fungi to sense and respond to their environment. The 2.6 A resolution crystal structure of Thermotoga maritima CheA (290-671) histidine kinase reveals a dimer where the functions of dimerization, ATP binding, and regulation are segregated into domains. The kinase domain is unlike Ser/Thr/Tyr kinases but(More)
Efficient single-photon detection by retinal rod photoreceptors requires timely and reproducible deactivation of rhodopsin. Like other G protein-coupled receptors, rhodopsin contains multiple sites for phosphorylation at its COOH-terminal domain. Transgenic and electrophysiological methods were used to functionally dissect the role of the multiple(More)
Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) modulate heterotrimeric G proteins in part by serving as GTPase-activating proteins for Galpha subunits. We examined a role for RGS9-2, an RGS subtype highly enriched in striatum, in modulating dopamine D2 receptor function. Viral-mediated overexpression of RGS9-2 in rat nucleus accumbens (ventral striatum) reduced(More)
The yeast mating response is one of the best understood heterotrimeric G protein signaling pathways. Yet, most descriptions of this system have been qualitative. We have quantitatively characterized the heterotrimeric G protein cycle in yeast based on direct in vivo measurements. We used fluorescence resonance energy transfer to monitor the association(More)
We determined and annotated the complete 2.2-megabase genome sequence of Pyrobaculum aerophilum, a facultatively aerobic nitrate-reducing hyperthermophilic (T(opt) = 100 degrees C) crenarchaeon. Clues were found suggesting explanations of the organism's surprising intolerance to sulfur, which may aid in the development of methods for genetic studies of the(More)
RNAi is proving to be a powerful experimental tool for the functional annotation of mammalian genomes. The full potential of this technology will be realized through development of approaches permitting regulated manipulation of endogenous gene expression with coordinated reexpression of exogenous transgenes. We describe the development of a lentiviral(More)