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Clinical evidence suggests that oxytocin treatment improves social deficits and repetitive behavior in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). However, the neuropeptide has a short plasma half-life and poor ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. In order to facilitate the development of more bioavailable oxytocinergic compounds as therapeutics to treat(More)
Senescence is a highly regulated process that limits cellular replication by enforcing a G1 arrest in response to various stimuli. Replicative senescence occurs in response to telomeric DNA erosion, and telomerase expression can offset replicative senescence leading to immortalization of many human cells. Limited data exists regarding changes of microRNA(More)
Here we tested the ability to augment the biological activity of the thrombin aptamer, d(GGTTGGTGTGGTTGG), by using locked nucleic acid (LNA) to influence its G-quadruplex structure. Compared to un-substituted control aptamer, LNA-containing aptamers displayed varying degrees of thrombin inhibition. Aptamers with LNA substituted in either positions G5, T7,(More)
The telomerase ribonucleoprotein complex ensures complete replication of eukaryotic chromosomes. Telomerase RNA (TER) provides the template for replicating the G-rich strand of telomeric DNA, provides an anchor site for telomerase-associated proteins, and participates in catalysis through several incompletely characterized mechanisms. A major impediment(More)
Homeostatic maintenance of mRNA levels including prompt availability of mRNAs for translation in response to changing protein demands might be partly enabled by a system of combinatorial controls involving noncoding RNA blocking agents. This article proposes a specific version of that control mechanism, namely, a double-stranded RNA folding from(More)
Recent discovery of gene expression mechanisms has propelled molecular genetics to a state of rapid development, a state likely to persist due to continuing advances in understanding control systems of fundamental cellular processes. An algorithm for that advancement starts in this paper with a gene of interest and a characteristic function of that gene.(More)
Telomere maintenance is a universal cancer hallmark, and small molecules that disrupt telomere maintenance generally have anticancer properties. Since the vast majority of cancer cells utilize telomerase activity for telomere maintenance, the enzyme has been considered as an anticancer drug target. Recently, rational design of telomerase inhibitors was made(More)
Telomeres are protein and DNA complexes located atchromosome ends. Telomeric DNA is composed of a double stranded region of repetitive DNA followed by single-stranded 3' extension of aG-rich sequence. Single-stranded G-rich sequencescan fold into G-quadruplex structures,and molecules that stabilize G-quadruplexes are known to inhibit the enzyme telomerase(More)
Social deficits are a hallmark feature of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related developmental syndromes. Although there is no standard treatment for social dysfunction, clinical studies have identified oxytocin as a potential therapeutic with prosocial efficacy. We have previously reported that peripheral oxytocin treatment can increase sociability and(More)
ELIZABETH PEMPE CHAPPELL: Characterization of heparan sulfate-protein interactions for synthetic heparin design (Under the direction of Jian Liu, Ph.D.) Heparin is a widely prescribed anticoagulant that has been in clinical use for over 70 years. It is a natural product and a special form of heparan sulfate, a heterogeneous polysaccharide that is expressed(More)