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Damage to the insular cortex can profoundly disrupt tobacco addiction in human smokers, reflected in spontaneous cessation of the tobacco habit and persistently decreased urge to smoke. Little is known concerning the neurobiological mechanisms through which the insula may control the maintenance of the tobacco habit. Emerging evidence suggests that(More)
Genetic variation in CHRNA5, the gene encoding the α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit, increases vulnerability to tobacco addiction and lung cancer, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here we report markedly increased nicotine intake in mice with a null mutation in Chrna5. This effect was 'rescued' in knockout mice by re-expressing α5(More)
Cocaine addiction is characterized by a gradual loss of control over drug use, but the molecular mechanisms regulating vulnerability to this process remain unclear. Here we report that microRNA-212 (miR-212) is upregulated in the dorsal striatum of rats with a history of extended access to cocaine. Striatal miR-212 decreases responsiveness to the(More)
In the Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cell line, the proteins occludin and ZO-1 are structural components of the tight junctions that seal the paracellular spaces between the cells and contribute to the epithelial barrier function. In Ras-transformed Madin-Darby canine kidney cells, occludin, claudin-1, and ZO-1 were absent from cell-cell contacts but(More)
PtdIns(3)P plays critical roles in the autophagy pathway. However, little is known about how PtdIns(3)P effectors act with autophagy proteins in autophagosome formation. Here we identified an essential autophagy gene in C. elegans, epg-6, which encodes a WD40 repeat-containing protein with PtdIns(3)P-binding activity. EPG-6 directly interacts with ATG-2.(More)
The p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) is expressed by neurons particularly vulnerable in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We tested the hypothesis that non-peptide, small molecule p75(NTR) ligands found to promote survival signaling might prevent Abeta-induced degeneration and synaptic dysfunction. These ligands inhibited Abeta-induced neuritic dystrophy, death(More)
Many chemotherapy drugs are known to cause significant clinical neurotoxicity, which can result in the early cessation of treatment. To identify and develop more effective means of neuroprotection it is important to understand the toxicity of these drugs at the molecular and cellular levels. In the present study, we examine the effects of paclitaxel(More)
Urinary bladder cancer (UBC) patients at muscle invasive stage have poor clinical outcome, due to high propensity for metastasis. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), one of the principal constituents of the tumor stroma, play an important role in tumor development. However, it is unclear whether CAFs from UBC induce cell invasion and which signaling(More)
Occludin is an integral membrane protein that is tyrosine phosphorylated when localized at tight junctions. When Ca(2+) was depleted from the culture medium, occludin tyrosine phosphorylation was diminished from Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells in 2 min. This dephosphorylation was correlated with a significant reduction in transepithelial(More)
Abnormally phosphorylated tau protein is a major component of the cytoskeletal pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) found in the neurofibrillary tangle (NFT) and neuritic plaque (NP). Identification of the kinase responsible for this phosphorylation has been difficult. In the test tube, several proline-directed kinases, particularly mitogen-activated(More)