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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)
The neocortical primary somatosensory area (S1) consists of a map of the body surface. The cortical area devoted to different regions, such as parts of the face or hands, reflects their functional importance. Here we investigated the role of genetically determined positional labels in neocortical mapping. Ephrin-A5 was expressed in a medial > lateral(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)
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)
FoxD3 is a forkhead-related transcriptional regulator that is essential for multiple developmental processes in the vertebrate embryo, including neural crest development and maintenance of mammalian stem cell lineages. Recent results demonstrate a requirement for FoxD3 in Xenopus mesodermal development. In the gastrula, FoxD3 functions as a transcriptional(More)
LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) is a process wherein elements of autophagy conjugate LC3 to phagosomal membranes. We characterize the molecular requirements for LAP, and identify Rubicon as being required for LAP but not autophagy. Rubicon is recruited to LAPosomes and is required for the activity of a Class III PI(3)K complex containing UVRAG but lacking(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)