Rong Grace Zhai

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The active zone is a specialized region of the presynaptic plasma membrane where synaptic vesicles dock and fuse. In this study, we have investigated the cellular mechanism underlying the transport and recruitment of the active zone protein Piccolo into nascent synapses. Our results show that Piccolo is transported to nascent synapses on an approximately 80(More)
Piccolo is a novel component of the presynaptic cytoskeletal matrix (PCM) assembled at the active zone of neurotransmitter release. Analysis of its primary structure reveals that Piccolo is a multidomain zinc finger protein structurally related to Bassoon, another PCM protein. Both proteins were found to be shared components of glutamatergic and GABAergic(More)
Synapses of the mammalian CNS are asymmetric sites of cell-cell adhesion between nerve cells. They are designed to mediate the rapid and efficient transmission of signals from the presynaptic bouton of one neuron to the postsynaptic plasma membrane of a second neuron. Significant progress has been made in the characterization of the structural, functional(More)
Nicotinamide/nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) has long been known as the master enzyme in NAD biosynthesis in living organisms. A burst of investigations on NMNAT, going beyond enzymology, have paralleled increasing discoveries of key roles played by NAD homeostasis in a number or patho-physiological conditions. The availability of(More)
In an attempt to arrive at a more potent cytotoxic agent than the parent compound α-hederagenin (H), 24 α-hederagenin derivatives (5-8, 11-24, 27-28, 31-32, and 35-36) were synthesized in a concise and efficient strategy and screened for in vitro cytotoxicity against the human cancer cell lines MKN45 and KB. Among these compounds, the polyamine derivative(More)
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