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The functions of serotonin have been assigned through serotonin-receptor-specific drugs and mutants; however, because a constellation of receptors remains when a single receptor subtype is inhibited, the coordinate responses to modulation of serotonin levels may be missed. Here we report the analysis of behavioural and neuroendocrine defects caused by a(More)
In 2009, the Nomenclature Committee on Cell Death (NCCD) proposed a set of recommendations for the definition of distinct cell death morphologies and for the appropriate use of cell death-related terminology, including 'apoptosis', 'necrosis' and 'mitotic catastrophe'. In view of the substantial progress in the biochemical and genetic exploration of cell(More)
Hepatic hydroxylation is an essential step in the metabolism and excretion of bile acids and is necessary to avoid pathologic conditions such as cholestasis and liver damage. In this report, we demonstrate that the human xenobiotic receptor SXR (steroid and xenobiotic receptor) and its rodent homolog PXR (pregnane X receptor) serve as functional bile acid(More)
In humans and many other mammals, the cortex (the outer layer of the brain) folds during development. The mechanics of folding are not well understood; leading explanations are either incomplete or at odds with physical measurements. We propose a mathematical model in which (i) folding is driven by tangential expansion of the cortex and (ii) deeper layers(More)
In response to various environmental stresses, eukaryotic cells down-regulate protein synthesis by phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2alpha). In mammals, the phosphorylation was shown to be carried out by eIF-2alpha kinases PKR and HRI. We report the identification and characterization of a cDNA from rat(More)
Apoptosis is an essential process in the development and homeostasis of all metazoans. The inhibitor-of-apoptosis (IAP) proteins suppress cell death by inhibiting the activity of caspases; this inhibition is performed by the zinc-binding BIR domains of the IAP proteins. The mitochondrial protein Smac/DIABLO promotes apoptosis by eliminating the inhibitory(More)
The Smad4/DPC4 tumour suppressor is inactivated in nearly half of pancreatic carcinomas and to a lesser extent in a variety of other cancers. Smad4/DPC4, and the related tumour suppressor Smad2, belong to the SMAD family of proteins that mediate signalling by the TGF-beta/activin/BMP-2/4 cytokine superfamily from receptor Ser/Thr protein kinases at the cell(More)
The 1.9 A X-ray structure of a membrane-associated glycosyltransferase involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis is reported. This enzyme, MurG, contains two alpha/beta open sheet domains separated by a deep cleft. Structural analysis suggests that the C-terminal domain contains the UDP-GlcNAc binding site while the N-terminal domain contains the acceptor(More)
Apoptosis (programmed cell death), an essential process in the development and homeostasis of metazoans, is carried out by caspases. The mitochondrial protein Smac/DIABLO performs a critical function in apoptosis by eliminating the inhibitory effect of IAPs (inhibitor of apoptosis proteins) on caspases. Here we show that Smac/DIABLO promotes not only the(More)
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from almost all tissues and effectively expanded in vitro. Although their true in situ properties and biological functions remain to be elucidated, these in vitro expanded cells have been shown to possess potential to differentiate into specific cell lineages. It is speculated that MSCs in situ have important(More)