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Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Apr. 18, 2019—Researchers who helped find high-risk genes for schizophrenia included, from left, Quan Wang, PhD, Bingshan Li, PhD, Nancy Cox, PhD, Rui Chen, PhD, Xue Zhong, PhD, Qiang Wei, PhD, and James Sutcliffe, PhD. (photo by John Russell) by Bill Snyder Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt...

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The arrestin-GPCR connection

Apr. 18, 2019—Apr. 11, 2019, 12:00 PM by Sanjay Mishra G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the “inbox” of environmental messages in mammalian cells. Because of their central role in signaling pathways, mutations resulting in abnormal GPCR functions cause a wide variety of diseases. Therefore, GPCRs are the most intensively studied drug targets. After activation, GPCRs need to be...

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Former VU Teacher and Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard Dies

Apr. 15, 2019—Neurobiologist Paul Greengard Dies The Nobel laureate revolutionized our understanding of how brain cells communicate. Apr 15, 2019 ASHLEY YEAGER, The Scientist (the-scientist.com) Nobel laureate Paul Greengard, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University, died Saturday (April 13). He was 93. Greengard is best known for his work showing that the brain not only communicates with electrical...

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Study reframes approach to targeted therapy resistance

Apr. 11, 2019—Apr. 11, 2019, 9:02 AM From left, Benjamin Brown, Christine Lovly, MD, PhD, Yun-Kai Zhang, PhD, Jens Meiler, PhD, and colleagues are exploring new ways to understand resistance to targeted cancer therapy drugs. (photo by Anne Rayner) by Tom Wilemon When a tumor mutates and develops resistance to a targeted therapy, researchers often focus on...

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Discovery aids search for cancer biomarkers

Apr. 11, 2019—Discovery aids search for cancer biomarkers Apr. 11, 2019, 10:39 AM Research by Robert Coffey, MD, left, Dennis Jeppesen, PhD, and colleagues has revealed a new way cells shed DNA into the bloodstream. (photo by Steve Green) by Bill Snyder A report by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has shattered conventional wisdom about how...

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Cancer’s SOS

Apr. 4, 2019—Mar. 28, 2019, 11:30 AM by Sanjay Mishra RAS proteins regulate growth, survival and proliferation of cells in their active state. However, the uncontrolled activation of RAS causes approximately a third of all tumors and helps cancerous cells evade anti-cancer drugs. Thus RAS is an important target for effective anti-cancer treatments. RAS proteins become “active” through...

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Unraveling endocytosis

Apr. 4, 2019—Mar. 28, 2019, 10:45 AM by Niyati Vachharajani Endocytosisis a highly regulated process in which cells take up substances packaged in vesicles by internalizing the plasma membrane surrounding the cargo. In yeast, the enzyme Rsp5 regulates most endocytic events with the help of arrestin-related Rsp5 adaptor proteins called ARTs. Yet much remains to be learned about...

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Controling RNA Polymerase Dynamics

Mar. 22, 2019—The process of transcription is extremely complex, requiring the well-coordinated interactions of numerous modulatory proteins and protein complexes. Two key players in this process are cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)7 and CDK9, both of which phosphorylate multiple sites on RNA polymerase II (Pol II), the primary protein responsible for transcription in eukaryotes, as well as on other...

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Targeting the WIN Site of WDR5

Mar. 21, 2019—WDR5 serves as a scaffold for protein complexes containing epigenetic “writers” that catalyze histone modification reactions. Among the WDR5-dependent complexes are those encompassing MLL/SET-type histone methyltransferases (HMTs) responsible for di- and trimethylation of histone 3 at lysine-4 (H3K4). WDR5 contains a WIN (WDR interaction) site, which binds to an arginine-containing WIN motif on other proteins...

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Correctly copying DNA

Mar. 15, 2019—Mar. 14, 2019, 11:45 AM by Sanjay Mishra The enzyme topoisomerase II resolves topological roadblocks that form during the copying and expression of genetic material by generating double-stranded breaks in one DNA segment, transporting another DNA segment through the break, and rejoining the two ends. Tight regulation of the DNA breakage/rejoining cycle of topoisomerase II is...

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