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Neasta J.,University of California at San Francisco | Barak S.,University of California at San Francisco | Barak S.,Tel Aviv University | Hamida S.B.,University of California at San Francisco | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2014

The mammalian (or mechanistic) target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) is a serine and threonine kinase that regulates cell growth, survival, and proliferation. mTORC1 is a master controller of the translation of a subset of mRNAs. In the central nervous system mTORC1 plays a crucial role in mechanisms underlying learning and memory by controlling synaptic protein synthesis. Here, we review recent evidence suggesting that the mTORC1 signaling pathway promotes neuroadaptations following exposure to a diverse group of drugs of abuse including stimulants, cannabinoids, opiates, and alcohol. We further describe potential molecular mechanisms by which drug-induced mTORC1 activation may alter brain functions. Finally, we propose that mTORC1 is a focal point shared by drugs of abuse to mediate drug-related behaviors such as reward seeking and excessive drug intake, and offer future directions to decipher the contribution of the kinase to mechanisms underlying addiction. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Darcq E.,University of California at San Francisco | Hamida S.B.,University of California at San Francisco | Hamida S.B.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Et Cellulaire | Wu S.,University of California at San Francisco | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2014

The STriatal-Enriched protein tyrosine Phosphatase 61 (STEP61) inhibits the activity of the tyrosine kinase Fyn and dephosphorylates the GluN2B subunit of the NMDA receptor, whereas the protein kinase A phosphorylation of STEP61 inhibits the activity of the phosphatase (Pharmacol. Rev., 64, p. 65). Previously, we found that ethanol activates Fyn in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS) leading to GluN2B phosphorylation, which, in turn, underlies the development of ethanol intake (J. Neurosci., 30, p. 10187). Here, we tested the hypothesis that inhibition of STEP61 by ethanol is upstream of Fyn/GluN2B. We show that exposure of mice to ethanol increased STEP61 phosphorylation in the DMS, which was maintained after withdrawal and was not observed in other striatal regions. Specific knockdown of STEP61 in the DMS of mice enhanced ethanol-mediated Fyn activation and GluN2B phosphorylation, and increased ethanol intake without altering the level of water, saccharine, quinine consumption or spontaneous locomotor activity. Together, our data suggest that blockade of STEP61 activity in response to ethanol is sufficient for the activation of the Fyn/GluN2B pathway in the DMS. Being upstream of Fyn and GluN2B, inactive STEP61 in the DMS primes the induction of ethanol intake. We show that ethanol-mediated inhibition of STEP61 in the DMS leads to Fyn activation and GluN2B phosphorylation. (a) Under basal conditions, active STEP61 inhibits Fyn activity and dephosphorylates GluN2B. (b) Ethanol leads to the phosphorylation of STEP61 on a specific inhibitory site. The inhibition of STEP61 activity contributes to the activation of Fyn in response to ethanol, which, in turn, phosphorylates GluN2B. These molecular adaptations in the DMS promote ethanol drinking. We show that ethanol-mediated inhibition of STEP61 in the DMS leads to Fyn activation and GluN2B phosphorylation. (a) Under basal conditions, active STEP61 inhibits Fyn activity and dephosphorylates GluN2B. (b) Ethanol leads to the phosphorylation of STEP61 on a specific inhibitory site. The inhibition of STEP61 activity contributes to the activation of Fyn in response to ethanol, which, in turn, phosphorylates GluN2B. These molecular adaptations in the DMS promote ethanol drinking. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Foy N.,Trinity College Dublin | Jester B.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Et Cellulaire | Conant G.C.,University of Missouri | Devine K.M.,Trinity College Dublin
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2010

Background. Lysyl-tRNA synthetase (LysRS) is unique within the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase family in that both class I (LysRS1) and class II (LysRS2) enzymes exist. LysRS1 enzymes are found in Archaebacteria and some eubacteria while all other organisms have LysRS2 enzymes. All sequenced strains of Bacillus cereus (except AH820) and Bacillus thuringiensis however encode both a class I and a class II LysRS. The lysK gene (encoding LysRS1) of B. cereus strain 14579 has an associated T box element, the first reported instance of potential T box control of LysRS expression. Results. A global study of 891 completely sequenced bacterial genomes identified T box elements associated with control of LysRS expression in only four bacterial species: B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, Symbiobacterium thermophilum and Clostridium beijerinckii. Here we investigate the T box element found in the regulatory region of the lysK gene in B. cereus strain 14579. We show that this T box element is functional, responding in a canonical manner to an increased level of uncharged tRNA Lys but, unusually, also responding to an increased level of uncharged tRNAAsn. We also show that B. subtilis strains with T box regulated expression of the endogenous lysS or the heterologous lysK genes are viable. Conclusions. The T box element controlling lysK (encoding LysRS1) expression in B. cereus strain 14579 is functional, but unusually responds to depletion of charged tRNALys and tRNAAsn. This may have the advantage of making LysRS1 expression responsive to a wider range of nutritional stresses. The viability of B. subtilis strains with a single LysRS1 or LysRS2, whose expression is controlled by this T box element, makes the rarity of the occurrence of such control of LysRS expression puzzling. © 2010 Foy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Lamacchia M.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Et Cellulaire
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2013

Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are the major vectors of human malaria parasites. However, mosquitoes are not passive hosts for parasites, actively limiting their development in vivo. Our current understanding of the mosquito antiparasitic response is mostly based on the phenotypic analysis of gene knockdowns obtained by RNA interference (RNAi), through the injection or transfection of long dsRNAs in adult mosquitoes or cultured cells, respectively. Recently, RNAi has been extended to silence specifically one allele of a given gene in a heterozygous context, thus allowing to compare the contribution of different alleles to a phenotype in the same genetic background.


Mohajjel-Shoja H.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Des Plantes | Clement B.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Des Plantes | Perot J.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Et Cellulaire | Alioua M.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Des Plantes | Otten L.,Institute Of Biologie Moleculaire Des Plantes
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Year: 2011

Agrobacterium rhizogenes induces hairy roots through the activity of three essential T-DNA genes, rolA, rolB, and rolC, whereas the orf13 gene acts as an accessory root-inducing gene. rolB, rolC, and orf13 belong to the highly diverged plast gene family with remotely related representatives in the endomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor. Nicotiana glauca and N. tabacum contain A. rhizogenes- derived T-DNAs with active plast genes. Here, we report on the properties of a rolC homolog in N. tabacum, trolC. Dexamethasone- inducible trolC and A4-rolC genes from A. rhizogenes A4 induce comparable, strong growth effects affecting all parts of the plants. Several have not been described earlier and were found to be very similar to the effects of the distantly related plast gene 6b. They include leaf chlorosis and starch accumulation, enations, increase of sucrose-dependent leaf disk expansion, growth of isolated roots on low-sucrose media, and stimulation of sucrose uptake by small root fragments. Collectively, our findings indicate that enhancement of sucrose uptake plays an important role in generating the complex 6b and rolC phenotypes and might be an ancestral property of the plast genes. © 2011 The American Phytopathological Society.

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