In a paper published in Cell, UNC School of Medicine researchers led by Bryan Roth, MD, PhD, show how to activate only one kind of brain receptor vital for pain relief. This receptor is not involved in addiction or respiratory depression that leads to death – the most severe side effects of opioid use.
In a new study published in Cell Stem Cell, UNC School of Medicine neuroscientist Juan Song and colleagues discovered a long-distance brain circuit that controls the production of new neurons in the hippocampus. This story is featured as the Cover Story in the current issue of Cell Stem Cell.
Garret Stuber, PhD, received an NIH Merit Award for his NIH grant to study midbrain neural circuits that orchestrate cue-reward associations. Merit awards provide long-term, stable support to investigators whose research competence and productivity are distinctly superior and who are likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner. This grant, which is funded by NIDA, provides stable support for this project for 10 years.
The axon guidance cue netrin-1 and its receptor DCC promote axon branching in developing cortical neurons. In this study, we detail a novel molecular mechanism by which the brain-enriched E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 orchestrates multimerization of DCC, requisite activation of FAK and Src family kinases, and increases in exocytic vesicle fusion, all during netrin-dependent neuronal morphogenesis. We are the first to show that non-degradative ubiquitination of a receptor alters kinase activation and signaling pathways during morphogenesis.