The Dokholyan and Deshmukh labs published a report in PNAS where they examined the neurotoxicity of various SOD1 protein aggregates in a model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The large SOD1 aggregates, which are a hallmark of ALS, are generally considered to contribute to motor neuron death in ALS. However, the study found that the large SOD1 aggregates are less toxic than the smaller SOD1 trimers. These results suggest that therapies targeted towards the SOD1 trimers, rather than the larger SOD1 fibrils, may be more effective for the treatment of ALS.
Memories can last a lifetime, but the neuronal synapses that store memories are made of macrolmolecules such as proteins that undergo synthesis and degradation on the scale of hour to days. The Huganir Lab, in which Dieiring was recently a postdoctoral scholar, hypothesized that a population of extremely long-lived proteins may reside at synapses, forming part of the substrate for long-term storage of memories. Here they have used metabolic labeling of mice and cultured neurons, combined with mass spectrometry to identify the synaptic long-lived proteome.
The UNC School of Medicine has awarded the 18th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize to Winrich Freiwald, PhD, of The Rockefeller University and Doris Y. Tsao, PhD, of the California Institute of Technology for the discovery of brain mechanisms of face recognition.
Freiwald and Tsao will visit Chapel Hill on April 12 to receive the prize – a $20,000 award – and give a lecture on their work at 3 p.m. in room G202 in the Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB).
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.