Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Structure of important neurotransmitter regulator determined

February 04, 2008

Blacksburg, Va. - Researchers from Virginia Tech and the Brookhaven National Laboratory have solved the structure of an enzyme that is critical in the regulation of the neurotransmitter system in the human brain.

The enzyme is human kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), which regulates the activity of the neurotransmitter system that is activated by glutamate, the most common neurotransmitter in the brain.

Qian Han, a research scientists in biochemistry at Virginia Tech; Howard Robinson, a biologist at Brookhaven; and Jianyong Li, associate professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, report their findings in the article, "Crystal structure of human kynurenine aminotransferase II," in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (www.jbc.org/).

Li, who is corresponding author, explained that learning and memory depend upon glutamate; however, over stimulation will lead to neuron death and is one cause of such neurodegenerative diseases Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

"The product of KAT II is kynurenic acid (KA) that is a noncompeting binder of the glutamate receptors. Its binding to the glutamate receptors reduces stimulation. So it (KA) has a regulatory effect," Li said. "It is considered protective - although too much is also a problem," he said.

Before scientists can target KAT II as a treatment, they have to know how it works. Part of the challenge was solved when the DNA sequence of KAT II was determined, but knowing the code is not enough. How proteins pass their critical messages also depends upon their shape. Imagine proteins as curls of ribbons with each unique fold as important to the messages they convey as the sequences of letters in their genetic code.

Han, Robinson, and Li succeeded in determining both the unbound protein and its complex three-dimensional structures of KAT II. The structure in complex with kynurenine reveals the almost ephemeral linkages of the KAT II enzyme with its substrate.

"Now we know what it looks like, we can determine how it works and do research into how to manipulate the protein," Li said. "We have provided a molecular basis for biochemical regulation of this critical regulator."

The article reports on Han's research to crystallize KAT II in combination with a substrate. Robinson used a synchrotron to create X-ray diffraction patterns to reveal atomic and molecular associations within the crystal, which allowed Han and Li to do phase determination and an iterative process of model building and refinement and eventually describe the structure.

Virginia Tech


Related Neurotransmitter Current Events and Neurotransmitter News Articles


Hunting for the brain's opioid addiction switch
New research by Steven Laviolette's research team at Western University is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle.

Maternal inflammation boosts serotonin and impairs fetal brain development in mice
Fighting the flu during pregnancy sickens a pregnant woman, but it may also put the fetus at a slightly increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism later in life.

New findings linking abnormalities in circadian rhythms to neurochemical to changes in specific neurotransmitters
Results of the first study of its kind to link abnormalities in circadian rhythms to changes in specific neurotransmitters in people with bipolar disorder will be published this week in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Using exercise to reduce glutamate build-up in the brain
In a new study published today in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, scientists from the University of Guelph have found that exercise has the potential to decrease toxic build-up in the brain, reducing the severity of brain disorders such as Huntington's disease.

Targeted orphaned domain may lead to drug therapies
"Pentameric quaternary structure of the intracellular domain of serotonin type 3A receptors," was published in the April issue of Scientific Reports. Along with her research team, Akash Pandhare, Ph.D., and Petar N. Grozdanov, Ph.D., Jansen's research demonstrated for the first time that the serotonin type 3A (5-HT3A) ICD assembles into stable pentamers in solution in the absence of the other two domains, thought to be the drivers for oligomerization.

Graphene flakes to calm synapses
The laboratory of SISSA's Laura Ballerini in collaboration with the University of Trieste, the University of Manchester and the University of Castilla -la Mancha, has discovered a new approach to modulating synapses.

Psilocybin reduces psychological pain after social exclusion
Social problems are key characteristics in psychiatric disorders and are insufficiently targeted by current treatment approaches.

New study examines the effect of ecstasy on the brain
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have conducted a study examining the effect ecstasy has on different parts of the brain.

Researchers visualize brain's serotonin pump, provide blueprint for new, more effective SSRIs
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's Vollum Institute have uncovered remarkably detailed 3-D views of one of the most important transporters in the brain - the serotonin transporter.

Researcher finds potential new source for pain inhibition
A UT Dallas scientist has found a new neurological mechanism that appears to contribute to a reduction in pain.
More Neurotransmitter Current Events and Neurotransmitter News Articles

Your Brain Electric: Everything you need to know about optimising neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline

Your Brain Electric: Everything you need to know about optimising neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline
by James Lee (Author)


In brain science, there are two phenomena which are becoming increasing common in modern society. Firstly, rates of depression and anxiety disorders are increasing, with as many as one in five people either clinically depressed or anxious at any given time. Secondly, our aging population is revealing a range of cognitive problems associated with aging, including memory loss and other cognitive impairments. Each of these has a common thread - They are underpinned by clear deficits in neurochemical function. You have probably heard that "depression is caused by a serotonin imbalance" (sometimes, but not always, this is the case), however did you also know - - Depression can be caused by low dopamine or noradrenaline (norepinephrine) - Problems with aceylcholine and glutamate can lead...

Neurotransmitter Pathways: A Tutorial Study Guide

Neurotransmitter Pathways: A Tutorial Study Guide
by Nicoladie Tam, Ph.D.


“Neurotransmitter Pathways” is a part of the college-level Neuropsychopharmacology course series textbooks. It is a tutorial written in questions and answers format to describe the anatomy and physiology of the neurotransmitter circuitry, including the cell origins and the targets of the neurotransmitter pathways.

It is a study guide with in-depth explanations. Each section is a modular unit that is self-contained for easy reading. The principles and concepts are introduced systematically so students can learn and retain the materials intuitively.


Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels

Habits of a Happy Brain: Retrain Your Brain to Boost Your Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin, & Endorphin Levels
by Loretta Graziano Breuning (Author)


A revolutionary approach to enhancing your happiness level!

Get ready to boost your happiness in just 45 days! Habits of a Happy Brain shows you how to retrain your brain to turn on the chemicals that make you happy. Each page offers simple activities that help you understand the roles of your "happy chemicals"--serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin. You'll also learn how to build new habits by rerouting the electricity in your brain to flow down a new pathway, making it even easier to trigger these happy chemicals and increase feelings of satisfaction when you need them most. Filled with dozens of exercises that will help your reprogram your brain, Habits of a Happy Brain shows you how to live a happier, healthier life!

Brain In Balance: Understanding the Genetics and Neurochemistry Behind Addiction and Sobriety

Brain In Balance: Understanding the Genetics and Neurochemistry Behind Addiction and Sobriety
by Fredrick Von Stieff M.D. (Author), Katie Schuh Juarez (Editor)


Brain in Balance gives insight into how your balance of neurotransmitters influences personality, memory, mood, depression, anxiety, and certain psychological disorders. It also clarifies why people suffer from drug addiction and alcoholism and explains how they can gain permanent relief. Dr. Von Stieff’s methods of establishing balance in individuals’ neurochemicals have provided record-breaking lasting results for patients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that have left people wondering — How does he do it? His answer, “It’s all in the neurotransmitters.” With this book, his goal is to help medical staff and counselors everywhere provide the best treatment possible, and encourage individuals to seek a higher quality of life.

Secrets to Controlling your Weight, Cravings and Mood: Understand the biochemistry of neurotransmitters and how they determine our weight and mood

Secrets to Controlling your Weight, Cravings and Mood: Understand the biochemistry of neurotransmitters and how they determine our weight and mood
by Maria Emmerich (Author)


All new 2013 second Revision. Updated with latest science and information. Before Maria’s passion for nutrition, she had a passion for donuts. She was an athlete and thought she could get away with eating what she wanted, as long as she worked out. NOT TRUE. Even though she ate enough calories, she was starving herself, specifically, she was starving her brain. Her stomach was filled with “substance” but her brain kept telling her to eat; our bodies are smart, they make us crave certain nutrients we need. For 90% of dieters, a deficiency in one of four essential brain chemicals can cause weight gain, fatigue, and stress. The solution to losing weight doesn't lie in deprivation diets; it lies in balancing our neurotransmitters. 1. Serotonin influences appetite. 2. GABA curbs...

The Neurotransmitter Theory of Sleep

The Neurotransmitter Theory of Sleep
by BookBaby


Despite the fact that we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, science has still not been able to provide an answer as to why we and other animals sleep. While much of sleep physiology has been elucidated over years of scientific research, there has never been a thorough explanation of sleep that accounts for all of the observed sleep phenomena and uncovers sleep's primary purpose and why it evolved in the first place. Until now.

The Neurotransmitter Theory of Sleep integrates concepts from multiple disciplines and various models and theories (both old and new) into one unified explanation of sleep. Similar to how Einstein's General Theory of Relativity shed new light on the concept of gravity and supplanted Newton's ideas of gravitation, this book describes sleep...

Chill Pills & Mood Food - Restore calm and happiness with powerful supplements and neurotransmitter-boosting food

Chill Pills & Mood Food - Restore calm and happiness with powerful supplements and neurotransmitter-boosting food


70% off for 1 week onlyDo you want to treat anxiety or depression without resorting to drugs?A guide to the most powerful natural treatments for anxiety & depression, without the nasty side-effects.James Lee knows that, while drugs are effective for many, other people are determined to avoid pharmaceuticals in their quest to treat anxiety or depression. Perhaps you have tried antidepressants but couldn't tolerate unpleasant side-effects. Or perhaps you have a fundamental opposition to treating your anxiety or depression with drugs.Unfortunately, the area of "natural treatments" for mood disorders is awash with unproven claims and unrealistic promises. In his latest guide, James Lee has tasked himself with sorting fact from fiction and leaving you with only the most effective and safe...

Neurons & Neurotransmitters Wall Chart: 8271 (Physiology)

Neurons & Neurotransmitters Wall Chart: 8271 (Physiology)
by Scientific Publishing (Author)


Book by Scientific Publishing

Neurotransmitters, Drugs and Brain Function

Neurotransmitters, Drugs and Brain Function
by Roy Webster (Editor)


Neurotransmitters, Drugs and Brain Function aims to link basic aspects of the activity of neurotransmitters at the receptor and synaptic level with their role in normal brain function, disease states, and drug action. Thus, the material considers to what extent our knowledge of the central synaptic action of certain drugs can explain their possible roles in the cause of diseases and in the modes of action of drugs effective in those conditions.

It offers a working explanation of drug and neurotransmitter action in CNS function, with a clear, comprehensive, and challenging style of writing. The authors review the chemical basis for drugs and the conditions they treat. It also, includes numerous illustrations and schematic diagrams.

Inner Sunshine, How to Make More: Assess neurotransmitter production with self-testing;  The simple complexity of our unconscious (New Directions In Holistic Brain Balance) (Volume 5)

Inner Sunshine, How to Make More: Assess neurotransmitter production with self-testing; The simple complexity of our unconscious (New Directions In Holistic Brain Balance) (Volume 5)
by Bruce Dickson (Author)


Fifth volume in the New Directions in Holistic Brain Balance series. Fifth volume in the New Directions in Holistic Brain Balance series. Who else wants to feel more loved on the inside? Inner Sunshine is a metaphor for this. Inner Sunshine is our capacity to feel bouncy and “light;” such that, the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” roll off us like “water off a duck’s back.” Adequate and sufficient neuro-transmitter production is the neuro-chemistry of Inner Sunshine. I’m on a Hero’s Journey to more Inner Sunshine. Want to come along? This is written for self-testers, holistic practitioners who muscle test and anyone willing to learn Muscle Testing 2.0 with “God as you Partner.’ A “seesaw” exists in our UNconscious. On either end, “misery” and...

© 2017 BrightSurf.com