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1.  Development of a Novel Nonradiometric Assay for Nucleic Acid Binding to TDP-43 Suitable for High-Throughput Screening Using AlphaScreen® Technology 
Journal of biomolecular screening  2010;15(9):1099-1106.
TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a nucleic acid binding protein that is associated with the pathology of cystic fibrosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar dementia. We have developed a robust, quantitative, nonradiometric high-throughput assay measuring oligonucleotide binding to TDP-43 using AlphaScreen® technology. Biotinylated single-stranded TAR DNA (bt-TAR-32) and 6 TG repeats (bt-TG6) bound with high affinity to TDP-43, with KD values of 0.75 nM and 0.63 nM, respectively. Both oligonucleotides exhibited slow dissociation rates, with half-lives of 750 min for bt-TAR-32 and 150 min for bt-TG6. The affinities of unlabeled oligonucleotides, as determined by displacement of either bt-TAR-32 or bt-TG6, were consistent with previous reports of nucleic acid interactions with TDP-43, where increasing TG or UG repeats yield greater affinity. A diversity library of 7360 compounds was screened for inhibition of TDP-43 binding to bt-TAR-32, and a series of compounds was discovered with nascent SAR and IC50 values ranging from 100 nM to 10 μM. These compounds may prove to be useful biochemical tools to elucidate the function of TDP-43 and may lead to novel therapeutics for indications where the TDP-43 nucleic acid interaction is causal to the associated pathology.
PMCID: PMC3426361  PMID: 20855563
TDP-43; AlphaScreen; TAR DNA; ALS; cystic fibrosis
2.  Metformin Pharmacogenomics: Current Status and Future Directions 
Diabetes  2014;63(8):2590-2599.
The incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its costs to the health care system continue to rise. Despite the availability of at least 10 drug classes for the treatment of T2D, metformin remains the most widely used first-line pharmacotherapy for its treatment; however, marked interindividual variability in response and few clinical or biomarker predictors of response reduce its optimal use. As clinical care moves toward precision medicine, a variety of broad discovery-based “omics” approaches will be required. Technical innovation, decreasing sequencing cost, and routine sample storage and processing has made pharmacogenomics the most widely applied discovery-based approach to date. This opens up the opportunity to understand the genetics underlying the interindividual variation in metformin responses in order for clinicians to prescribe specific treatments to given individuals for better efficacy and safety: metformin for those predicted to respond and alternative therapies for those predicted to be nonresponders or who are at increased risk for adverse side effects. Furthermore, understanding of the genetic determinants of metformin response may lead to the identification of novel targets and development of more effective agents for diabetes treatment. The goals of this workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases were to review the state of research on metformin pharmacogenomics, discuss the scientific and clinical hurdles to furthering our knowledge of the variability in patient responses to metformin, and consider how to effectively use this increased understanding to improve patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4113063  PMID: 25060887
3.  Advances in Geroscience: Impact on Healthspan and Chronic Disease 
Population aging is unprecedented, without parallel in human history, and the 21st century will witness even more rapid aging than did the century just past. Improvements in public health and medicine are having a profound effect on population demographics worldwide. By 2017, there will be more people over the age of 65 than under age 5, and by 2050, two billion of the estimated nine billion people on Earth will be older than 60 ( Although we can reasonably expect to live longer today than past generations did, the age-related disease burden we will have to confront has not changed. With the proportion of older people among the global population being now higher than at any time in history and still expanding, maintaining health into old age (or healthspan) has become a new and urgent frontier for modern medicine. Geroscience is a cross-disciplinary field focused on understanding the relationships between the processes of aging and age-related chronic diseases. On October 30–31, 2013, the trans-National Institutes of Health GeroScience Interest Group hosted a Summit to promote collaborations between the aging and chronic disease research communities with the goal of developing innovative strategies to improve healthspan and reduce the burden of chronic disease.
PMCID: PMC4036419  PMID: 24833579
Chronic disease; Geroscience.
4.  Stress-Induced Changes in Sleep in Rodents: Models and Mechanisms 
Psychological stressors have a prominent effect on sleep in general, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in particular. Disruptions in sleep are a prominent feature, and potentially even the hallmark, of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Ross et al., 1989). Animal models are critical in understanding both the causes and potential treatments of psychiatric disorders. The current review describes a number of studies that have focused on the impact of stress on sleep in rodent models. The studies are also summarized in Table 1, summarizing the effects of stress in 4-hr blocks in both the light and dark phases. Although mild stress procedures have sometimes produced increases in REM sleep, more intense stressors appear to model the human condition by leading to disruptions in sleep, particularly REM sleep. We also discuss work conducted by our group and others looking at conditioning as a factor in the temporal extension of stress-related sleep disruptions. Finally, we attempt to describe the probable neural mechanisms of the sleep disruptions. A complete understanding of the neural correlates of stress-induced sleep alterations may lead to novel treatments for a variety of debilitating sleep disorders.
PMCID: PMC2215737  PMID: 17764741
Amygdala; corticotropin-releasing factor; stress; sleep; REM; PTSD
5.  Reverse Genetics of Escherichia coli Glycerol Kinase Allosteric Regulation and Glucose Control of Glycerol Utilization In Vivo 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(11):3336-3344.
Reverse genetics is used to evaluate the roles in vivo of allosteric regulation of Escherichia coli glycerol kinase by the glucose-specific phosphocarrier of the phosphoenolpyruvate:glycose phosphotransferase system, IIAGlc (formerly known as IIIglc), and by fructose 1,6-bisphosphate. Roles have been postulated for these allosteric effectors in glucose control of both glycerol utilization and expression of the glpK gene. Genetics methods based on homologous recombination are used to place glpK alleles with known specific mutations into the chromosomal context of the glpK gene in three different genetic backgrounds. The alleles encode glycerol kinases with normal catalytic properties and specific alterations of allosteric regulatory properties, as determined by in vitro characterization of the purified enzymes. The E. coli strains with these alleles display the glycerol kinase regulatory phenotypes that are expected on the basis of the in vitro characterizations. Strains with different glpR alleles are used to assess the relationships between allosteric regulation of glycerol kinase and specific repression in glucose control of the expression of the glpK gene. Results of these studies show that glucose control of glycerol utilization and glycerol kinase expression is not affected by the loss of IIAGlc inhibition of glycerol kinase. In contrast, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate inhibition of glycerol kinase is the dominant allosteric control mechanism, and glucose is unable to control glycerol utilization in its absence. Specific repression is not required for glucose control of glycerol utilization, and the relative roles of various mechanisms for glucose control (catabolite repression, specific repression, and inducer exclusion) are different for glycerol utilization than for lactose utilization.
PMCID: PMC99631  PMID: 11344141

Results 1-5 (5)