New tool for investigating brain cells, Parkinson’s, and more

Home / New tool for investigating brain cells, Parkinson’s, and more

NMDARs (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors) serve as valves on nerve cells, controlling the flow of electrical signals in the brain. This special group of receptors is suspect in many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, stroke, and Parkinson’s. Biologists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and chemists from the University of Bristol have joined forces, creating a chemical compound to enable more precise investigation of NMDAR activity.

In the latest issue of Nature Communications, CSHL Professor Hiro Furukawa and colleagues detailed how they identified and perfected a chemical compound that inhibits, or stops the activity of certain NMDARs. By inhibiting some NMDARs while letting others function, researchers can now identify the roles different types of NMDA receptors play in both healthy and diseased brains.

Jue Xiang Wang, a graduate of CSHL’s Ph.D. program who helped lead the research, explained that the CSHL-Bristol team investigated how the novel compound UBP791 targets a pair of NMDAR subunits called GluN2C and GluN2D.

Full article at Science Daily

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