HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Social amoeba sheds light on communication in human brain

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered that the popular sedative Valium has similar effects on the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum as it does in humans. Their surprising finding that Valium, as well as a "natural Valium" molecule found in human brains, causes the social amoeba to enter a dormant or "sleep" phase, may provide new insights into how cells in higher organisms, including humans, communicate with each other.

The study, published this week in the early on-line edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and to appear in the print edition of PNAS May 24th, describes the discovery of a short protein, or peptide, known as SDF-2, that neighboring cells of Dictyostelium use to synchronize the formation of spores--the dormant phase of the organism. The researchers were surprised to find that SDF-2 is similar to a "natural Valium" peptide--called DBI--that is found in human brains. Both DBI and Valium cause Dictyostelium to form spores.

"It was amusing to discover that Valium puts Dictyostelium to sleep and Valium puts humans to sleep," said William Loomis, a professor of biology at UCSD, who led the study. "But more significantly, our findings confirm that Dictyostelium is an excellent experimental system for studying aspects of communication between cells that are not easily amenable to study in complex multicellular organisms."

Loomis and Christophe Anjard, an assistant project scientist in Loomis' laboratory, and first author on the paper, also speculate that spore formation in Dictyostelium might provide a rapid way to screen for new drugs that mimic the anti-anxiety effects of Valium in humans.

"Both DBI and Valium induce spore formation in Dictyostelium, and flumazenil, a drug that inhibits the effects of Valium in humans, inhibits spore formation," explained Anjard. "Using Dictyostelium to screen for drugs that function like Valium would be very cheap and could identif
'"/>

Contact: Sherry Seethaler
sseethaler@ucsd.edu
858 534-4656
University of California - San Diego
16-May-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Social tolerance allows bonobos to outperform chimpanzees on a cooperative task
2. Social imitation in neonatal monkeys
3. Social factors not hormones cause PMS, post-natal depression and menopausal stress
4. NIH Celebrates a Decade of Discovery in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research
5. Sociality of sweat bees evolved simultaneously during climate change
6. Social stress in mice is controlled by genetic pathway, researchers find
7. Social learning in noncolonial insects?
8. Social stress boosts immune systems flu-fighting abilities
9. Institute for OneWorld Health awarded Skoll Foundations Social Entrepreneurship Award
10. Immunity in social amoeba suggests ancient beginnings
11. Silence of the amoebae

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/26/2020)... ... August 25, 2020 , ... Catalent, ... drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that ... Virtual Conference & Expo, taking place between Aug. 31 – September 4, 2020. ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2020 , ... ... both Salimetrics LLC and SalivaBio LLC, businesses dedicated to Salivary Bioscience for more ... of the recently published book by Springer, " Salivary Bioscience: Foundations of Interdisciplinary ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... , ... August 12, 2020 , ... ... monitoring systems that are ideal for public health agencies of all sizes. With ... diseases and helping at-risk individuals find appropriate health care, Mosio helps public health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 11, 2020 , ... ... chain validation engineering firm, is making available for free its new white ... incorporate concurrent transport simulation testing into today’s biologics licensing application (BLA). In ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... Introducing Ardent Animal Health ... growth, , Known as MediVet Biologics since its formation in ... The new Ardent Animal Health will build on its base of innovative therapies ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... Anomet Products has introduced new custom composite ... with CRM, neurostimulation, vascular, and related devices. , Anomet Medical Clad Wire ... and cost criteria; especially where solid wire is limited. Typical configurations for implantable ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... ... ... fast-growing provider of cloud-based software for the life sciences industry, today announced ... and presentation platform designed specifically for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) and other ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: