The Woriey project examines molecular mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity that contribute to drug addiction.
Aim 1 will use newly developed mouse models that afford in vivo regulation of expression of the immediate eariy gene (IEG) Rhebl to examine how signaling of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) controls dynamic protein translation. In work supported by this grant, we have demonstrated that Rhebl is essential and sufficient to activate mTORCI in vivo, and have established viable mouse models that either conditionally delete Rhebl or express an activated Rhebl transgene (Zou et al., 2011). To explore the role of mTOR in protein translation, we will process brains of Rhebl transgenic mice to isolate mRNAs that are associated with polyribosomes or ribosomes in the process of translation initiation, and identify those RNA sequences that are protected from RNase digestion using RNA seq (Ingolia et al., 2009). Studies will test the hypothesis that mTOR controls translation of a specific set of brain mRNAs, and will test the """"""""scanning"""""""" hypothesis for translation initiation.
Aim 2 will focus on mTOR-dependent proteins that are generated in neurons, and that regulate myelination in the CNS. Myelination is known to be dependent on neural activity and is disrupted in patients with drug addiction, however the molecular basis ofthis process is unknown. Rhebl transgenic mice show prominent changes in myelination (Zou et al., 2011) and preliminary studies indicate a role for neuron-generated proteins that control the differentiation of oligodendrites and their generation of myelin proteins. Information from Aim 1 mRNA analysis and direct assays of protein expression will generate candidate proteins, and these will be tested using in vivo assays for effects on myelination.
Aim 3 will explore the role of a novel protein family termed LanCLI in regulation of activity- dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS). LanCLI is regulated as an lEG and is highly expressed in normal brain. We have developed models that conditionally delete LanCLI gene or express LanCLI transgene in brain and we will use these models to test the hypothesis that dynamic expression of LanCLI is essential for normal synaptic plasticity and cocaine-evoked plasticity.

Public Health Relevance

The Woriey project examines biochemical signalling pathways that control brain metabolism to assess how they contribute to drug addiction. These signalling pathways play an important role in brain plasticity and influence mRNA translation, the generation of myelin, and the response to oxidative stress. Studies will contribute to a deep understanding of the molecular basis of neural plasticity and drug addiction.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-EXL-T)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Johns Hopkins University
United States
Zip Code
Hinkle, Jared T; Perepezko, Kate; Bakker, Catherine C et al. (2018) Domain-specific cognitive impairment in non-demented Parkinson's disease psychosis. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry 33:e131-e139
Hinkle, Jared T; Perepezko, Kate; Mills, Kelly A et al. (2018) Dopamine transporter availability reflects gastrointestinal dysautonomia in early Parkinson disease. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 55:8-14
Piard, Juliette; Umanah, George K Essien; Harms, Frederike L et al. (2018) A homozygous ATAD1 mutation impairs postsynaptic AMPA receptor trafficking and causes a lethal encephalopathy. Brain :
Hinkle, Jared T; Perepezko, Kate; Rosenthal, Liana S et al. (2018) Markers of impaired motor and cognitive volition in Parkinson's disease: Correlates of dopamine dysregulation syndrome, impulse control disorder, and dyskinesias. Parkinsonism Relat Disord 47:50-56
Berger, Nathan A; Besson, Valerie C; Boulares, A Hamid et al. (2018) Opportunities for the repurposing of PARP inhibitors for the therapy of non-oncological diseases. Br J Pharmacol 175:192-222
Chern, Yijuang; Chien, Ting; Fu, Xiuping et al. (2018) Trax: A versatile signaling protein plays key roles in synaptic plasticity and DNA repair. Neurobiol Learn Mem :
Paul, Bindu D; Snyder, Solomon H (2018) Gasotransmitter hydrogen sulfide signaling in neuronal health and disease. Biochem Pharmacol 149:101-109
Harraz, Maged M; Snyder, Solomon H (2017) Antidepressant Actions of Ketamine Mediated by the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin, Nitric Oxide, and Rheb. Neurotherapeutics 14:728-733
Asrani, Kaushal; Sood, Akshay; Torres, Alba et al. (2017) mTORC1 loss impairs epidermal adhesion via TGF-?/Rho kinase activation. J Clin Invest 127:4001-4017
Dawson, Ted M; Dawson, Valina L (2017) Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Neuronal Cell Death: Potential Therapeutics. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 57:437-454

Showing the most recent 10 out of 108 publications