Bringing together the latest information into one easily accessible resource, The Dynamic Synapse: Molecular Methods in Ionotropic Receptor Biology explores the diverse tools and technologies used to study synaptic processes. Written by world-renowned leaders in the field, the book delineates newly developed techniques, methods, and conceptual advances used for studying neurotransmitter receptors and other synaptic proteins. A broad array of molecular, biochemical, imaging, and electrophysiological approaches for studying the biology of synapses are described. Specific topics include the use of proteomics to study synaptic protein complexes, the development of phosphorylation state-specific antibodies, post-genomic tools applied to the study of synapses, and RNA interference in neurons. In addition, several chapters focus on methods for gene and protein delivery into neuronal tissue. The use of biochemical, electrophysiological, and optical tagging techniques to study the movement and membrane trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors in the membranes of live nerve cells are also discussed. To complement these approaches, the application of state-of-the-art approaches for achieving long-term alterations in the genetic complement of neurons in vivo using viral vectors or homologous recombinations of ES cells is also described.
In 1993, the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington's disease (HD) was identified. Considered a milestone in human genomics, this discovery has led to nearly two decades of remarkable progress that has greatly increased our knowledge of HD, and documented an unexpectedly large and diverse range of biochemical and genetic perturbations that seem to result directly from the expression of the mutant huntingtin gene. Neurobiology of Huntington's Disease: Applications to Drug Discovery presents a thorough review of the issues surrounding drug discovery and development for the treatment of this paradigmatic neurodegenerative disease. Drawing on the expertise of key researchers in the field, the book discusses the basic neurobiology of Huntington's disease and how its monogenic nature confers enormous practical advantages for translational research, including the creation of robust experimental tools, models, and assays to facilitate discovery and validation of molecular targets and drug candidates for HD. Written to support future basic research as well as drug development efforts, this volume:Covers the latest research approaches in genetics, genomics, and proteomics, including high-throughput and high-content screening. Highlights advances in the discovery and development of new drug therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. Examines the practical realities of preclinical testing, clinical testing strategies, and, ultimately, clinical usage. While the development of effective drug treatments for Huntington's disease continues to be tremendously challenging, a highly interactive and cooperative community of researchers and clinical investigators now brings us to the threshold of potential breakthroughs in the quest for therapeutic agents. The impressive array of drug discovery resources outlined in the text holds much promise for treating this devastating disease, providing hope to long-suffering Huntington's disease patients and their families.