Dopamine Found to Play Role in Gene Transcription and Cell Proliferation

GEN | November 15, 2019

The dopamine D2 receptor has a previously unobserved role in modulating Wnt expression and control of cell proliferation, according to a new study (“Dopamine D2 receptor modulates Wnt expression and control of cell proliferation”) by scientists from the George Washington University (GW) and the University of Pittsburgh. The research, published in Scientific Reports, could have implications for the development of new therapeutics across multiple disciplines including nephrology, endocrinology, and psychiatry. “The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is one of the most conserved signaling pathways across species with essential roles in development, cell proliferation, and disease. Wnt signaling occurs at the protein level and via β-catenin-mediated transcription of target genes. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms regulating the expression of the key Wnt ligand Wnt3a or the modulation of its activity,” the authors wrote. “Here, we provide evidence that there is significant cross-talk between the dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) and Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathways. Our data suggest that D2R-dependent cross-talk modulates Wnt3a expression via an evolutionarily-conserved TCF/LEF site within the WNT3A promoter. Moreover, D2R signaling also modulates cell proliferation and modifies the pathology in a renal ischemia/reperfusion-injury disease model, via its effects on Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Together, our results suggest that D2R is a transcriptional modulator of Wnt/β-catenin signal transduction with broad implications for health and development of new therapeutics.”

Spotlight

A surprisingly large number of materials have unpaired electrons. These include free radicals, many transition metal ions, and defects in materials. Free radicals are often short-lived, but play crucial roles in many significant processes such as photosynthesis, oxidation, catalysis, and polymerization reactions.

Spotlight

A surprisingly large number of materials have unpaired electrons. These include free radicals, many transition metal ions, and defects in materials. Free radicals are often short-lived, but play crucial roles in many significant processes such as photosynthesis, oxidation, catalysis, and polymerization reactions.

Related News

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Vizgen Releases Commercial MERSCOPE Platform

Vizgen | August 31, 2021

Vizgen, the life science company dedicated to improving human health by visualizing single-cell spatial genomics information, today announced shipment of the first commercial MERSCOPETM Platforms, marking the successful start of their limited summer release program. These first platforms are being purchased by leading research institutes including the Salk Institute, the University of California, Irvine, and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Vizgen will continue shipping a limited number of commercial instruments for the next several months before releasing MERSCOPE to the U.S. market at large in late 2021. MERSCOPE is the first commercially available high-plex single-cell spatial genomics platform, and the only platform for MERFISH technology. Developed in the laboratory of Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and David B. Arnold, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University, MERFISH provides the highest detection efficiency available for spatially profiling gene expression across whole tissues and resolving individual transcripts with nanometer-scale resolution through combinatorial labeling, sequential imaging, and error-robust barcoding. “This is a revolutionary time for the field of genomics. Researchers across the country are now able to access the spatial dimension to answer new kinds of scientific questions and make significant biological discoveries,” said Terry Lo, President and CEO of Vizgen. “Profiling the expression of hundreds of genes, in hundreds of thousands of cells, for hundreds of millions of transcripts all while retaining the spatial information within the tissue architecture has never been done before. What was previously unimaginable, MERSCOPE now makes routine.” About Vizgen Vizgen is dedicated to pioneering the next generation of genomics, providing tools that demonstrate the possibilities of in situ single cell spatial genomics, setting the standard for the spatial genomics field. These tools are enabling researchers to gain new insight into the biological systems that govern human health and disease with spatial context. The company's MERSCOPETM platform enables massively multiplexed, genome-scale nucleic acid imaging with high accuracy and unrivaled detection efficiency at subcellular resolution. MERSCOPE provides transformative insight into a wide range of tissue-scale basic research and translational medicine in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious disease, developmental biology, cell and gene therapy, and is an essential tool for accelerating drug discovery and development.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Clover Selected for Inclusion on the Hang Seng Composite Index

Clover Biopharmaceuticals | February 25, 2022

Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd. a global clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel vaccines and biologic therapeutic candidates, today announced that it has been selected for inclusion in the Hang Seng Composite Index as a constituent stock, effective March 7, 2022. Hang Seng Composite Index Hang Seng Small Cap (Investable) Index Hang Seng Healthcare Index Hang Seng Hong Kong-Listed Biotech Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong MidCap & SmallCap Index Hang Seng Stock Connect Hong Kong SmallCap Index Hang Seng SCHK Mainland China Companies Index Hang Seng SCHK ex-AH Companies Index The Hang Seng Composite Index (“HSCI”) offers a comprehensive Hong Kong market benchmark that covers about 95% of the total market capitalization of companies listed on the Main Board. Inclusion on the HSCI will allow the company’s stock to be eligible for trading on the Hong Kong Stock Connect, a channel for stock trading between investors in Hong Kong and those in Mainland China. “We are pleased to be added as a constituent stock on the Hang Seng Composite Index. Inclusion on the HSCI, a highly regarded index, will help facilitate the broadening of Clover’s shareholder base, increase trading liquidity and raise global awareness, which will be integral as we complete global regulatory filings for our COVID-19 vaccine candidate and advance our portfolio of innovative vaccine and oncology therapies,” Joshua Liang, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Clover Biopharmaceuticals About SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum) SCB-2019 (CpG 1018/Alum), our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, is anticipated to potentially be one of the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccines commercialized globally through the COVAX Facility. Employing the Trimer-Tag™ technology platform, Clover developed the SCB-2019 antigen, a stabilized trimeric form of the S-protein (referred to as S-Trimer™) based on the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Clover created its COVID-19 vaccine candidate by combining SCB-2019 with Dynavax’s (Nasdaq: DVAX) CpG 1018 advanced adjuvant and aluminum hydroxide (alum). About Clover Biopharmaceuticals Clover Biopharmaceuticals is a global clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to developing novel vaccines and biologic therapeutic candidates. The Trimer-Tag™ technology platform is a product development platform for the creation of novel vaccines and biologic therapies. Clover leveraged the Trimer-Tag™ technology platform to become a COVID-19 vaccine developer and created SCB-2019 to address the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Read More

CELL AND GENE THERAPY

Phytolon and Ginkgo Bioworks Collaborate to Take Biological Production of Vibrant Food Colors to the Next Level

Phytolon; Ginkgo Bioworks | February 28, 2022

Phytolon, a growing startup company making natural food colorants, announced a partnership today with Ginkgo Bioworks the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, to produce vibrant cultured food colors via fermentation of yeast. Under this partnership, Phytolon is leveraging Ginkgo's ability to engineer biology at scale to work together on the production of vibrant betalain pigments, the healthy and colorful compounds found in foods like beets and cactus fruit. The project aims to take Phytolon's colors across the full 'yellow-to-purple' spectrum to the next level, and to potentially maximize the business opportunity of Phytolon's vibrant colors for applications in the food and cosmetics industries. Scientists have developed hundreds of artificial food dyes by using the tools of synthetic chemistry to convert petrochemical sources into a wide range of colors. Biotechnology offers an opportunity to tap into the vibrant colors of biology to produce more sustainable, yet equally vibrant, colors. While artificial dyes are visually appealing and cheap to manufacture, many have been banned in food and feed due to health concerns. As consumers increasingly seek out more sustainable and nature-derived products, the food industry is working to find food colors that have equivalent pigment vibrancy to those found in synthetic chemical dyes but which come from biological rather than petrochemical sources. Phytolon has developed a proprietary process for producing betalain pigments through precision fermentation of certain yeast strains. Together, Phytolon and Ginkgo are partnering with the goal of maximizing the production efficiency of purple and yellow betalain-producing strains. "We're excited to work with Ginkgo to develop natural food colors that can potentially outperform conventional artificial dyes in cost and performance. We believe biotechnology makes it possible to produce a wider range of colors than ever before that may outperform current benchmark colorants, and we look forward to building products that may meet and even exceed consumer expectations for healthier, sustainable foods, all while aiming to maintain industry requirements for high quality and cost-efficiency." Dr. Tal Zeltzer, Co-founder and CTO of Phytolon "We love enabling growing startups like Phytolon through our platform, using biotechnology to challenge industry norms and attempt to build a fundamentally better product than what's on the market today," said Jennifer Wipf, Head of Commercial, Cell Engineering at Ginkgo Bioworks. "The planet needs new sustainable solutions, and we are excited to partner with Phytolon to support a more sustainable food system." About Phytolon Phytolon is a biotechnology startup company that is taking food coloring to the next level by leveraging a novel technology for production of natural pigments via precision fermentation of yeast. Phytolon's products have been successfully validated by global leaders in the food industry, and Phyloton expects to enter into commercialization agreements with initial strategic partners in the near term. Phytolon is supported by partners such as The Trendlines Group Millennium Foodtech, EIT-Food, Consensus Business Group, Arkin Holdings and others. About Ginkgo Bioworks Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery.

Read More