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Regulating a single gene may alter addiction and stress responses

Science Spotlight

December 02, 2014

DNA molecule

Researchers have now used genetically engineered DNA binding proteins to target specific processes within a gene - located within a brain reward center in the mouse. By regulating the activity of this specific gene, the scientists found they were able to alter gene expression and behaviors related to addiction and stress. This technique may lead to new treatments for substance use and other mental health disorders.

This research was funded by NIDA and NIMH. For a copy of the article (published online October 27), go to: www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v17/n12/full/nn.3871.html#abstract. For a press release from the study’s authors, go to: http://icahn.mssm.edu/about-us/news-and-events/changes-in-a-single-genes-action-can-control-addiction-and-depression-related-behaviors.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245.

NIDA Press Office

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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    NIDA. (2014, December 2). Regulating a single gene may alter addiction and stress responses. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2014/12/regulating-single-gene-may-alter-addiction-stress-responses

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