T-antigen is a multifunctional phosphoprotein synthesized early in SV40 infection. It is required for virus DNA replication and for the regulation of viral gene expression in infected cells. The protein is also required for the induction and maintenance of malignant transformation of nonpermissive cells.
NSE; neuron-specific enolase:
Neuron-specific enolase is the most abundant form of the glycolytic enzyme enolase found in adult neurons and is thought to serve as a growth factor in neurons. NSE is useful in studying neuronal differentiation and is, therefore, a valuable tool for visualizing the entire nervous and neuroendocrine systems. Serum levels of NSE have been associated with such disease states as Alzheimer’s, Huntingdon Chorea, neuroblastoma, head trauma, neuroendocrine malignancies and small cell carcinomas of the lung.
GFAP; Glial fibrillary acidic protein:
Glial fibrillary acidic protein is selectively located in astrocytes and represents the major constituent of astrocytic intermediate filaments. In adults, GFAP levels increase as a result of the proliferation of astrocytes that occurs in response to a variety of physical, chemical and etiological insults, including Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
ERa; estrogen receptor alpha:
Estrogen receptors are transcriptional factors with a DNA binding domain and ligand binding domain and have been shown to be expressed and transcriptionally active in a number of tissues including ovary, testis, prostate and brain. The estrogen receptor has been classified into two distinct isoforms, alpha and beta. ERa is known to interact in a ligand dependent and independent manner with several known coactivators including Receptor-Interacting Protein 140 (RIP140/ERAP140), ERAP160, and Steroid Receptor Coactivator-1 (SRC-1) to enhance transcriptional activity of target genes.
ERb; estrogen receptor beta:
Estrogen receptors are transcriptional factors with a DNA binding domain and ligand binding domain and have been shown to be expressed and transcriptionally active in a number of tissues including ovary, testis, prostate and brain. ERb has been shown to be a high affinity estrogen binding protein capable of initiating transcription of genes under the control of estrogen response elements (EREs).
LepR; leptin receptor-b:
Leptin receptor-b is a class 1 cytokine receptor that is expressed in high levels in the hypothalamus. Mutations in LepR have been found to cause obesity in mice and this receptor appears to be critical for the weight-reducing effects of leptin, a cytokine which targets various cells in the body.
Pro-opiomelanocortin is a prohormone that acts as an important mediator in the regulation of feeding behavior, insulin levels and, ultimately, body weight. Bioactive peptides derived from POMC are generated in neurons of the hypothalamus and act as endogenous ligands for the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), a key molecule underlying appetite control and energy homeostasis.
Galanin is a neuropeptide that has been found to influence several physiological processes such as cognition and memory, the release of various neurotransmitters and hormones (e.g. acetylcholine, noradrenaline, glutamate, dopamine, insulin, growth hormone, prolactin), motility of the digestive tract, nociception, feeding, and sexual behavior.
AGRP; agouti-related peptide:
Agouti-Related Protein is a potent antagonist of the melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) and melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) and is an integral component in the metabolic processes that regulate feeding behavior and body weight.
CART; cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript:
Cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript is a recently discovered hypothalamic peptide with a potent appetite suppressing activity. In the central nervous system CART is highly expressed in many hypothalamic nuclei, some of which are involved in regulating feeding behaviour.
NPY; neuropeptide Y:
Neuropeptide Y is the most abundant neuropeptide in the brain. It is a member of a family of proteins that include pancreatic polypeptide, peptide YY and seminalplasmin. In addition to its function in feeding behavior, several other physiologic roles have been assigned to NPY, including involvement in circadian rhythms, sexual function, anxiety responses and vascular resistance.
GHRH; growth hormone-releasing hormone:
Growth hormone-releasing hormone is a mixture of two peptides, one containing 40 amino acids, the other 44. GHRH stimulates cells in the anterior lobe of the pituitary to secrete growth hormone (GH).
CRF; corticotropin-releasing factor:
Corticotropin-releasing factor has been hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiology of anxiety, depression, cognitive and feeding disorders. Two distinct CRF receptor subtypes, CRFR1 and CRFR2, are thought to mediate CRF actions in the central nervous system.
Urocortin is a peptide that binds and activates transfected type-1 corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors and is more potent than CRF at binding and activating type-2 CRF receptors. Indications are that urocortin is an endogenous ligand for the type-2 CRF receptor, which is hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiology of anxiety, depression, cognitive and feeding disorders.
MCH; melanin-concentrating hormone:
Melanin-concentrating hormone is a cyclic neuropeptide that regulates a variety of functions in mammalian brain, in particular feeding behavior. MCH is thought to influence feeding and energy balance by acting downstream of leptin and the melanocortin system.
The proglucagon gene encodes several hormones that are important in human physiology. Proglucagon-derived peptides are involved in a wide variety of both peripheral as well as central functions, such as glucose homeostasis, gastric emptying, insulin secretion and the regulation of food intake.
Neurotensin is an endogenous peptide that is involved with memory function, specifically Alzheimer’s disease. This peptide may also be involved in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia.
Oxytocin is a neurohypophyseal hormone that has a wide range of behavioral effects outside its classic peripheral endocrine functions. OXT involvement in adaptive central nervous system processes has been demonstrated as an inhibitory, amnestic action on learning and memory in different paradigms.
AVP; arginine vasopressin:
Arginine vasopressin hormone (also known as anti-diuretic hormone, ADH) is important in the regulation of the water permeability of renal collecting tubules and the ascending loop of Henle. It is also a vasoconstrictor and is thought to play a role in arterial pressure maintenance during blood loss.
TPH; Tryptophan hydroxylase:
Tryptophan hydroxylase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin and an important component of melatonin biosynthesis. Serotonin functions mainly as a neurotransmitter, whereas melatonin is the principal hormone secreted by the pineal gland. The TPH gene has recently been associated with behavioural disorders such as manic depression and aggression.
TH; tyrosine hydroxylase:
Tyrosine hydroxylase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of catecholamines, an example being dopamine. The enzyme has been intensively studied in relation to both its physiological function in the brain and brain disorders. The study of this enzyme has led to the understanding of many diseases such as Parkinson's disease, stress and emotional disorders.