Research Update #1

I spent my second week establishing a model using CellDesigner on how nuclear receptor related 1 protein  (Nurr1) inhibits inflammatory response. Nurr 1 is known to play a key role in the maintenance of the dopamiergic neurons. Nurr1 inhibits inflammatory response by inhibiting transcription of gene of cytokines through transrepression. Nurr1 binds to activated nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB) that is binded to promoter region of the gene and attracts CoREST repressor complex. CoREST repressor complex binds to Nurr1 and CoREST repressor complex. Nurr1 complex inhibits transcription of cytokine genes by breaking down NF-kB complex into two subunits. These reactions happen both in nucleus of microglia and astrocytes. If there are no such transrepression, microglia release more cytokines that stimulate astrocytes to release cytokines amplifying the number of cytokines in the environment. Released cytokines interact with dopaminergic neurons hurting and leading them to the death pathway.

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Next Few Days Around Phnom Penh

The organization for which I am volunteering held their quarterly staff meeting this week. I feel the meeting will prove to be a good indication of how the organization operates – with good purpose but without decisiveness. After struggling through this half-English, half-Khmer indecisiveness, I was rewarded with a sort of barbeque. The barbeque introduced me to the Cambodian staff, as well as an assortment of new fruits – both important introductions in my relationship with Khmer culture.

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