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A biological mechanism for depression – Neuroscience News

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University of Illinois at Chicago researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts — fatty sections of a cell membrane — compared with non-depressed individuals.Their findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience.Tubulin is part of a protein complex that provides structure to cells.

This complex also is involved in binding a specific protein called Gs alpha, or Gsa, which is a signaling molecule that conveys the action of neurotransmitters like serotonin.Previous work established that high levels of Gsa were in the lipid rafts of depressed individuals and that Gsa lost effectiveness when in those lipid rafts.

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