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Aspartate racemase, generating neuronal D-aspartate, regulates adult neurogenesis.
The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2010;107(7):3175-9.
D-aspartic acid is abundant in the developing brain. We have identified and cloned mammalian aspartate racemase (DR), which converts L-aspartate to D-aspartate and colocalizes with D-aspartate in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues. Depletion of DR by retrovirus-mediated expression of short-hairpin RNA in newborn neurons of the adult hippocampus elicits profound defects in the dendritic development and survival of newborn neurons and survival. Because D-aspartate is a potential endogenous ligand for NMDA receptors, the loss of which elicits a phenotype resembling DR depletion, D-aspartate may function as a modulator of adult neurogenesis.
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