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The Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN) (Senter for molekylærbiologi og nevrovitenskap) is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence at the University of Oslo and Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital. CMBN shall take on a leading role in elucidating the role of DNA repair and genome maintenance mechanisms in preventing neurological disease and brain ageing.

Recent news and upcoming events
CMBN Annual Report 2012 and 10 Year Summary
Announced 22 May 2013

CMBN annual report 2012 and 10 Year Summary The CMBN Annual Report 2012 and 10 Year Summary s now available.
CMBN has come to an end
Announced 31 December 2012

The Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN) has come to an end and this website will no longer be updated.

For information about the research carried out in the research groups that comprised CMBN, please see the websites of UiO and OUS as well as the websites of the individual groups.

Best wishes for 2013 to our collaborators and all visitors of the website!

Publication in Molecular Cell on reversal of base modifications in messenger RNA (mRNA) and role in human disease
Announced 31 December 2012

Methylation of mammalian DNA and histone residues are known to regulate transcription, and the discovery of demethylases that remove methylation in DNA and histones provide a basis for the understanding of dynamic regulation of mammalian gene expression. Knowledge on these demethylases has led to a tremendous progress in the understanding of methyl marks in gene regulation and role in numerous diseases.

In mRNA, the methylation of adenosine (6meA) is particularly interesting since it is the most abundant internal modification. The first mRNA demethylase, FTO, was identified recently and 6meA was shown to be a substrate for FTO. Genome-wide association studies have identified a firm link between the human FTO gene, obesity and type II diabetes. In a collaborative study, Dahl (Picture) and colleagues, together with collaborators at the University of Chicago and Beijing, show that ALKBH5 is a second demethylase for 6meA in mRNA (see figure below) and that mice lacking this demethylase are infertile.

Together, the discovery of two proteins that can reverse 6meA modifications from mRNA draws attention to the potential regulatory functions of reversible RNA methylation and the role of 6meA in disease. Insights into the mechanism of this process may well open up new horizons and opportunities for basic as well as translational research.

ALKBH5 mediated demethylation of 6-methyladenine (6meA) in messenger RNA (mRNA)

Zheng G, Dahl JA, Niu Y, Fedorcsak P, Huang CM, Li CJ, Vågbø CB, Shi Y, Wang WL, Song SH, Lu Z, Bosmans RP, Dai Q, Hao YJ, Yang X, Zhao WM, Tong WM, Wang XJ, Bogdan F, Furu K, Fu Y, Jia G, Zhao X, Liu J, Krokan HE, Klungland A, Yang YG and He C
ALKBH5 Is a Mammalian RNA Demethylase that Impacts RNA Metabolism and Mouse Fertility
Mol Cell (in press)

NBS Contact Meeting 2013 at Lillehammer

Announced 23 November 2012


NBS Contact Meeting 2013

The Norwegian Biochemical Society (NBS) Contact Meeting 2013 will he held at Lillehammer, Norway, 31 January to 3 February 2013.

The meeting gathers scientists within the fields of biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, genetics, biotechnology and related fields in Norway.

Twelve invited plenary speakers have already confirmed that they will participate at the meeting: Steven A. Benner, Eric C. Greene, Adrian Hayday, Leroy Hood, Kristian Helin, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Gregory A. Petsko, Anne Simonsen, Ludvig M. Sollid, Dan S. Tawfik, Kevin P. White and Reidunn B. Aalen.

A biotechnology session with emphasis on innovation will be held on Saturday with invited speakers Øystein Rekdal from Lytix Biopharma AS, Berit Johansen from Avexxin AS, and Pål Kristian Selbo from PCI Biotech AS.

The meeting is organized by NBS members at Oslo University Hospital.

The registration and abstract deadline is 1 December 2012.

For more information, please visit the NBS Contact Meeting 2013 website.

Publication in PNAS on suppressive effects of anesthesia on glial Ca2+signaling
Announced 6 November 2012

The article shows that doses of anesthesia insufficient to affect neuronal responses to whisker stimulation suppressed astrocyte calcium signals.

Thrane AS, Thrane VR, Zeppenfeld D, Lou N, Xu Q, Nagelhus EA, Nedergaard M
General anesthesia selectively disrupts astrocyte calcium signaling in the awake mouse cortex
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (in press)

CMBN 10 year summary report
Announced 6 August 2012

CMBN 10 year summary report The CMBN 10 year summary report is now available.
Celebration of 10 years with the CMBN

Announced 16 October 2012

CMBNOn 18 October 2012, CMBN will celebrate its 10 years with a presentation of highlights from its research achievements. The event will take place from 1000 in the Rotunda of the new Domus Medica II (DMII) annex. All are welcome!

Please see the programme (PDF) for details.

Publication in Stem Cells identifying a histone H2A dioxygenase required for neural development
Announced 19 September 2012

AlkB homolog 1 (ALKBH1) is one of nine members of the family of mammalian AlkB homologs. Most Alkbh1 deficient mice die during embryonic development, and survivors are characterized by defects in tissues originating from the ectodermal lineage. In this study, we show that ALKBH1 is a histone dioxygenase that acts specifically on histone H2A. Further, we demonstrate that deletion of Alkbh1 in embryonic stem cells leads to upregulation of the core genes involved in pluripotency and that ALKBH1 is required during early differentiation. Our results suggest that ALKBH1 is involved in neural development by modifying the methylation status of histone H2A.

Histone H2A dioxygenase

Ougland R, Lando D, Jonson I, Dahl JA, Moen MN, Nordstrand LM, Rognes T, Lee JT, Klungland A, Kouzarides T, Larsen E
ALKBH1 is a Histone H2A Dioxygenase Involved in Neural Differentiation
Stem Cells (in press)

Publication in Human Molecular Genetics on a new link between Huntington's disease and DNA repair
Announced 5 September 2012

Two CMBN groups have identified a DNA repair gene that modify somatic and germline CAG trinucleotide repeat instability in the Huntingtin gene. Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG:CTG repeat expansion in exon 1 of the gene that encodes the polyglutamine-containing protein Huntingtin. It is shown here that somatic CAG expansions are significantly reduced in several organs of R6/1 mice lacking exon 2 of Nei-like 1 (Neil1). This study further confirm a role of oxidative DNA damage and neurodegeneration. We previously identified (with Cynthia McMurray's group at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MA, USA) a role of 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase (OGG1) enzyme in initiation of age-dependent CAG trinucleotide expansion associated with Huntington's disease that occurs in somatic cells. (Kovtun et al., Nature 2007).

Møllersen L, Rowe AD, Illuzzi JL, Hildrestrand GA, Gerhold KJ, Tveterås L, Bjølgerud A, Wilson DM, Bjørås M, Klungland A
Neil1 is a genetic modifier of somatic and germline CAG trinucleotide repeat instability in R6/1 mice
Hum Mol Genet (in press)

Cover story in Science Translational Medicine on a paravascular pathway
Announced 17 August 2012

Science Translational Medicine Cover

CMBN scientists have co-authored the cover story of the current issue of Science Translational Medicine. The article describes paravascular pathways that others call the superhighways or hidden sewers of the brain.

Iliff JJ, Wang M, Liao Y, Plogg BA, Peng W, Gundersen GA, Benveniste H, Vates GE, Deane R, Goldman SA, Nagelhus EA, Nedergaard M
A Paravascular Pathway Facilitates CSF Flow Through the Brain Parenchyma and the Clearance of Interstitial Solutes, Including Amyloid β
Sci Transl Med, 4:147ra111

The article has been featured in several news stories:

Vannkanaler renser hjernen, 5 September 2012

Forklarer hjernens avfallsmekanisme
Dagens Medisin, 11 September 2012

Vannkanaler holder hjernen ren
Nyheter om Nevronor, Norges forskningsråd, 11 September 2012

CMBN annual report 2011
Announced 6 August 2012

CMBN annual report 2009 The CMBN annual report 2011 is now available.
Media coverage
Important Brain Discoveries
International Business Times
26 November 2012
What Transforms Transformation?
Lab Times
22 October 2012
Modellerer signalkaos i hjernen   Modellerer signalkaos i hjernen
13 September 2012
Forklarer hjernens avfallsmekanisme
Dagens Medisin
11 September 2012
Vannkanaler holder hjernen ren
Nyheter om Nevronor, Norges forskningråd
11 September 2012
Vannkanaler renser hjernen
5 September 2012
Enzymmangel gir sykdom
Forskningsaktuelt, Institutt for klinisk medisin, Det medisinske fakultet, UiO
5 January 2012
Melkesyre beskytter hjernen
30 December 2011
  Melkesyre beskytter hjernen
Forsknings-aktuelt, Institutt for medisinske basalfag, Det medisinske fakultet, UiO
21 December 2011
  Et hjernekraftverk
15 April 2011

More media coverage...

Latest publications

Potokar M, Stenovec M, Jorgačevski J, Holen T, Kreft M, Ottersen OP, Zorec R
Regulation of AQP4 surface expression via vesicle mobility in astrocytes
Glia (in press)
PubMed 23505074

Voronkov A, Holsworth DD, Waaler J, Wilson SR, Ekblad B, Perdreau-Dahl H, Dinh H, Drewes G, Hopf C, Morth JP, Krauss S
Structural basis and SAR for G007-LK, a lead stage 1,2,4-triazole based specific tankyrase 1/2 inhibitor
J Med Chem (in press)
PubMed 23473363

Engstad RT, Engstad TT, Davanger S, Wyller TB (2013)
[Executive function deficits following stroke]
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen, 133 (5), 524-7
PubMed 23463064

Follin-Arbelet V, Torgersen ML, Naderi EH, Misund K, Sundan A, Blomhoff HK
Death of multiple myeloma cells induced by cAMP-signaling involves downregulation of Mcl-1 via the JAK/STAT pathway
Cancer Lett (in press)
PubMed 23454584

Solberg N, Krauss S (2013)
Luciferase assay to study the activity of a cloned promoter DNA fragment
Methods Mol Biol, 977, 65-78
PubMed 23436354

Reckless GE, Bolstad I, Nakstad PH, Andreassen OA, Jensen J
Motivation alters response bias and neural activation patterns in a perceptual decision-making task
Neuroscience (in press)
PubMed 23428623

Weel-Sneve R, Kristiansen KI, Odsbu I, Dalhus B, Booth J, Rognes T, Skarstad K, Bjørås M (2013)
Single Transmembrane Peptide DinQ Modulates Membrane-Dependent Activities
PLoS Genet, 9 (2), e1003260
PubMed 23408903

Herrmann D, Dahl JA, Lucas-Hahn A, Collas P, Niemann H
Histone modifications and mRNA expression in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm of bovine blastocysts
Epigenetics, 8 (3) (in press)
PubMed 23406883

Eid T, Lee TS, Wang Y, Peréz E, Drummond J, Lauritzen F, Bergersen LH, Meador-Woodruff JH, Spencer DD, de Lanerolle NC, McCullumsmith RE (2013)
Gene expression of glutamate metabolizing enzymes in the hippocampal formation in human temporal lobe epilepsy
Epilepsia, 54 (2), 228-38
PubMed 23384343

Chaudhry FA, Knutsen L, Kirschner R (2013)
[In Process Citation]
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen, 133 (3), 264-5
PubMed 23381153

Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN)
PO Box 1105 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway. Tel: +47 22851528. Fax: +47 22851488