Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reporter ion proteomics probes morphine tolerance and addiction

I love the city of Baltimore.  It has its problems, though.  Chief among them might be our new title as "the heroin capital of the US..."  There is obviously some sort of a link between this fact and our extremely high crime rates.  Opiates like morphine and heroin, though, are just about ubiquitously abused throughout the world and sinister everywhere.

To gain insight into the function of these abused substances, Steve Stockton et al., used an elegant quantitative approach to study the effects of morphine on subcellular fractions from synaptic cells.  After a lengthy and thorough sample preparation technique they used iTRAQ on an Orbitrap Velos to find proteins disregulated by the drug.

Now, I'm no neuroscientist, and I'm not going to pretend I understand what they found and its impact on their field, but anything that gets us closer to understanding opiate tolerance and addiction gets categorized under AWESOME in my book. I really can only assess the methodology and they did a nice job.  The paper is currently in press at MCP and open access and you can find it here.

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