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Nobel laureates '2000 in Physiology and Medicine were Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard, and Eric Kandel. Their discoveries have been crucial for our understanding of the mechanisms of signal transduction inside and between nerval cells. Carlsson discovered that dopamine is a neurotransmitter the substance, which actively takes part in the signal transduction in synapses. He showed that its depletion results in movement dysfunction similar to one observed in Parkinson's disease. The symptoms could be treated with the dopamine precursor: L-dopa. Greengard showed that neurotransmitter, when bound to its specific membrane receptor, turns on the cascade of processes which lead to long-lasting changes in the functioning of the nerve cell. He also provided evidence that phosphorylation of proteins is an important way to change their function and that this phenomenon is not only common in the cell but also crucial for its physiology. Describing the function of DARP-32 protein the phosphatase-1 inhibitor, he proposed the model according to which DARP-32 could serve as a modulator of the influences of dopamine on other neurotransmitters, i.g., glutamate. Eric Kandel built the molecular model of the changes, in a presynaptic neuron and synapse, which occur during the formation of short- and long-term memory traces. According to Kandel during short-term memory formation some proteins are transiently phosphorylated, wheras the formation of long-term memory demands synthesis of new proteins, changes in gene expression and is followed by morphological changes of neuronal connections.
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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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