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Alejandro Iván Hernández, PhD
Department of Pathology
Office location: BSB 4-109
Tel: (718) 270- 4561
Fax: (718) 270-3313
Research or Clinical Interest Summary
Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating long-term synaptic plasticity and the alterations of those mechanisms associated with neurodegenerative disorders and drug addiction
The persistence of synaptic plasticity requires gene expression and protein synthesis in both cell body and synaptic terminals. Identifying essential genes and studying their transcriptional and translational regulation are key steps to understanding how synaptic changes become long lasting. In the invertebrate Aplysia Californica the enzyme PARP1, commonly study in oxidative stress and DNA damage, has been shown to be necessary for long-term memory. In addition, it also has been shown to be necessary for the opening chromatin during development in Drosophila. My laboratory is interested in studying the role of PARP in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, and how alterations of the enzyme PARP contribute to the process of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer, and drug addiction.
Selected Recent Publications
Hernandez, I., Poblete, A., Amthauer, R., Pessot, R., and Krauskopf, M. (1992). Effect of seasonal acclimatization on estrogen induced vitellogenesis and on the hepatic estrogen receptor in the male carp. Biochem. Int. 28:557-559.
Hernandez, I. and Sokolov, B.P. (1997). Abnormal Expression of Serotonin Transporter mRNA in the Frontal and Temporal Cortex in Schizophrenia. Molec. Psych. 2:57-64.
Hernandez, I. and Sokolov, B.P. (2000). Abnormalities in 5-HT2A receptor mRNA expression in Frontal Cortex of Chronic Elderly schizophrenics with varying histories of neuroleptic treatment. J. Neurosci. Res. 59:218-225.
Naik, M. U., Benedikz, E., Hernandez, I., Libien, J., Hrave, J., Valsamis, M., Dow-Edwards, D., Osman, M. and Sacktor, T. C. (2000). Expression of Protein Kinase Mζ and the Complete Protein Kinase C isoform Family in Rat Brain. J. Comp. Neuro. 426(2):243-258.
Polesskaya, O.O., Haroutunian. V., Davis, K.L., Hernandez I., Sokolov, B.P. (2003). Novel putative nonprotein-coding RNA gene from 11q14 displays decreased expression in brains of patients with schizophrenia. J. Neurosci. Res. 74(1):111-22.
Hernandez, A.I., Blace, N., Crary, J.F., Serrano, P.A., Leitges, M., Libien, J.M., Weinstein, G., Tcherapanov, A., and Sacktor, T.C. (2003). PKMz synthesis from a brain mRNA encoding an independent PKCζ; catalytic domain: implications for the molecular mechanism of memory. J. Biol. Chem. 278 (41):40305-40316.
Muslimov I.A., Nimmrich V., Hernandez A.I., Tcherepanov A., Sacktor T.C., Tiedge H. (2004). Dendritic transport and localization of protein kinase Mζ mRNA: implications for molecular memory consolidation. J. Biol. Chem. 279(50):52613-22.
Crary, J.F., Mirra, S.S., Shao, C.Y., Sheffield, L.G., Mirra, S.S., Hernandez, A.I., Sacktor, T.C. (2006). Atypical Protein Kinase C in Neurodegenerative Disease I: PKMζ aggregates with limbic neurofibrillary tangles and AMPA receptors in Alzheimer’s disease. J. Neuropathol. Exp. Neurol. 265(4):319-326.
Kurosu T., Hernández A.I., Schwartz J.H. (2007). Serotonin induces selective cleavage of the PKA RI subunit but not RII subunit in Aplysia neurons. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 359 (2007):563–567.
Kurosu T., Hernández A.I., Wolk J., Liu J.,Schwartz JH. (2009). a/ß-tubulin are A kinase Anchor Proteins for Type I PKA in Neurons. Brain Res 1251:53-64.
Moreno, H., Yu, E., Pigino, G., Hernández, A.I., Kim, N., Moreira, J., Sugimori, M., Rodolfo Llinas. (2009). Synaptic transmission block by pre-synaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:5901-5906.
Hernández A.I., Wolk J., Hu J.Y., Liu J., Kurosu T., Schwartz J.H., Schacher S. (2009). Poly-(ADP-ribose) Polymerase-1 is Necessary for Long-Term Facilitation in Aplysia. J. Neurosci. 29:9553-9562.
Education and Training
1992, Licenciate in Biochemistry with distinction. (M.S. equivalent). Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.
2003, Doctor in Philosophy, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. Bklyn, NY.
Honors and Awards
1997-1998 Treasurer of the Graduate School Student Council at SUNY-HSCB.
2001 Research day Travel Fellowship award. School of Graduate Studies, SUNY-HSCB.
2003-2004 Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award. Training fellowship (T32)
2005-Dec 2006 Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award. Fellowship (T32).
Committees , Council, and Professional Society Memberships
1998-Present Society for Neuroscience
2003-Present New York Academy of Science.
Laboratory Members / Personnel