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Researchers pinpoint chemo effect on brain cells, potential link to autism

The common chemotherapy drug topotecan disrupts a gene integral for neuron communication, though the effects are reversible. The research also homes in on an underlying cause of autism.

[Neurons expressing the Topoisomerase-1 gene]
Neurons expressing the Topoisomerase-1 gene (green).
Credit: Image by , PhD


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This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the , and the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

Mark Zylka, PhD, and , PhD, are both members of the , the , and the .

Topoisomerase 1 inhibition reversibly impairs synaptic function. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1413204111

University of North Carolina Health Care