Keywords
Last Name

Shelley J. Russek, PhD

TitleProfessor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DepartmentPharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Address72 E. Concord St Building A
Boston MA 02118
Phone(617) 638-4319
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0001-7547-3089
Other Positions
TitleDirector
InstitutionBoston University
DepartmentGraduate Program for Neuroscience

TitleMentor for Graduate Medical Students
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

 Awards and Honors

Start-EndDescription
2004American Epilepsy Society: Innovative Research Award
2001BU School of Medicine: Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award
 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
Research Interests of the Russek Laboratory: Gene Regulation in the Nervous System

Our chief interests surround a desire to understand the dynamic regulation of gene expression in the nervous system and how it relates to the etiology of neurological and neuropsychiatric disease. The identification of gene families with multiple genes that code for related yet distinct receptor isoforms has added a remarkable increase to the level of specificity and complexity that governs the transcriptional regulation of neurotransmitter receptors in the CNS. For instance, the diverse set of nineteen genes coding for the major inhibitory receptor in the brain, the GABA-A receptor, constitutes a gene family that displays an unusual degree of differential developmental and cell-specific gene regulation. Individual control over specific subunit gene expression leads to functional and pharmacological diversity that enables individual neurons to respond dynamically to alterations in membrane excitability via the alteration of the number or kind of synaptic and/or extrasynaptic inhibitory receptors. We employ a variety of techniques, including chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), primary neuronal cultures, living promoter/reporter assays as visualized by confocal microscopy, and the use of inducible viral vectors in animal models of disease, such as epilepsy, autism and depression to test hypotheses of disease etiology and potential strategies for novel molecular therapeutics that restore the balance of inhibition and excitation in the brain.

We are currently expanding our methodologies to include the use of behavioral assays that monitor the effects of viral transgene or shRNA rescue on neuropathology that is relevant to the behaving and diseased organism. Finally, we are using novel computational strategies in collaboration with leaders in the field of bioinformatics and systems biology to identify gene regulatory pathways and unknown DNA regulatory elements that may be operative in the brain either for its normal function or important as contributors to the disease phenotype and we are developing novel viral vector technology for use by the neuroscience research community to give greater pharmacological control over the inducibility and temporal delivery of relevant RNAs in vivo.

 Self-Described Keywords
  • Autism
  • Brain Inhibition
  • Epilepsy
  • Gene Regulation
  • Systems Biology
 Publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
List All   |   Timeline
  1. Thomas AX, Cruz Del Angel Y, Gonzalez MI, Carrel AJ, Carlsen J, Lam PM, Hempstead BL, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Rapid Increases in proBDNF after Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus in Mice Are Associated with Reduced proBDNF Cleavage Machinery. eNeuro. 2016 Jan-Feb; 3(1). PMID: 27057559.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Huang S, Hokenson K, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Kirkwood A. Brief Dark Exposure Reduces Tonic Inhibition in Visual Cortex. J Neurosci. 2015 Dec 2; 35(48):15916-20. PMID: 26631472.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Raible DJ, Frey LC, Del Angel YC, Carlsen J, Hund D, Russek SJ, Smith B, Brooks-Kayal AR. JAK/STAT pathway regulation of GABAA receptor expression after differing severities of experimental TBI. Exp Neurol. 2015 Sep; 271:445-56. PMID: 26172316.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Grabenstatter HL, Cogswell M, Cruz Del Angel Y, Carlsen J, Gonzalez MI, Raol YH, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Effect of spontaneous seizures on GABAA receptor a4 subunit expression in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2014 Nov; 55(11):1826-33. PMID: 25223733.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Smith CC, Martin SC, Sugunan K, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. A role for picomolar concentrations of pregnenolone sulfate in synaptic activity-dependent Ca2+ signaling and CREB activation. Mol Pharmacol. 2014 Oct; 86(4):390-8. PMID: 25057049.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Grabenstatter HL, Carlsen J, Raol YH, Yang T, Hund D, Cruz Del Angel Y, White AM, Gonzalez MI, Longo FM, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Acute administration of the small-molecule p75(NTR) ligand does not prevent hippocampal neuron loss or development of spontaneous seizures after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. J Neurosci Res. 2014 Oct; 92(10):1307-18. PMID: 24801281.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Grabenstatter HL, Del Angel YC, Carlsen J, Wempe MF, White AM, Cogswell M, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. The effect of STAT3 inhibition on status epilepticus and subsequent spontaneous seizures in the pilocarpine model of acquired epilepsy. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Feb; 62:73-85. PMID: 24051278.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Saha S, Hu Y, Martin SC, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Polycomblike protein PHF1b: a transcriptional sensor for GABA receptor activity. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013; 14:37. PMID: 23879974.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Kostakis E, Smith C, Jang MK, Martin SC, Richards KG, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. The neuroactive steroid pregnenolone sulfate stimulates trafficking of functional N-methyl D-aspartate receptors to the cell surface via a noncanonical, G protein, and Ca2+-dependent mechanism. Mol Pharmacol. 2013 Aug; 84(2):261-74. PMID: 23716622.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Grabenstatter HL, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Molecular pathways controlling inhibitory receptor expression. Epilepsia. 2012 Dec; 53 Suppl 9:71-8. PMID: 23216580.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Ahn S, Huang CL, Ozkumur E, Zhang X, Chinnala J, Yalcin A, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek S, Unlü MS, DeLisi C, Irani RJ. TATA binding proteins can recognize nontraditional DNA sequences. Biophys J. 2012 Oct 3; 103(7):1510-7. PMID: 23062343.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Raible DJ, Frey LC, Cruz Del Angel Y, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. GABA(A) receptor regulation after experimental traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2012 Nov 1; 29(16):2548-54. PMID: 22827467.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Brooks-Kayal AR, Russek SJ. Regulation of GABA-A Receptor Gene Expression and Epilepsy. Jasper's Basic Mechanisms of the Epilepsies. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Bethesda, MD. 2012.
    View in: External Website
  14. Kim JH, Roberts DS, Hu Y, Lau GC, Brooks-Kayal AR, Farb DH, Russek SJ. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor uses CREB and Egr3 to regulate NMDA receptor levels in cortical neurons. J Neurochem. 2012 Jan; 120(2):210-9. PMID: 22035109.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Kostakis E, Jang MK, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. A steroid modulatory domain in NR2A collaborates with NR1 exon-5 to control NMDAR modulation by pregnenolone sulfate and protons. J Neurochem. 2011 Nov; 119(3):486-96. PMID: 21883211.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Eagleson KL, Gravielle MC, Schlueter McFadyen-Ketchum LJ, Russek SJ, Farb DH, Levitt P. Genetic disruption of the autism spectrum disorder risk gene PLAUR induces GABAA receptor subunit changes. Neuroscience. 2010 Jul 14; 168(3):797-810. PMID: 20381588.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Brooks-Kayal AR, Raol YH, Russek SJ. Alteration of epileptogenesis genes. Neurotherapeutics. 2009 Apr; 6(2):312-8. PMID: 19332325.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Lund IV, Hu Y, Raol YH, Benham RS, Faris R, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. BDNF selectively regulates GABAA receptor transcription by activation of the JAK/STAT pathway. Sci Signal. 2008; 1(41):ra9. PMID: 18922788.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Hu Y, Russek SJ. BDNF and the diseased nervous system: a delicate balance between adaptive and pathological processes of gene regulation. J Neurochem. 2008 Apr; 105(1):1-17. PMID: 18208542.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Hu Y, Lund IV, Gravielle MC, Farb DH, Brooks-Kayal AR, Russek SJ. Surface expression of GABAA receptors is transcriptionally controlled by the interplay of cAMP-response element-binding protein and its binding partner inducible cAMP early repressor. J Biol Chem. 2008 Apr 4; 283(14):9328-40. PMID: 18180303.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Kim J, Farb DH, Russek SJ. Promoter Structure. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer Publishing. 2008.
  22. Mark KA, Quinton MS, Russek SJ, Yamamoto BK. Dynamic changes in vesicular glutamate transporter 1 function and expression related to methamphetamine-induced glutamate release. J Neurosci. 2007 Jun 20; 27(25):6823-31. PMID: 17581970.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Reddy TE, Shakhnovich BE, Roberts DS, Russek SJ, DeLisi C. Positional clustering improves computational binding site detection and identifies novel cis-regulatory sites in mammalian GABAA receptor subunit genes. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007; 35(3):e20. PMID: 17204484.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Raol YH, Lund IV, Bandyopadhyay S, Zhang G, Roberts DS, Wolfe JH, Russek SJ, Brooks-Kayal AR. Enhancing GABA(A) receptor alpha 1 subunit levels in hippocampal dentate gyrus inhibits epilepsy development in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosci. 2006 Nov 1; 26(44):11342-6. PMID: 17079662.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Gibbs TT, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Sulfated steroids as endogenous neuromodulators. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2006 Aug; 84(4):555-67. PMID: 17023038.
    View in: PubMed
  26. Popik P, Kostakis E, Krawczyk M, Nowak G, Szewczyk B, Krieter P, Chen Z, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH, Skolnick P, Lippa AS, Basile AS. The anxioselective agent 7-(2-chloropyridin-4-yl)pyrazolo-[1,5-a]-pyrimidin-3-yl](pyridin-2-yl)methanone (DOV 51892) is more efficacious than diazepam at enhancing GABA-gated currents at alpha1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2006 Dec; 319(3):1244-52. PMID: 16971504.
    View in: PubMed
  27. Roberts DS, Hu Y, Lund IV, Brooks-Kayal AR, Russek SJ. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced synthesis of early growth response factor 3 (Egr3) controls the levels of type A GABA receptor alpha 4 subunits in hippocampal neurons. J Biol Chem. 2006 Oct 6; 281(40):29431-5. PMID: 16901909.
    View in: PubMed
  28. Farb DH, Steiger JL, Martin SC, Gravielle MC, Gibbs TT, Russek SJ. Mechanisms of GABAA and GABAB Receptor Gene Expression In: The GABA Receptors (Sam Enna and Hans Mohler, Eds.). Humana Press. 2006.
  29. Roberts DS, Raol YH, Bandyopadhyay S, Lund IV, Budreck EC, Passini MA, Passini MJ, Wolfe JH, Brooks-Kayal AR, Russek SJ. Egr3 stimulation of GABRA4 promoter activity as a mechanism for seizure-induced up-regulation of GABA(A) receptor alpha4 subunit expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Aug 16; 102(33):11894-9. PMID: 16091474.
    View in: PubMed
  30. Lippa A, Czobor P, Stark J, Beer B, Kostakis E, Gravielle M, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH, Skolnick P. Selective anxiolysis produced by ocinaplon, a GABA(A) receptor modulator. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 May 17; 102(20):7380-5. PMID: 15870187.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Gravielle MC, Faris R, Russek SJ, Farb DH. GABA induces activity dependent delayed-onset uncoupling of GABA/benzodiazepine site interactions in neocortical neurons. J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 3; 280(22):20954-60. PMID: 15805111.
    View in: PubMed
  32. Steiger JL, Bandyopadhyay S, Farb DH, Russek SJ. cAMP response element-binding protein, activating transcription factor-4, and upstream stimulatory factor differentially control hippocampal GABABR1a and GABABR1b subunit gene expression through alternative promoters. J Neurosci. 2004 Jul 7; 24(27):6115-26. PMID: 15240803.
    View in: PubMed
  33. Jang MK, Mierke DF, Russek SJ, Farb DH. A steroid modulatory domain on NR2B controls N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor proton sensitivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 May 25; 101(21):8198-203. PMID: 15150412.
    View in: PubMed
  34. Martin SC, Steiger JL, Gravielle MC, Lyons HR, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Differential expression of gamma-aminobutyric acid type B receptor subunit mRNAs in the developing nervous system and receptor coupling to adenylyl cyclase in embryonic neurons. J Comp Neurol. 2004 May 17; 473(1):16-29. PMID: 15067715.
    View in: PubMed
  35. Steiger JL, Russek SJ. GABAA receptors: building the bridge between subunit mRNAs, their promoters, and cognate transcription factors. Pharmacol Ther. 2004 Mar; 101(3):259-81. PMID: 15031002.
    View in: PubMed
  36. Lau GC, Saha S, Faris R, Russek SJ. Up-regulation of NMDAR1 subunit gene expression in cortical neurons via a PKA-dependent pathway. J Neurochem. 2004 Feb; 88(3):564-75. PMID: 14720206.
    View in: PubMed
  37. Steiger JL, Alexander MJ, Galler JR, Farb DH, Russek SJ. Effects of prenatal malnutrition on GABAA receptor alpha1, alpha3 and beta2 mRNA levels. Neuroreport. 2003 Sep 15; 14(13):1731-5. PMID: 14512847.
    View in: PubMed
  38. Russek SJ. g-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Receptors. In: Cooper DN (ed.) Nature Encyclopedia of the Human Genome. Nature. London. 2003; 1:108-116.
  39. Steiger JL, Galler JR, Farb DH, Russek SJ. Prenatal protein malnutrition reduces beta(2), beta(3) and gamma(2L) GABA(A) receptor subunit mRNAs in the adult septum. Eur J Pharmacol. 2002 Jun 20; 446(1-3):201-2. PMID: 12098603.
    View in: PubMed
  40. Martin SC, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Human GABA(B)R genomic structure: evidence for splice variants in GABA(B)R1 but not GABA(B)R2. Gene. 2001 Oct 31; 278(1-2):63-79. PMID: 11707323.
    View in: PubMed
  41. Russek SJ, Bandyopadhyay S, Farb DH. An initiator element mediates autologous downregulation of the human type A gamma -aminobutyric acid receptor beta 1 subunit gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Jul 18; 97(15):8600-5. PMID: 10900018.
    View in: PubMed
  42. McLean PJ, Shpektor D, Bandyopadhyay S, Russek SJ, Farb DH. A minimal promoter for the GABA(A) receptor alpha6-subunit gene controls tissue specificity. J Neurochem. 2000 May; 74(5):1858-69. PMID: 10800928.
    View in: PubMed
  43. Martin SC, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Molecular identification of the human GABABR2: cell surface expression and coupling to adenylyl cyclase in the absence of GABABR1. Mol Cell Neurosci. 1999 Mar; 13(3):180-91. PMID: 10328880.
    View in: PubMed
  44. Russek SJ. Evolution of GABA(A) receptor diversity in the human genome. Gene. 1999 Feb 18; 227(2):213-22. PMID: 10023064.
    View in: PubMed
  45. Gibbs TT, Yaghoubi N, Weaver Jr CE, Park-Chung M, Russek SJ, Farb DH. Modulation of ionotropic glutamate receptors by neuroactive steroids. Review, Contemporary Endocrinology: Neurosteroids: A New Regulatory Function in the Nervous System. Humana Press. 1999; 167-190.
  46. Yaghoubi N, Malayev A, Russek SJ, Gibbs TT, Farb DH. Neurosteroid modulation of recombinant ionotropic glutamate receptors. Brain Res. 1998 Aug 24; 803(1-2):153-60. PMID: 9729352.
    View in: PubMed
  47. Rabow LE, Russek SJ, Farb DH. From ion currents to genomic analysis: recent advances in GABAA receptor research. Synapse. 1995 Nov; 21(3):189-274. PMID: 8578436.
    View in: PubMed
  48. McLean PJ, Farb DH, Russek SJ. Mapping of the alpha 4 subunit gene (GABRA4) to human chromosome 4 defines an alpha 2-alpha 4-beta 1-gamma 1 gene cluster: further evidence that modern GABAA receptor gene clusters are derived from an ancestral cluster. Genomics. 1995 Apr 10; 26(3):580-6. PMID: 7607683.
    View in: PubMed
  49. Russek SJ, Farb DH. Mapping of the beta 2 subunit gene of the GABAA receptor (GABRB2) to human chromosome 5q34 using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Cell Mol Biol Res. 1995; 41(6):511-3. PMID: 8777430.
    View in: PubMed
  50. Russek SJ, Farb DH. Mapping of the beta 2 subunit gene (GABRB2) to microdissected human chromosome 5q34-q35 defines a gene cluster for the most abundant GABAA receptor isoform. Genomics. 1994 Oct; 23(3):528-33. PMID: 7851879.
    View in: PubMed
  51. Russek SJ, Quirk JC, Farb DH. Restriction selection cloning: a simple general method for the selection of recombinant DNA. Cell Mol Biol Res. 1993; 39(2):177-82. PMID: 8220586.
    View in: PubMed
  52. Farb DH, Gibbs TT, Wu FS, Gyenes M, Friedman L, Russek SJ. Steroid modulation of amino acid neurotransmitter receptors. Adv Biochem Psychopharmacol. 1992; 47:119-31. PMID: 1324566.
    View in: PubMed
  53. Ziai MR, Russek S, Wang HC, Beer B, Blume AJ. Mast cell degranulating peptide: a multi-functional neurotoxin. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1990 Jul; 42(7):457-61. PMID: 1703229.
    View in: PubMed
  54. Russek LG, King SH, Russek SJ, Russek HI. The Harvard Mastery of Stress Study 35-year follow-up: prognostic significance of patterns of psychophysiological arousal and adaptation. Psychosom Med. 1990 May-Jun; 52(3):271-85. PMID: 2367619.
    View in: PubMed
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