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William G. North, PhD

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Molecular and Systems Biology

Australian National University, BS 1964
U. Queensland, PHD 1973

Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth
Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine


Contact Information:

Dartmouth Medical School
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Office: 603-650-7736
Email: William.G.North@Dartmouth.Edu

Asst. Phone: 603-650-7738

Professional Interests:

The studies conducted in this laboratory are centered on the expression of vasopressin and oxytocin genes, and on the post-translational generation of vasopressin, oxytocin, and neurophysins in hypothalamic neurons, small cell carcinoma cells, and breast cancer cells. Patients with Alzheimer's disease have reduced brain levels of vasopressin, oxytocin, and neurophysins. Vasopressin and its peptide fragments improve short-term memory consolidation and retrieval, while oxytocin functions as an amnesic agent. In tumor cells, vasopressin functions as an autocrine growth factor acting through all three of its receptors. In addition, vasopressin-related proteins are markers for small cell lung cancer and breast cancer.

Courses Taught:

Medical Endocrinology
G.I. Physiology
Biomedical Ethics

Selected Publications:


  • North, W.G., Fay, M.J., and Du, J. MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells Express Normal Forms of all Vasopressin Receptors Plus an Abnormal V2R. Peptides, 20: 837-842, 1999.

  • North, W.G., Fay, M.J., Longo, K.A. and Du, J. Expression of all Known Vasopressin Receptor Subtypes by Small Cell Tumors Implies a Multifaceted Role for this Neuropeptide. Cancer Res. 58: 1866-1871, 1998.

  • North, W.G. Gene Regulation of Vasopressin and Vasopressin Receptors in Cancer. Experimental Physiology, 85S: 27S-40S, 2000.

  • Keegan, B.P., Memoli, V.A. and North, W.G. Targeting the Neurophysin-Related Cell-Surface Antigen (NRSA) on SCLC cells using a monoclonal antibody against the glycopeptide region (MAG-1) of provasopressin. Mol. Cancer Therapeutics. 1:1153-1159, 2002

  • North,W.G., Wells,W., Fay, M.J., Mathew, R.J., Donnelly, E.M., and Memoli, V.A. Immunohistochemical evaluation of vasopressin expression in breast fibrocystic disease and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) Endocrin. Pathology, 14, 257-262, 2003

  • Piqueux, C., Hagelstein M.T., Keegan, B., Legros, V., and North, W.G. Vasopressin and Oxytocin mitogen transduction pathway in small cell lung cancer cells. Endocr.-Relat. Cancer, 4:871-875, 2004

  • North W.G., Memoli, V.A., Keegan, B.P. Immunohistochemical detection of NRSA on small cell lung cancer with a monoclonal antibody (MAG-1) that recognizes the carboxyl terminus of provasopressin. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 13:363-366, 2005

  • Keegan, B.P., Akerman, B.L., Pequeux, C. and North, W.G. Provasopressin expression by breast cancer cells: implications for growth and novel treatment strategies. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 95:265-277, 2006