Alexandra L. Bey

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MUS81 is conserved among plants, animals, and fungi and is known to be involved in mitotic DNA damage repair and meiotic recombination. Here we present a functional characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana homolog AtMUS81, which has a role in both mitotic and meiotic cells. The AtMUS81 transcript is produced in all tissues, but is elevated greater than(More)
Recombination, in the form of cross-overs (COs) and gene conversion (GC), is a highly conserved feature of meiosis from fungi to mammals. Recombination helps ensure chromosome segregation and promotes allelic diversity. Lesions in the recombination machinery are often catastrophic for meiosis, resulting in sterility. We have developed a visual assay capable(More)
Human neuroimaging studies suggest that aberrant neural connectivity underlies behavioural deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but the molecular and neural circuit mechanisms underlying ASDs remain elusive. Here, we describe a complete knockout mouse model of the autism-associated Shank3 gene, with a deletion of exons 4-22 (Δe4-22). Both(More)
BACKGROUND Considerable clinical heterogeneity has been well documented amongst individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, little is known about the biological mechanisms underlying phenotypic diversity. Genetic studies have established a strong causal relationship between ASD and molecular defects in the SHANK3 gene. Individuals with(More)
Abnormal pain sensitivity is commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and affects the life quality of ASD individuals. SHANK3 deficiency was implicated in ASD and pain dysregulation. Here, we report functional expression of SHANK3 in mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons and spinal cord presynaptic terminals. Homozygous and(More)
Despite recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), the current treatments for these disorders are mostly focused on behavioral and educational approaches. The considerable clinical and molecular heterogeneity of ASD present a significant challenge to the development of an effective treatment targeting(More)
This overview describes many well characterized mouse models of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Mouse models considered here were selected because they are examples of genetically engineered models where human genetic evidence supports a causative relationship between the targeted mutation and the behavioral phenotype. As the ASD diagnosis is based(More)
Analysis of synaptic plasticity together with behavioral and molecular studies have become a popular approach to model autism spectrum disorders in order to gain insight into the pathosphysiological mechanisms and to find therapeutic targets. Abnormalities of specific types of synaptic plasticity have been revealed in numerous genetically modified mice that(More)
Genetic defects in the synaptic scaffolding protein gene, SHANK2, are linked to a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, intellectual disability, and bipolar disorder, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the pleotropic effects of SHANK2 mutations are poorly understood. We generated and characterized a(More)
Epilepsy is prevalent and often medically intractable in Angelman syndrome (AS). AS mouse model (Ube3am-/p+) shows reduced excitatory neurotransmission but lower seizure threshold. The neural mechanism linking the synaptic dysfunction to the seizure remains elusive. We show that the local circuits of Ube3am-/p+in vitro are hyperexcitable and display a(More)
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