Alysson R. Muotri

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Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are complex neurodevelopmental diseases in which different combinations of genetic mutations may contribute to the phenotype. Using Rett syndrome (RTT) as an ASD genetic model, we developed a culture system using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from RTT patients' fibroblasts. RTT patients' iPSCs are able to undergo(More)
In adult hippocampus, new neurons are continuously generated from neural stem cells (NSCs), but the molecular mechanisms regulating adult neurogenesis remain elusive. We found that Wnt signaling, together with the removal of Sox2, triggered the expression of NeuroD1 in mice. This transcriptional regulatory mechanism was dependent on a DNA element containing(More)
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an arbovirus belonging to the genus Flavivirus (family Flaviviridae) and was first described in 1947 in Uganda following blood analyses of sentinel Rhesus monkeys. Until the twentieth century, the African and Asian lineages of the virus did not cause meaningful infections in humans. However, in 2007, vectored by Aedes aegypti(More)
Revealing the mechanisms for neuronal somatic diversification remains a central challenge for understanding individual differences in brain organization and function. Here we show that an engineered human LINE-1 (for long interspersed nuclear element-1; also known as L1) element can retrotranspose in neuronal precursors derived from rat hippocampus neural(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor neuron death. ALS can be induced by mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 gene (SOD1). Evidence for the non-cell-autonomous nature of ALS emerged from the observation that wild-type glial cells extended the survival of SOD1 mutant motor neurons in chimeric mice. To(More)
Long interspersed nuclear elements-1 (LINE-1 or L1s) are abundant retrotransposons that comprise approximately 20% of mammalian genomes. Active L1 retrotransposons can impact the genome in a variety of ways, creating insertions, deletions, new splice sites or gene expression fine-tuning. We have shown previously that L1 retrotransposons are capable of(More)
DNA methylation-mediated epigenetic regulation plays critical roles in regulating mammalian gene expression, but its role in normal brain function is not clear. Methyl-CpG binding protein 1 (MBD1), a member of the methylated DNA-binding protein family, has been shown to bind methylated gene promoters and facilitate transcriptional repression in vitro. Here(More)
We report that herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection can activate and exploit a cellular DNA damage response that aids viral replication in nonneuronal cells. Early in HSV-1 infection, several members of the cellular DNA damage-sensing machinery are activated and accumulate at sites of viral DNA replication. When this cellular response is abrogated,(More)
The central nervous system (CNS) is arguably one of the most complex systems in the universe. To understand the CNS, scientists have investigated a variety of molecules, including proteins, lipids, and various small molecules. However, one large class of molecules, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), has been relatively unexplored. ncRNAs function directly as(More)
Genetic reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state (induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs) by over-expression of specific genes has been accomplished using mouse and human cells. However, it is still unclear how similar human iPSCs are to human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESCs). Here, we describe the transcriptional profile of human iPSCs generated(More)