Catherine Cheng

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Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), and have tremendous potential as a cell source for cardiovascular regeneration. We postulate that specific vascular environmental factors will promote MSC differentiation into SMCs. However, the effects of the vascular(More)
We have identified a mouse recessive mutation that leads to attenuated and hyperpermeable retinal vessels, recapitulating some pathological features of familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) in human patients. DNA sequencing reveals a single nucleotide insertion in the gene encoding the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), causing(More)
Lens development and transparency have been hypothesized to depend on intercellular gap junction channels, consisting of alpha3 (Cx46) and alpha8 (Cx50) connexin subunits, to transport metabolites, secondary messages and ions between lens cells. To evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated alpha3(-/-) alpha8(-/-) double knockout mice and characterized(More)
PURPOSE To identify new mouse models for studying roles of alphaAlpha-crystallin in vivo and to investigate why and how different mutations of the alphaAlpha-crystallin gene lead to dominant or recessive cataracts. METHODS Using mouse genetic approaches and slit lamp screening, we identified two mouse cataractous mutant lines. Causative genes were mapped(More)
High refractive index and transparency of the eye lens require uniformly shaped and precisely aligned lens fiber cells. During lens development, equatorial epithelial cells undergo cell-to-cell alignment to form meridional rows of hexagonal cells. The mechanism that controls this morphogenesis from randomly packed cuboidal epithelial cells to highly(More)
The lens is an avascular organ that transmits and focuses light images onto the retina. Intercellular gap junction channels, formed by at least three different connexin protein subunits, α1 (connexin43 or Gja1), α3 (connexin46 or Gja3) and α8 (connexin50 or Gja8), are utilized to transport metabolites, ions and water in the lens. In combination with(More)
Successful infection depends on the ability of the pathogen to gain nutrients from the host. The extracellular pathogenic bacterium group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes a vast array of human diseases. By using the quorum-sensing sil system as a reporter, we found that, during adherence to host cells, GAS delivers streptolysin toxins, creating endoplasmic(More)
Recent genetic studies show that the Eph/ephrin bidirectional signaling pathway is associated with both congenital and age-related cataracts in mice and humans. We have investigated the molecular mechanisms of cataractogenesis and the roles of ephrin-A5 and EphA2 in the lens. Ephrin-A5 knockout ⁻/⁻ mice often display anterior polar cataracts while EphA2⁻/⁻(More)
The eye lens consists of layers of tightly packed fiber cells, forming a transparent and avascular organ that is important for focusing light onto the retina. A microcirculation system, facilitated by a network of gap junction channels composed of connexins 46 and 50 (Cx46 and Cx50), is hypothesized to maintain and nourish lens fiber cells. We measured lens(More)
The solid tumor mRNA expression of genes related to the mechanism of action of certain antineoplastic agents is often predictive of clinical efficacy. We report here on the development of a rapid and practical real-time RT-PCR method to quantify genetic expression in solid tumors. The genes examined are related to the intracellular pharmacology of(More)