Changhui Pak

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that inhibit expression of specific target genes at the post-transcriptional level. Sequence variations in miRNA genes, including pri-miRNAs, pre-miRNAs and mature miRNAs, could potentially influence the processing and/or target selection of miRNAs. In this study, we have systematically identified single(More)
Available methods for differentiating human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) into neurons are often cumbersome, slow, and variable. Alternatively, human fibroblasts can be directly converted into induced neuronal (iN) cells. However, with present techniques conversion is inefficient, synapse formation is limited, and only(More)
Direct conversion of nonneural cells to functional neurons holds great promise for neurological disease modeling and regenerative medicine. We previously reported rapid reprogramming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) into mature induced neuronal (iN) cells by forced expression of three transcription factors: ASCL1, MYT1L, and BRN2. Here, we show that(More)
Heterozygous SHANK3 mutations are associated with idiopathic autism and Phelan-McDermid syndrome. SHANK3 is a ubiquitously expressed scaffolding protein that is enriched in postsynaptic excitatory synapses. Here, we used engineered conditional mutations in human neurons and found that heterozygous and homozygous SHANK3 mutations severely and specifically(More)
Methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBDs) are central components of DNA methylation-mediated epigenetic gene regulation. Alterations of epigenetic pathways are known to be associated with several neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism. Our previous studies showed that the loss of Mbd1 led to reduced hippocampal neurogenesis and impaired learning in(More)
Heterozygous mutations of the NRXN1 gene, which encodes the presynaptic cell-adhesion molecule neurexin-1, were repeatedly associated with autism and schizophrenia. However, diverse clinical presentations of NRXN1 mutations in patients raise the question of whether heterozygous NRXN1 mutations alone directly impair synaptic function. To address this(More)
Here we report a human intellectual disability disease locus on chromosome 14q31.3 corresponding to mutation of the ZC3H14 gene that encodes a conserved polyadenosine RNA binding protein. We identify ZC3H14 mRNA transcripts in the human central nervous system, and we find that rodent ZC3H14 protein is expressed in hippocampal neurons and colocalizes with(More)
Neural developmental disorders, such as autism, Rett Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Angelman syndrome manifest during early postnatal neural development. Although the genes responsible for some of these disorders have been identified, how the mutations of these genes affect neural development is currently unclear. Emerging evidence suggest that these(More)
The ZC3H14 gene, which encodes a ubiquitously expressed, evolutionarily conserved, nuclear, zinc finger polyadenosine RNA-binding protein, was recently linked to autosomal recessive, nonsyndromic intellectual disability. Although studies have been carried out to examine the function of putative orthologs of ZC3H14 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where the(More)