Christopher A. Johnston

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Asymmetric cell division is intensely studied because it can generate cellular diversity as well as maintain stem cell populations. Asymmetric cell division requires mitotic spindle alignment with intrinsic or extrinsic polarity cues, but mechanistic detail of this process is lacking. Here, we develop a method to construct cortical polarity in a normally(More)
Heterotrimeric G proteins are crucial for asymmetric cell division, but the mechanisms of signal activation remain poorly understood. Here, we establish that the evolutionarily conserved protein RIC-8 is required for proper asymmetric division of one-cell stage C. elegans embryos. Spindle severing experiments demonstrate that RIC-8 is required for(More)
The Frizzled receptor and Dishevelled effector regulate mitotic spindle orientation in both vertebrates and invertebrates, but how Dishevelled orients the mitotic spindle is unknown. Using the Drosophila S2 cell "induced polarity" system, we find that Dishevelled cortical polarity is sufficient to orient the spindle and that Dishevelled's DEP domain(More)
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) serve as catalytic activators of heterotrimeric G-proteins (Galphabetagamma) by exchanging GTP for the bound GDP on the Galpha subunit. This guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity of GPCRs is the initial step in the G-protein cycle and determines the onset of various intracellular signaling pathways that govern(More)
There is a high prevalence of lameness among Standardbred trotters, most commonly caused by noninfectious joint diseases, mainly related to training and competition. In this context, impact-related shock waves transmitted through the skeleton and joints have been proposed to be one important factor in the development of osteoarthritis. The aim of the(More)
Liu et al. (Reports, 23 March 2007, p. 1712) reported that the Arabidopsis thaliana gene GCR2 encodes a seven-transmembrane, G protein-coupled receptor for abscisic acid. We argue that GCR2 is not likely to be a transmembrane protein nor a G protein-coupled receptor. Instead, GCR2 is most likely a plant homolog of bacterial lanthionine synthetases.
Regulated spindle orientation maintains epithelial tissue integrity and stem cell asymmetric cell division. In Drosophila melanogaster neural stem cells (neuroblasts), the scaffolding protein Canoe (Afadin/Af-6 in mammals) regulates spindle orientation, but its protein interaction partners and mechanism of action are unknown. In this paper, we use our(More)
Lameness in athletic horses is often caused by forelimb tendon injuries, especially in the interosseus tendon (TI) and superficial digital flexor tendon (SDF), but also in the accessory ligament (AL) of the deep digital flexor tendon (DDF). In an attempt to explain the aetiology of these injuries, the present study investigated the loading of the tendons(More)
Neonatal treatment with monosodium glutamate (MSG) induces severe neuronal damage in selected brain areas, which in turn results in a number of neuroendocrine abnormalities during adult life. The present study was designed to determine what effects this partial and selective denervation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis may have on the sensitivity of two(More)
Changes in OR mRNA expression in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) in relation to the estrous cycle were measured by in situ hybridization with a rat oxytocin receptor (OR) probe. Binding studies have localized ORs to various brain regions, and have detected a high density of receptors in the VMH, a nucleus containing large numbers of estrogen responsive(More)