Christopher A. Wassif

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We investigated the function of Lhx2, a LIM homeobox gene expressed in developing B-cells, forebrain and neural retina, by analyzing embryos deficient in functional Lhx2 protein. Lhx2 mutant embryos are anophthalmic, have malformations of the cerebral cortex, and die in utero due to severe anemia. In Lhx2-/- embryos specification of the optic vesicle(More)
During mammalian embryonic development, the ovaries and testes develop from somatic cells of the urogenital ridges as indifferent gonads, harbouring primordial germ cells that have migrated there. After sex determination of the gonads, the testes produce testosterone and anti-Mullerian hormone which mediate male sexual differentiation, and the female(More)
Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is attributable to mutations in the gene coding for 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase. Low to absent enzyme activity accounts for the accumulation of both 7-dehydrocholesterol and 8-dehydrocholesterol in plasma and other tissues. Since oxysterols can participate in the regulation of cholesterol homeostasis, we examined the(More)
PURPOSE Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is a recessive, neurodegenerative, lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in either NPC1 or NPC2. The diagnosis is difficult and frequently delayed. Ascertainment is likely incomplete because of both these factors and because the full phenotypic spectrum may not have been fully delineated. Given the recent(More)
Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a malformation syndrome with neurocognitive deficits due to mutations of DHCR7 that impair the reduction of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol. To investigate the pathological processes underlying the neurocognitive deficits, we compared protein expression in Dhcr7(+/+) and Dhcr7(Delta3-5/Delta3-5) brain tissue. One of(More)
Vertebrate limb development is controlled by three signaling centers that regulate limb patterning and growth along the proximodistal (PD), anteroposterior (AP) and dorsoventral (DV) limb axes. Coordination of limb development along these three axes is achieved by interactions and feedback loops involving the secreted signaling molecules that mediate the(More)
Mutation of the 3beta-hydroxysterol delta7-reductase gene (Dhcr7-/-) results in Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Patients, and genetically altered mice, are unable to produce cholesterol and accumulate 7-dehydrocholesterol (DHC) in serum and tissue. This causes multiple growth and developmental abnormalities as well as immune system anomalies including(More)
Niemann-Pick disease, type C1 (NPC1) is a fatal, neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no definitive therapy. In NPC1, a pathological cascade including neuroinflammation, oxidative stress and neuronal apoptosis likely contribute to the clinical phenotype. While the genetic cause of NPC1 is known, we sought to gain a further understanding into the(More)
Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by deficiency in the terminal step of cholesterol biosynthesis: the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) to cholesterol (C), catalyzed by 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7). This disorder exhibits several phenotypic traits including dysmorphia and mental retardation with a broad range of severity. There(More)
Mutations in TRPML1 cause the lysosomal storage disease mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV). The role of TRPML1 in cell function and how the mutations cause the disease are not well understood. Most studies focus on the role of TRPML1 in constitutive membrane trafficking to and from the lysosomes. However, this cannot explain impaired neuromuscular and secretory(More)