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Neural stem cells exist in the developing and adult nervous systems of all mammals, but the basic mechanisms that control their behavior are not yet well understood. Here, we investigated the role of Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a factor vital for neural development, in regulating adult hippocampal neural stem cells. We found high expression of the Shh receptor(More)
Although biochemical signals that modulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation were extensively studied, only recently were the mechanical properties of a stem cell's microenvironment shown to regulate its behavior. It would be desirable to have independent control over biochemical and mechanical cues, to analyze their relative and combined effects(More)
HIV-1 Tat transactivation is vital for completion of the viral life cycle and has been implicated in determining proviral latency. We present an extensive experimental/computational study of an HIV-1 model vector (LTR-GFP-IRES-Tat) and show that stochastic fluctuations in Tat influence the viral latency decision. Low GFP/Tat expression was found to generate(More)
We report an optogenetic method based on Arabidopsis thaliana cryptochrome 2 for rapid and reversible protein oligomerization in response to blue light. We demonstrated its utility by photoactivating the β-catenin pathway, achieving a transcriptional response higher than that obtained with the natural ligand Wnt3a. We also demonstrated the modularity of(More)
The phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway has been implicated in regulating several important cellular processes, including apoptosis, survival, proliferation, and metabolism. Using both pharmacological and genetic means, we demonstrate here that PI3K/Akt plays a crucial role in the proliferation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.(More)
The Cre/loxP system is increasingly showing promise for investigating genes involved in neural function. Here, we demonstrate that in vivo modification of genes in the mouse brain can be accomplished in a spatial- and temporal-specific manner by targeted delivery of an adeno-associated virus (AAV) encoding a green fluorescent protein/Cre recombinase(More)
The discovery of naturally occurring adeno-associated virus (AAV) isolates in different animal species and the generation of engineered AAV strains using molecular genetics tools have yielded a versatile AAV vector toolkit. Promising results in preclinical animal models of human disease spurred the much awaited transition toward clinical application, and(More)
Recently, it has become apparent that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage can rapidly initiate apoptosis independent of mutations, although the mechanism involved remains unclear. To elucidate this mechanism, angiotensin II-mediated apoptosis was studied in cells that were transduced with a lentiviral vector to overexpress the DNA repair enzyme 8-oxoguanine(More)
Inherited retinal degenerative diseases are a clinically promising focus of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated gene therapy. These diseases arise from pathogenic mutations in mRNA transcripts expressed in the eye's photoreceptor cells or retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), leading to cell death and structural deterioration. Because current gene delivery(More)
Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) play important roles in learning and memory and are negatively impacted by neurological disease. It is known that biochemical and genetic factors regulate self-renewal and differentiation, and it has recently been suggested that mechanical and solid-state cues, such as extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness, can also regulate(More)